Capt Candyman Can collected the fourth stakes win of his career when he out-kicked 4-5 favorite Cash Refund by three-quarters of a length in Saturday’s eighth running of the $106,900 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
Capt. Candyman Can, ridden by Javier Castellano and trained by Ian Wilkes, ran seven furlongs in 1:22.89 and paid $4, $2.10 and $2.10 as the even-money second choice in the field of five 3-year-olds. Cash Refund returned $2.20 and $2.10 as the betting choice after back-to-back eye-catching performances against maidens and allowance company. Conchacer finished third, another 5 ½ lengths behind the runner-up, and paid $2.20. Zigaree and Dance Caller completed the order of finish.
Capt. Candyman Can settled behind early pacesetters Dance Caller and Cash Refund, who rattled off the first quarter-mile in :22.76 and the half in :44.95. Castellano worked him forward off of the inside rail, swung three-wide on the final turn to engage the leaders and inched away from Cash Refund in the stretch.
Capt. Candyman Can, a gelded son of Candy Ride out of the Storm Creek mare Stormy Way, earned $66,278 for owners Joseph Rauch and David Zell. The Kentucky-bred has now earned $410,423 and boosted his record to five wins from eight starts.
Capt Candyman Can emerged as a star and a potential candidate for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands last fall when he scored an impressive victory in the Iroquois (GIII) and followed it with a third-place run in the Kentucky Jockey Club (GII), both at Churchill Downs.
He started this season with victory in Gulfstream Park’s seven-furlong Hutcheson (GII), but dropped off the Derby Trail following a fourth-place run behind Quality Road in the one-mile Fountain of Youth (GII). Capt. Candyman Can returned to a shorter distance for the April 4 Bay Shore (GIII), a seven-furlong test at Aqueduct, and the result was a 3 ¾-length victory.
The Matt Winn honors Col. Matt Winn, the legendary general manager and president of Churchill Downs who served at the track from 1902 to 1949. Winn is credited with building the Kentucky Derby (GI) into an international sports icon and leading Churchill Downs to its status as one of America’s legendary sports shrines.
Live racing at Churchill Downs continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:45 p.m. ET. No one hit the $1 Z-5 / Super Hi-5 in Saturday’s final race at Churchill Downs, which involved selecting the top five finishers in order. Therefore, there’s a $16,014 carryover for the bet that will zigzag through Churchill Downs-owned racetracks. The exotic wager will start with Race 6 at Calder Race Course (3:12 p.m. ET) and will include Arlington Park 7 (5:08 p.m. ET) and Churchill Downs Race 10 (5:28 p.m. ET).
POST-RACE QUOTES – THE MATT WINN
IAN WILKES, trainer of CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN (winner)
“The Kleins’ horse ran an unbelievable race. I’m very proud of my horse because he did a couple of things. He was a little more relaxed today, and then finished and had to run. They didn’t give it us. I was very pleased with him.”
Q: Any thoughts on where he’ll go next?
“I want to go to the Kings Bishop (Grade I at Saratoga) with him. I’m gonna evaluate and see where he is and have a look-see where he’s at. He’ll tell me what I need to do here. That’s the important thing. I don’t want to get ahead of him and make him do it, because this horse puts his body on the line every time I run him. He’s so honest for me. He’s taken care of me, now I have to take care of him a little bit.”
Q: He and Javier Castellano seem happy together…
“Javier’s done a good job. We’re very fortunate to get Javier, because Julien (Leparoux)( had commitments last time and was riding in the Preakness today. Javier’s got on well with him, and I’ll probably keep Javier on him now. I don’t want to keep changing with him.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (jockey on CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN (winner)
“I really like his race because the way he did it today really, really impressed me. He sat beautifully right off the speed. It was my goal to put him right off the pace and that’s just what he did. He kicked very good at the end. I really like the way he did it today.”
“He’s improved a lot. He’s a come-from-behind sprint horse and those are the kind of horses you want to have. He’s a really nice horse and Ian has done a fantastic job with him. Today he was so kind and so relaxed in the post parade and that’s the way I wanted him to be. I’m so happy.”
Q: Did you think you had the runner-up measured as you came home?
“I had a lot of confidence at the quarter pole. I knew the pace was hot. I just didn’t want to wait too long. I asked him for his run at the end and he responded.”
STEVE MARGOLIS, trainer of CASH REFUND (runner-up)
“He ran really good. Brian wished we could have been on the outside, maybe he would have settled a little more. But he broke good, he broke running, and Brian didn’t want to discourage him. Like I said to Ian (Wilkes, trainer of Capt. Candyman Can), his horse is already a proven horse, and we were up-and-coming and I’m very happy with our horse’s race. He fought hard and we got beat by a seasoned stakes winner, so that’s not a disgrace by any means.”
Q: What’s next?
“I think we’re going to think about Monmouth in six weeks, the Jersey Shore going three-quarters.”
BRIAN HERNANDEZ JR. – Jockey on CASH REFUND (runner-up)
“He ran a big race for his third start. He improved and he only got beat a half-length to a two-time Grade 2 winner. You can’t really be disappointed in him.”
Q: You were going fast up front, but he seemed to settle…
“He settled pretty off of that horse on his inside, and turning for home I got him to switch leads and when I called on him he dug in and he went on a ways. He just got beat by the better horse. I’d like to meet him again, that’s for sure.”
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