Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dads Caps, Salutos Amigos to square off in Gravesend


Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Contact: Sean Morris



Dads Caps, Salutos Amigos to square off in Gravesend


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Grade 1 winner Dads Caps and multiple graded stakes winner Salutos Amigos are set to tussle in Friday's $100,000 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.


The six-furlong Gravesend is carded as the third race on a nine-race program that also features a second-level optional claimer for fillies and mares.


Dads Caps, who became a Grade 1 winner earlier this year at the Big A when he took the seven-furlong Carter Handicap on April 5, enters the Gravesend via a fourth-place finish in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash on November 15 at Laurel Park. Two starts ago, the son of Discreet Cat nearly captured his second Grade 1 of the year, missing by a neck in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational to eventual Cigar Mile-winner Private Zone.


Trained by Rudy Rodriguez for Vincent Scuderi, Dads Caps carries an impressive inner-track resume into the Gravesend, with two wins and three second-place finishes - all three of which were registered during last year's inner-track meet - from five starts.


Jose Ortiz will be aboard Dads Caps, 8-5 on the morning line, from post 2.

The even-money favorite on the morning line, Salutos Amigos, is coming off an authoritative 1 ¾-length score in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap on Thanksgiving Day at the Big A. The Salute the Sarge gelding, trained by David Jacobson, won the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap three starts ago, and then contested the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint on short rest, in which he finished seventh.


The 4-year-old gelding has been remarkably consistent for Jacobson, who owns Salutos Amigos in partnership with Southern Equine Stable, having recorded Beyer Speed Figures of 97 or above in all but one of his past ten starts.


Like Dads Caps, Salutos Amigos has also shown an affinity for Aqueduct. The bay gelding has a perfect 3-for-3 record at the Big A, but has yet to run on the winterized inner track.


Salutos Amigos will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from post 4.


Rounding out the field are Green Gratto, a winner of three of nine races on the Big A's inner track for trainer David Smith, Mewannarose, who finished second to Salutos Amigos in the Fall Highweight, and Crafty Dreamer, who finished fourth in the Fall Highweight.



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