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Friday, February 13, 2009


PERKINS LOOKS FOR YET ANOTHER “CAPPY” VICTORY


Ben Perkins Jr. fought the urge as long as he could. The son of one of the Mid-Atlantic’s more respected horsemen, Perkins tried hard to succeed at school. He even attended the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business. But when he realized he was spending less time reading the Wall Street Journal and more time reading the Daily Racing Form, Perkins returned to his roots.

It was the right decision. Like his father, Perkins has forged a reputation as a dedicated, knowledgeable, and successful horseman.


Although his home state is New Jersey, Perkins is not an unfamiliar face in New York, especially during the winter as he readies his horses for the summer season at Monmouth Park. And one of the prizes he covets year after year is the Fred “Cappy” Capossela for three-year olds at six furlongs.

Sunday will be the 108th running of the $65,000-added “Cappy.” Formerly the Swift, the race was renamed in 1993 to honor the legendary late track announcer and race caller.

Perkins won the 1990 Swift with Stalker, and then won the “Cappy” three straight years from 2000-2002 with Max’s Pal, Forest Heir and Spin Zone.

This year, Perkins has entered Wildcat Brief, a Forest Wildcat colt owned by his father.

“My dad is definitely retired,” Perkins said of Ben Sr., who briefly ended a 10-year retirement to train exclusively for Ebby Novack’s New Farm. “He has a couple of horses here and there.

“This one, he really liked. Mr. Novack sells a handful of yearlings each year, and my dad told him he liked this horse and wanted to buy him. Mr. Novack told him that if he liked the horse so much, he should go to the sale and buy him.”

Wildcat Brief was purchased for $60,000 at Timonium’s Eastern Fall Yearlings Sale in September of 2007.

So far, in two starts with a win and a second, he has not disappointed his connections.

“After we bought him, he trained real well and we had him at Keeneland,” Perkins said. “We laid him up and then brought him here with the idea that he would be a good fit in the winter and we could get him ready for Monmouth.

“In his first race, he caught a muddy track, but he still ran well. In his next race, I don’t think there was a lot of speed in there to begin with, but he broke on top and Ramon (Dominguez, jockey) was able to open up a little. So far, he seems to be a pretty nice horse.”

Stewart Elliott picks up the mount on Wildcat Brief, as Dominguez, Aqueduct’s leading jockey, will ride Not for Silver for trainer Mike Trombetta.

Also undefeated in two starts, Not for Silver is a Not for Love colt who will be making his first start outside of his home base at Laurel, Md. He has also won from both off the pace and on the lead.

Trainer Anthony Dutrow has entered both Fellow Crasher and The Prince here.

The Prince has raced three times and was second in the Jimmy Winkfield here last month. Fellow Crasher, although more experienced, was third in the Winkfield after a steadied trip.

Under jockey C.C. Lopez, Smokin Hero caught a sloppy track in his last start here on January 7 and easily wired seven rivals. The Allen Iwinski-trained Smokin Mel colt will again have Lopez aboard and will break from the rail.

Gabriel’s Smile has not lost in two starts at Charles Town, and Pop Artist, who finished third behind Taqarub and Fellow Crasher on December 4 for trainer Tom Albertrani, completes the field.


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