Not often does a horse who has won three of his last four starts and six of his last ten get sent off as the longest shot on the board.
Sure, Captured (Alluring, by A. P. Indy) was taking a rise in class today. He was trying $8,000 starter company, as opposed to the $4,000 starter company he had been facing in his last two starts, and the $4,000, $5,000, $6,250 claimers he had been facing before that. But, the came at a mile and seventy yards over the Penn National dirt. Captured has not raced away from Penn National in a year and a half, and all of his recent form has come at between a mile and a mile and a sixteenth over the dirt. His form was solid, and he was at home.
Sure, on class alone, chalk made no sense. The field he faced was not an easy one.
Worthy Lion, who went off at 1/2, won at the $8,000 starter level last out, and had hit the board in each of his last ten. Monba Mia had upset Pennyslvania-bred N1X company last out. Though Smooth Service had not won since March, he had been second against conditioned $15,000 company in his last two. Nebikon seemed perhaps the easiest foe — though his 77-11-20-14 record going into the race marked him as one salty customer, he had done so much of his best work going short.
Still, among the five, it was the consistent Captured who went off at just under 12/1, the only one in double digits.
The field took a while to settle into an order. They ran five across the track into the first turn — which forced Captured, who had broken from the outside, to lose the most ground.
Into the backstretch, it was Monba Mia setting the pace, with Smooth Service pressing his flank. The other three, with Captured still outside, made up the next flight. The field was compact, even for a group of five, with no more than three lengths from Monba Mia’s nose to the fringe of Captured’s tail.
Going into the far turn, Captured switched on. In no time he swept past Worthy Lion and Nebikon, drawing even with Smooth Service and Monba Mia. Turning for home it was Smooth Service who had enough to briefly contend, but he proved no match. Captured ran on, opening up daylight on the rest as he approached the sixteenth pole. Odds-on Worthy Lion ran well enough to get up for place, but he never looked a winner. Captured was gone, and crossed the wire two lengths clear.
Captured has been one of the most fun Curlin babies to follow anywhere. He may not be a stakes horse…but out at Penn National, he has been as consistent as anyone could ask him to be. Captured is the sort of honest horse that anyone would be lucky to have in their barn, and he is a credit to the progeny of his sire.