07/31/2013 12:47PM

Woodbine: Don't look for Uncaptured in Breeders' as he focuses on dirt stakes

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Michael Burns
Uncaptured, winning the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, will not be pointed to the $500,000 Breeders' at Woodbine on Aug. 18.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Uncaptured made a triumphant return to Canada on Tuesday evening, capturing Fort Erie’s $500,000 Prince of Wales for trainer Mark Casse and owner John Oxley.

But the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year probably won’t be sticking around long as he currently is on the farm along with his stablemate Jagger M, and a move back to Churchill Downs probably is in the cards.

“They’re out in the paddock,” said Casse on Wednesday morning, as he prepared to head out for Saratoga and the upcoming yearling sale. “They’ll spend a couple of days there – get some sun on their backs, eat a little grass.”

“We’re going to spend a little time the next couple of days with the Oxleys, and figure out where we go from here. Wherever he races, it’s going to be on the dirt.”

Uncaptured, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 for his victory in the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales, had figured to be quite close to the pace but rallied from fifth in the field of six to score by a length under regular rider Miguel Mena.

“It was interesting, because it was an entirely different style-type of race for him,” said Casse. “Miguel really got him to relax, and I think when he runs that way he can handle the longer distances.”

Jagger M, owned by Gabe Grossberg, was beaten 6 1/4 lengths as the fourth-place finisher in the Prince of Wales.

“He got bounced around a little bit,” Casse said. “I’m going to probably nominate him to the Breeders’. I’m not sure where he’ll go next.”

The $500,000 Breeders’, a 1 1/2-mile turf race here which will be run on Aug. 18 and is the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, also is a target for the Casse-trained Dynamic Sky, who was scratched from the Prince of Wales after coming up with a minor problem.

“He’s better today,” said Casse. “We’re certain now it’s his foot. He’s probably going to have a little abscess or something that’s going to hopefully come to a head here in the next day or two, and he’ll be fine.”

Alpha Bettor seeks repeat in Seagram Cup

Alpha Bettor was a distant third behind the runaway winner Delegation in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day here July 1.

But with the Casse-trained Delegation scheduled to make his next start at Del Mar in the Aug. 25 Pacific Classic, Saturday’s Seagram Cup has become a competitive event with a field of eight slated to face the starter in the Grade 3, $150,000 stakes for 3-year-olds and upward.

Alpha Bettor became a stakes winner in last year’s 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup, and he is a threat to duplicate that feat in Saturday’s headliner.

“We went after Delegation on the turn last time, and that probably cost us second money,” said trainer Danny Vella, who watched Alpha Bettor finish a neck behind runner-up James Street. “That, and the fact that he was giving James Street two pounds, probably made us a bit soft for the last eighth of a mile. I think he was the second-best horse. No one here was going to beat Delegation that day.”

Alpha Bettor tuned up for the Seagram Cup last Sunday with a four-furlong breeze in 47.60 seconds, which made him among three of 101 workers at the distance to earn the bullet.

“I wanted to sharpen him up a bit, going back to a mile and a sixteenth,” said Vella.

James Street, who won the 2011 Seagram Cup, also is back for Saturday’s renewal along with Any Given Royal, Awesome Overture, Patrioticandproud, Perfect Afleet, Peyton, and Ultimate Destiny.

Katryan has high hopes for Making It Happen

Trainer Abraham Katryan’s barn has been quiet lately. But Katryan, who has 25 horses under his shed row here, will be looking to make some noise when he sends out Making It Happen for Saturday’s $125,000 Nandi Stakes.

Making It Happen, an $8,000 yearling purchase at an open session of the local sale, will be making her second career start in the Nandi, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

“We really like her,” said Katryan, who conditions Making It Happen for Racing Canada Inc. and Infront Enterprises. “She’s turned out to be a nice little filly. She’s trained really forward, and she hasn’t missed a beat.”

Making It Happen has seen action once, leading throughout a restricted maiden dash at 4 1/2 furlongs to score by 2 1/2 lengths under Emile Ramsammy, who retains the mount for a the Nandi.

“She won comfortably,” said Katryan. “We figured this might be the right spot with a little time in between. We’re hoping she can perform the same again.”

The Nandi attracted a field of eight, headed by On Rainbow Bridge, Paladin Bay, and Where’s the Carat, the 1-2-3 finishers in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well here July 14.

Rounding out the field are Executive Class, It’s A Gizmo, Lexie Lou, Lia’s Miracle, and Strela.

Hunters Bay resumes serious training

Hunters Bay had his first recorded workout of the season here Wednesday morning, breezing three furlongs in 38.40 seconds on the training track under his regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Second to the formidable Wise Dan when making his turf debut in last year’s Woodbine Mile, Hunters Bay was scheduled to make his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile but was sidelined by bone bruises and sent to Frank Stronach’s nearby Adena Springs Farm.

“They gave him a long time off,” said Reade Baker, who trains the 6-year-old Hunters Bay for Stronach Stables. “He’s a very valuable horse; they wanted to make sure everything was perfect.”

Baker is hoping to have Hunters Bay ready for a fall campaign.

“I don’t think I’ve got enough time to get him to the Woodbine Mile,” said Baker. “Maybe the Durham Cup, or the Shadwell Mile.”

This year’s $1 million Woodbine Mile will be run on Sept. 15, with the Grade 3 Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race here worth $150,000, set for Oct. 6.

The Grade 1, $750,000 Shadwell Mile will be run over Keeneland’s turf course on Oct. 5.

Hunters Bay won the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles and the Dominion Day on the Polytrack here last year and was the Sovereign Award winner in the older male category.