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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (11/30/06)

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“Captain” Makes it Happen

Calhoun-trained 2-year-old colt impresses in Hawthorne allowance score

Robert L. Beck’s Makeithapencaptain, a potential Triple Crown candidate, did nothing to tarnish high expectations in Wednesday’s sixth race allowance at Hawthorne, splashing home to a 16 ¼-length win for trainer Bret Calhoun.

In hand to jockey Ramsey Zimmerman, the 2-year-old son of Aptitude out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Sharp Feline set a pressured pace from the inside through fractions of 23.78, 46.55 and 1:13.61. He began to draw away on the turn for home, eventually crossing the line in 1:46.63 for 1 1/16 miles over a track rated sloppy.

Makeithapencaptain defeated only a quartet of fellow freshmen, but it was the way he did it that impressed observers.

“He was quick early but did it all on his own,” Calhoun said. “When asked to respond, he exploded. The jock (Zimmerman) said he got a little bored late in the race. He wasn’t stressed at all and was very comfortable all the way around. After the race he acted like he could go around again. We expected him to win big, but not quite like that.”

Makeithapencaptain debuted with a third place finish at Arlington on Sept. 15, and returned five weeks later to break his maiden in a runaway at Hawthorne. Both of those races were sprints, but Calhoun was confident that he was a route horse.

“We were very high on him before he even ran and just followed our plan of progression,” Calhoun explained. “He has such a huge stride and is a really good moving colt, and we trained around two turns several times in the mornings.”

According to Calhoun, Makeithapencaptain will be sent to New Orleans to compete in the series of 3-year-old races offered at Fair Grounds. The first of those events is the one mile $100,000 Grade III Lecomte on Jan. 13.

Three years ago, Calhoun had another sensational 2-year-old in Cactus Ridge, but that speedster was injured just prior to a scheduled run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He is hopeful that Makeithapencaptain is the horse who can take him on that magical Triple Crown journey.

“We’re excited,” Calhoun said of his colt’s potential. “He’s passing tests and we think he could be good enough to compete at the highest level. It will be fun to find out.”

The 2006 fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs September 15 through January 1 with live racing five days per week – Wednesday through Sunday (except Nov. 23 and Dec. 24). The dark days are Monday and Tuesday (except Oct. 9 and Jan. 1). Post time is 1:10 p.m. daily.

Hawthorne’s races can be seen live on Horse Racing Television (HRTV). HRTV provides full, in-depth coverage of the current Hawthorne Race Course meeting, with complete post parades, and expert analysis from the network's hosts.

Hawthorne’s spring 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run February 23 thru May 3. The summer 2007 Standardbred meet will be held June 22 thru August 5. The fall 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run September 17 thru December 31.

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