David and Stephen Zell’s 7-year-old gelding Capt. Candyman Can won
the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park as a 3-year-old in 2009 for
trainer Ian Wilkes and the $75,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes over the track
as a 5-year-old in 2011.
A Kentucky homebred by Candy Ride, Capt. Candyman Can will be back
in action on Florida Derby Day Saturday in a bid for a second victory in
the Sir Shackleton at 6 ½ furlongs in a field of eight going as the
second race with jockey Alan Garcia named to ride.
Capt. Candyman Can finished a dull ninth last out in the Super
Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 23 in his first start since a close-up
fifth behind Successful Dan in a tough allowance race at Keeneland on
Apr. 6. The Keeneland race was his third last year, preceded by an even
third behind Force Freeze in the Gulfstream Sprint Championship (G2) and
fourth in the Tom Fool Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park in early March.
“He simply needed a race,” said Wilkes of the veteran sprinter’s
performance in the Super. “He may need a couple of races to get going
again at his age, but I think he can come back to perform at a high
level. I know this is going to be a tough spot, but we know he likes the
Gulfstream track.” Wilkes said that Capt. Candyman Can had minor
surgery after the Keeneland race to remove a cyst in a foot.
Capt. Candyman Can goes into the Sir Shackleton with a 21-8-2-3
record and earnings of $792,097. He scored one of his biggest victories
in the 2009 Kings Bishop Stakes (G1) in 2009 when he finished second by a
head behind Vineyard Haven, the latter disqualified. In another good
try here at Gulfstream he ran out of ground rallying for fourth in the
Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) in December of 2011, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by
Capt. Candyman Can’s rivals include another past winner of the Sir
Shackleton as E. Paul Robsham Stable’s 5-year-old Travelin Man goes to
the post as one of three contenders trained by Todd Pletcher.
A Kentucky homebred by Trippi, Travelin Man also has shown a
fondness for the Gulfstream surface with four wins and a second in six
starts, although he missed the board last out finishing sixth in this
year’s Gulfstream Sprint Championship in his first start since late July
at Monmouth Park when he lost a nose decision to be second in the Teddy
Travelin Man finished second in the Hutcheson and won the Swale
Stakes (G2) early in 2011 as a 3-year-old and won a hard-fought
half-length victory over Jersey Town in the Sir Shackleton on Florida
Derby Day last year. Jockey Rosie Napravnik, in town to ride Shanghai
Bobby in the Florida Derby (G1) for Pletcher, picks up the mount on
Completing the field are E. Paul Robsham Stable’s Soaring Stocks,
Rajiv Maragh; Robert Greczak’s Action Andy, Angel Serpa; Midwest
Thoroughbreds’ Guam Typhoon, Daniel Centeno; Joseph Balsamo’s Bellefire,
Manoel Cruz; Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton’s Spring Hill Farm,
John Velazquez; and Luch Racing Stable’s Whiskey Rebellion, Paco Lopez.
Pletcher also trained Soaring Stocks and Spring Hill Farm.