Eight months after finishing a creditable fifth in the Kentucky Derby, O Besos kicked off his 4yo season with a victory at Fair Grounds and is now in line for the $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) on February 19. Pretty soon after that, First Captain will be ready to launch his 4yo campaign at Gulfstream Park. The two chestnut colts join with budding star Flightline and this weekend’s runners Jaxon Traveler and County Final in a deep class of WPT 4-year-old colts for upcoming stakes action.
O Besos worked a half-mile this morning at Fair Grounds for trainer Greg Foley after scoring by a nose on January 3 in his first outing since last summer.
First Captain this week had his third workout on the comeback trail for Shug McGaughey. Purchased the day after Flightline at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, First Captain opened his career in 2021 with three straight wins, highlighted by a victory in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. He went to the sidelines shortly after finishing third in the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga in August.
Steve Asmussen trains the fleet duo of Jaxon Traveler and County Final. Jaxon Traveler is signed on for Saturday’s $100,000 Fire Flug Stakes at Laurel Park. Victor Carrasco has the mount on the Munnings colt, who closed 2021 with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Gravesend Stakes at Aqueduct.
County Final heads to Sam Houston for Sunday’s $75,000 Stonerside Sprint Stakes, reuniting with Joel Rosario, who guided him in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2). Switching to dirt at the end of 2021, County Final collected an allowance victory at Churchill Downs in November and in a strong second at Oaklawn Park on December 18 he registered a career-best 92 Beyer.