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Mountaineer: Captain Genius at his best for the Sophomore Sprint
By John McDulin
Captain Genius is at the top of his game, and trainer Joe Woodard feels like Tuesday’s $85,000 Mountaineer Sophomore Sprint is a perfect spot for his 3-year-old to get his third win in four starts at Mountaineer.
“He was in with a super bunch older horses in his last, and although this is a tough race, I think it is an easier spot than his last,” Woodard said.
Woodard noted that the winner of Captain Genius’s last race, St Maximus Gato, “is a well established older sprinter,” and he called the second-place horse, Mega Rush, “a winning machine.”
Before his third-place finish in that Sept. 30 race, Captain Genius beat older horses in an optional allowance by three lengths. Three starts ago, Captain Genius won an entry-level allowance by 4 1/4 lengths. All three races were at the same six-furlong distance as the Sophomore. In each of his last two wins, Captain Genius came from off the pace. Woodard feels that is a plus in Tueaday’s eight-horse field, which is laden with speed
“It looks like it sets up good for him. There is a lot of speed in there, and I think he can sit right off and get all the money,” Woodard said.
The Sophomore has been on Woodard’s radar for a while.
“We have been looking at this race for a long time,” he said. “It rules out the good older horses, and some of the really good horses that were nominated didn’t enter.”
Woodard plans on shipping Captain Genius to Mountaineer early on race day. If he fares as well as Woodard is hoping, the Fair Grounds will likely be his next destination.
“We are sending a few to Fair Grounds,” Woodard said. “We are in the process of rebuilding the stable, and he is the type of horse we want to have.”
Deshawn Parker retains the mount.
Warrioroftheroses will be looking for his third straight win and will be one of the horses Captain Genius will be chasing. Trained by Damon Dilodovico, he has led from start to finish in his last two starts. On Sept. 13, Warrioroftheroses won his maiden at Laurel. On Oct. 13, he won a statebred allowance at Belmont Park. Both were against older horses going six furlongs. Travis Dunkelburger, aboard for his maiden win, will ride once again.
The rest of the field includes Whiskey Rebellion, Fleet Eagle, Nightofsolance, High Native Fly, Steel Man, and Jasizzle.
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