McLaughlin’s ‘Other’ Young Prospects

McLaughlin’s ‘Other’ Young Prospects


By Jack Will

Harvey Clarke and partners’ Soldat confirmed his standing a s a major player in the 3-year-old division for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin as the son of War Front splashed home a 10 ¾ lengths winner in a nine-furlong allowance race Friday afternoon at Gulfstream Park. The colt will now be pointed to the $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) over the track and distance on Sat., Feb. 26.

While Soldat is easily the highest-profile 3-year-old in the McLaughlin barn, he also has a couple of other promising young colts that are expected to see action as the Gulfstream meet unfolds in Namcook Stable’s Liberty Cup, who campaigned in England last season, and Darley Stable’s Crossbow, a sharp maiden winner last out at Aqueduct on Jan. 2.

Liberty Cap is a Kentucky-bred colt by Street Cry who won two of eight starts last year in England while owned by Princess Haya of Jordon and trained by John Gosden. The colt was then consigned to the Tattersalls Autumn sales in late October where he sold for 48,000 Guineas and later sent to McLaughlin at Palm Meadows.

“He’s a work or two from a race,” said McLaughlin of Liberty Cap after Soldat’s victory Friday. “We’ll probably have to bring him back in a stakes because he doesn’t have conditions, probably the ($100,000) Hallandale Beach (Sun., Feb. 6 at 1 1/16 miles on turf).”

McLaughlin sends out Namcook Stable’s 4-year-old gelding Lethal Combination in Sunday’s highly-competitive fourth race allowance facing Presious Passion, Never On Sunday and other accomplished turf runners. A son of Broken Vow, Lethal Combination scored his biggest victory in the Saranac Stakes (G3) at Saratoga in early September.

Like a number of leading stables stabled at Palm Meadows during the winter and New York the rest of the season, McLaughlin has a division remaining in New York in action at Aqueduct and Crossbow was among those left at Belmont Park until he drew clear to break his maiden by three lengths on Jan. 2 in his second career start after a third-place debut in late November.

Crossbow is a Kentucky homebred by Darley champion Bernardini and earned a trip south for the winter with the maiden score when he was a 1-to-4 favorite under Eclipse champion jockey Ramon Dominguez. Crossbow posted his first workout since the race at Palm Meadows Saturday morning when timed a half-mile in 49 flat. Crossbow is eligible for ‘a other than’ allowance conditions.

Also prominent on the Palm Meadows work tab Saturday morning over a ‘fast’ track were Mitaab bin Abdullah’s 4-year-old Fly Down, David Zell and partners’ 5-year-old gelding Capt. Candyman Can and Peter Callahan’s 4-year-old filly Beautician.

Fly Down, third last out in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs behind Blame and Zenyatta, drilled a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Nick Zito as he points for his 2011 debut expected to come in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) on Sat., Feb. 5.

Capt. Candyman Can, winner of the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) here as a 3-year-old in 2009 for trainer Ian Wilkes, earned the ‘bullet’ for five-eighths with a 1:00 1/5 clocking as he prepares for his first start since the son of Candy Ride finished eighth behind Dancing in Silks in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in the fall of 2009.

Beautician breezed an easy half-mile in 50 4/5 in her first recorded workout since finishing a disappointing 11th of 13 in the Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland on Oct. 23. The daughter of Dehere finished fourth behind Blind Luck in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in the spring after a productive 2-year-old season in 2009 when she finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita for trainer Ken McPeek.