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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Oliver Zip Leads the Way in Capossela


Oliver Zip broke on top and kicked away from the field in the stretch to capture the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct.

Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Oliver Zip left the gate sharply and led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :23.57 while the New York-bred Loki's Vengeance applied light pressure in second. After a half in :46.37, Oliver Zip was given his cue by Maragh and drew off to 4 1/2-length victory.

Trained by Kelly Breen for George and Lori Hall, the Triple Crown-nominated colt was entering the race off a respite of just two weeks, a move carefully orchestrated by Breen.

The win was his third in five career starts, all at six furlongs, and took his earnings to $155,300. The Grade Bay Shore at Aqueduct on April 5 is in play for the colt's next start according to Breen, which would mark Oliver Zip's first attempt in the graded stakes ranks.

Oliver Zip completed the six furlongs in 1:10.21 and returned $13.40 on a $2 win bet.

Loki's Vengeance checked in second after prompting the early pace, 4 1/2 lengths clear of favored Long On Value in third. Good Time Henny, Hot Heir Skier, and Germaniac completed the order of finish. Geaux Mets was scratched.


Kelly Breen: "Part of the reason we ran back in two weeks was knowing how bad the weather was and that horses wouldn't be able to train. We used that (allowance race) as a stepping stone to have our horse fit and ready to go. We left it up to Rajiv; if the horse breaks good, do your thing. Some of the horses that have speed didn't break as well as us, and he put them away at the top of the stretch. Although he looked good coming back, he did have a nice crease down his back; he appeared to be a little tired. I know visually he did it easy today, but I saw a tired horse. We'll see how he comes out of this race and might point to the Bay Shore (on April 5).

Rajiv Maragh: "He breaks so sharp from the gate, every time. This horse is so consistent. He cruised the first three-eighths, and then he powered home. He barely got beat (by Hot Heir Skier in the Jimmy Winkfield), so there wasn't much to change to make the difference to win. I got away with a more moderate pace this time. I got an easier lead, and I think it made a big difference at the end."

George Hall, winning owner: "We like this horse a lot. I was kind of surprised he was 5-1. I had my bet down, of course. We'll see how he comes out of the race and see what's next for him."

Edited NYRA release


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