Updated on 09/17/2011 1:08PM

Water Cannon wins as Capac fails to fire

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Water Cannon (6) scores a narrow victory in the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.

The loud noise resonating around Laurel Park late Saturday afternoon was the throng of horseplayers jumping off the Capac Triple Crown bandwagon.

Hammered down to 2-5 in the $40,000 Miracle Wood, Capac loomed large, three wide in third place, on the turn for home in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds. But just as he appeared positioned to zoom by the leaders, he began to lose ground - and he kept losing ground, finishing fifth in the field of seven, beaten 8 1/2 lengths by the winner, Water Cannon.

Water Cannon was fifth turning for home under Ramon Dominguez, burst between horses to take the lead, and held off a late surge by Eastern Bay to win by a half-length. Water Cannon was timed in 1:45.29.

Capac's collapse affected the show prices. Of the $64,485 that was bet to show, $58,545 of it was on Capac. Water Cannon paid $9 to win, $6.20 to place, and $20.40 to show. Eastern Bay paid $8.60 to place and $30.60 to show, and Wanaka paid $40.60 to show.

Capac won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race in his second start last November at Churchill Downs by 5 1/4 lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 97. After a two-month layoff, he won his 3-year-old debut in first-level allowance company on Feb. 4 at Laurel. Soon after, he closed at 38-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

But on Saturday, trying two turns for the first time, Capac had nothing.

"I have absolutely no idea what happened," said Jeremy Rose, who rode Capac. "I had the leaders tracked and should have run by them with ease if I had any horse. We should have won, but he just didn't respond. I have no reason why."