Columbine Stable’s Carribean Caper swept three-wide on the turn to reel in the early leaders and drew away in the stretch for an easy six-length victory over Someone Said So in Saturday’s 46th running of the $275,000 Dogwood (Grade III) at Churchill Downs to remain unbeaten in five starts.

Carribean Caper ran seven furlongs in 1:22.57 over fast track under Colby Hernandez, who rode the winner for trainer Al Stall Jr.

“I was happy to see her leave the gate well and get to the outside,” Stall Jr. said. “She’s a really classy animal. I’m really proud to train her.”

This was the first graded stakes win for Carribean Caper, who previously won the $100,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park in her stakes debut.

“We’ll probably take a look at the race at Keeneland (Grade II, $250,000 Raven Run) on Oct. 23,” Stall Jr. said. “Even further down the road maybe we could look at something like the Grade I La Brea (on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita). Maybe in the future I could see her stretch out but right now she’s doing so well sprinting and we’ll try to keep her on that track.”

The $60,570 first prize jumped Carribean Caper’s earnings to $238,060 from a record of 5-0-0 in five starts.

Sent off as the odds-on 2-5 favorite in the field of six 3-year-old fillies, Carribean Caper paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Someone Said So, a 10-1 longshot ridden by Adam Beschiza, returned $6.40 and $3. Malloy, also at 10-1 with Joe Talamo up, was 2 ¼ lengths back of the runner-up and paid $3.20 to show.

Shesa Mystery, Patty H and Coppelia completed the order of finish. Li’l Tootsie was scratched.

Coppelia, breaking from the rail, and Patty H, from post No. 5, battled for the early lead down the backstretch through fractions of :22.42 and :44.88. Someone Said So rated just off the leaders and Carribean Caper rated in the clear in fourth. Midway around the turn, Carribean Caper dragged Hernandez to the front with a sweeping move. She poked her head in front at the top of the homestretch and easily put away her five rivals down the lane.

“She broke pretty well today and I was able to get her to the outside pretty easily,” Hernandez said. “I got her into a nice rhythm and she went on with it. Today’s race was all her. All I had to do was hang on.”

Carribean Caper is a daughter of Speightstown out of the Dixie Union mare Checkupfromzneckup and was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm. She was purchased by Columbine Stable’s Andrea Pollack for $250,000 at 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from consignor VanMeter-Gentry Sales.

The Dogwood is named for the hardy, blooming tree that adds so much beauty to the spring landscape in Kentucky.

DOGWOOD QUOTES

Colby Hernandez, jockey of CARRIBEAN CAPER (winner): “She broke pretty well today and I was able to get her to the outside pretty easily. I got her into a nice rhythm and she went on with it. Today’s race was all her. All I had to do was hang on.”

Al Stall Jr., trainer of CARRIBEAN CAPER (winner): “I was happy to see her leave the gate well and get to the outside. She’s a really classy animal. I’m really proud to train her. We’ll probably take a look at the race at Keeneland (Grade II, $250,000 Raven Run) on Oct. 23. Even further down the road maybe we could look at something like the Grade I La Brea (on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita). Maybe in the future I could see her stretch out but right now she’s doing so well sprinting and we’ll try to keep her on that track.”

Carribean Caper
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