08/24/2013 6:14PM

Saratoga: Capo Bastone connects at 28-1 in King's Bishop

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Barbara D. Livingston
Irad Ortiz Jr. guides Capo Bastone from far back to upset the King's Bishop for 3-year-old sprinters.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -   Capo Bastone earned himself a spot in the $500,000 King’s Bishop field after holding his own in a workout last weekend with Verrazano. Six days later, Capo Bastone found 13 other 3-year-olds a lot easier to handle than his star-studded stablemate, rallying from far back under a masterful ride by Irad Ortiz Jr. to register a startling two-length victory over Mentor Cane in Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga.

Despite having finished second, beaten a neck by King’s Bishop favorite Forty Tales in the Grade 3 Derby Trial earlier in the year and coming from the barn of the meet’s leading trainer, Todd Pletcher, Capo Bastone went off at odds of 28-1 and paid $58.50. His victory gave Pletcher his 13th stakes win of the meet and his fourth in a Grade 1 event.

As expected, Capo Bastone dropped well off the early pace of Let Em Shine, who set a lively pace while stalked from the outset by Mentor Cane. Mentor Cane shook clear leaving the turn and appeared to have an insurmountable lead at mid-stretch. But Ortiz found ample room to split horses with Capo Bastone entering the stretch and once settling for the drive, the son of Street Boss finished full of run to easily catch and pull away from the tiring leader.

Central Banker rallied belatedly to finish third with Forty Tales finding his best stride too late, checking in fourth after being forced to check and alter course at the top of the stretch.

Capo Bastone covered seven furlongs over a fast and what had been a speed-favoring track in 1:22.22.

“The horse was doing really well and we loved the way he trained with Verrazano on Sunday,” said Pletcher. “He showed in the past, the way he ran second in the Derby Trial and third last year in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, that he was the kind of horse who was capable of a big performance on the right day. We decided it was time to take a shot, the pace was ideal, and everything worked out right.”

Pletcher said jockey Julien Leparoux, who replaced the injured Joel Rosario aboard Forty Tales, told him it just took his horse a little too long to get untracked. Forty Tales had only one horse beat after the opening half-mile of the King’s Bishop.

“Julien said it just took a little while to get his legs underneath him, that he was just a little bit flat,” said Pletcher.  “That once he found a seam, he finally got untracked in the last eighth of a mile.”