Carribean Caper Puts Undefeated Stauts On The Line In Audubon Oaks

Carribean Caper has been visually impressive in winning her three starts by open lengths, including a second-level allowance race at Ellis Park by 4 1/2 lengths after being bothered at the start. She makes her stakes debut in Sunday’s $100,000 Audubon Oaks. The seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies last year helped launch Sconsin, now a multiple graded-stakes winner who is Grade 1-placed and training at Ellis Park for Saratoga’s Grade 1 Ballerina.

Everything about Carribean Caper has been impressive except her speed figures, which started high in her eight-length debut romp at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans but dropped substantially in both starts since.

“Those numbers are so weird,” said trainer Al Stall. “In our last race, she ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16 and just inhaled those horses after breaking bad. I don’t know what all that’s about. But anyway, whatever, we’ll see. Hopefully numbers do lie.”

Stall took a conservative route with Carribean Caper, running her through her allowance conditions before jumping in a stakes. Colby Hernandez has been aboard throughout.

“She didn’t do super well over the winter,” Stall said. “Her race was impressive, but man, she kept growing her coat out. We had to clip her and clip her. Her color wasn’t good. After her Keeneland race, I wasn’t really happy with her weight and her color. That’s the only reason we backed off her.

“Then we were lucky though to find that race early at Ellis. Between Keeneland and Ellis, she really did well. She enjoyed the Kentucky spring, a lot of grazing, like a busman’s holiday-type of thing. Didn’t leave the barn but got a freshening. She did pick up a lot of weight and has continued to do well ever since. I’m happy with her appearance and all that stuff.”

Stall is hoping the Audubon Oaks catapults Carribean Caper to Churchill Downs’ $275,000 Dogwood and Keeneland’s Grade 2 Raven Run, all at seven-eighths of a mile and restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

“I’d love her to earn her way into the Dogwood or the Raven Run,” he said. “I’d be thrilled to death. We’re just going to kind of keep chipping away and hopefully she runs well and we can say, ‘Hey, let’s think about a nice race at Churchill and an even better race at Keeneland.’”

Carribean Caper, a daughter of the prominent sire and sprint champion Speightstown, is the first foal of the Dixie Union mare Checkupfromzneckup. Her yearling daughter by Tapit sold for $990,000 at Fasig-Tipton‘s Saratoga sale Monday night.

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