Copper Tax Breezes Friday Ahead of Sophomore Debut

Copper Tax Breezes Friday Ahead of Sophomore Debut

Multiple Stakes Winner Pointing to 7F Spectacular Bid Jan. 27
Jockey Rodriguez Registers Fourth Straight Multi-Win Day

LAUREL, MD – Rose Petal Stables’ multiple stakes winner Copper Tax, who had a five-race win streak snapped last month in his graded debut, continues to train forwardly toward his eagerly anticipated 3-year-old debut.

Copper Tax, a bay son of multiple graded-stakes winner Copper Bullet, turned in his second work of the new year Friday at Laurel Park, breezing four furlongs in 48.20 seconds over the main track, second-fastest of 41 horses.

Trained by Gary Capuano, Copper Tax went three furlongs in 37.40 seconds Jan. 4, his first work since finishing off the board for the first time in seven starts when sixth in the Dec. 2 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct.

If all goes well, Copper Tax could open his sophomore season in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid sprinting seven furlongs Jan. 27 at Laurel, the first in Maryland’s series of stakes for 3-year-olds leading up to the 149th Preakness (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

“After he ran in New York I sent him to the farm for a couple weeks for a little freshening and then brought him back, and he’s doing well. We’ll see what happens. I’m pointing him to the race on the 27th,” Capuano said. “Depending on the weather and the track and all that leading up to it, he’ll get another work next week. If we feel he’s ready for it, we’ll put him in there. Right now, everything looks good.”

Capuano purchased Copper Tax on behalf of Rose Petal’s Harry and Chris Loso for $45,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s 2022 Kentucky Fall Yearling sale. Second by a neck in his unveiling last June at Delaware Park, he reeled off five consecutive wins including Delaware’s Rocky Run in October and Laurel’s James F. Lewis III in mid-November, earning him a shot in New York.

“The track was muddy and the speed and the rail was good that day. It was just a lot to overcome. I didn’t think he ran a bad race. It was just one of those deals. He ran OK but he probably didn’t run to his best, I don’t think, so we’ll see going down the road,” Capuano said. “He didn’t lose a whole lot of fitness when we turned him out. He was only gone I think three weeks, so it wasn’t a long time.”

A winner of 1,330 career races and more than $36 million in purse earnings, the 60-year-old Capuano is probably best known as the trainer of 1996 Laurel Futurity (G3) and 1997 Wood Memorial (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Captain Bodgit, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and third in the Preakness.

Early nominations to the 2024 Triple Crown races are due Jan. 29, for a $600 fee. Late nominations, at a cost of $6,000, are due April 1.

“We have no pressure,” Capuano said. “He’s already done great, so we just want to do what’s right for him.”

Notes: Jockey Jaime Rodriguez registered his fourth consecutive multi-win day Friday, aboard West Star ($3.80) in Race 1 and Big Cheeks ($4.80) in Race 4. Rodriguez, Maryland’s overall leading rider in 2023 with 166 wins, is 11-for-26 (42 percent) at the Heritage Meet which began Jan. 5 … Jockey Forest Boyce moved closer to her 1,000th career victory by rallying 58-1 long shot My Sugar Boo ($119.20) to a nose triumph in Race 7. Boyce now sits at 995 wins … Sheilahs Warcloud ($6.80), co-bred, owned and trained by Justin Nixon, was a popular winner of featured Race 8, an optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds fillies, in 1:39.16 for one mile over a fast main track. The Maryland-bred daughter of Madefromlucky had run second in three consecutive starts including the Maryland Million Lassie and Maryland Juvenile Fillies … There will be carryovers of $2,372.30 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 4-9) and $2,282 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6) wagers Saturday. First race post time is 12:25 p.m.