By Peter Wharton
Captain Ahab (2, 1:50.4), the first son of former champion pacer Captaintreacherous, the leading sire of two and three-year-olds in North America, imported to Western Australia, will stand this season at Murray Veterinary Services, West Coolup, one hour south of Perth.
He stood at the prestige Pin Oak Lane stud in Pennsylvania for the past two years where his first crop are very impressive foals.
Captain Ahab, foaled in 2016, had 11 starts as a two-year-old (including qualifiers) for nine straight wins. He commenced his racetrack career winning two legs of the Kindergarten Classic at The Meadowlands in 1:51.2 (last 400 in 25.3) and 1:52.4.
He then won a heat and final of the Dream Maker Classic in 1:51.2 and 1:52.8 and a fortnight later the $70,938 Nassagaweya Stake in 1:51.8, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park, Canada.
Captain Ahab twice defeated the 2018 USA 2YO Colt of the Year Captain Crunch at his next two starts, firstly in the $53,982 Champlain Stake in 1:52.6 and then an elimination for the $680,000 Metro Pace, in which he took his lifetime mark of 1:50.4.
He was only sparingly raced thereafter and finished up with a stake tally of $143,309 – an excellent total from a brief career.
Hall of Fame horseman Tony Alagna, who trained Captain Ahab and his sire Captaintreacherous, said: “I see a lot of Captaintreacherous in him. His characteristics, the way he is so easy on himself, the way he lets you drive him...his work ethic. He reminds me a lot of ‘Captain’ and hopefully he can keep reminding me of ‘Captain’’’.
An upstanding bay horse of 16 hands, Captain Ahab is a most interestingly bred horse. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, he is a son of former champion Captaintreacherous 1:47.2 ($3.1 million), one of the greatest of a string of champions left by the champion American sire Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.8). Sons of Somebeachsomewhere are now coming to the forefront as sires in both America and Australia.
On his dam’s side, Captain Ahab belongs to a family which has made a real impact on the American breeding scene. He is out of the Western Ideal mare Acquavella (1:53.6), a sister to the Metro Pace winner and USA 2YO Colt of the Year Artspeak 1:47.4 ($1.6 million), now siring winners in America.
Captain Ahab ranks as a half-brother to the Saratoga Raceway two-year-old track record holder and Reynolds Memorial winner Heart Of Mine 1:53.4 ($204,631).
Captain Ahab, who represents the famed male line of Direct Scooter (grandsire of great sires in Mach Three and Christian Cullen) and coming from the prolific family of Bird Mitchell (ancestress of Southwind Lynx, Ultra Jet and Stand Forever) with strains of Western Ideal, Artsplace, Matt’s Scooter, Jate Lobell and Abercrombie – all champion sires and broodmare sires - has a second-to-none blood inheritance. His service fee is $3,000 including GST with his progeny Double Westbred eligible.
New York Sire Stakes division to Heart Of Mine
The definite star of the entire filly division for the New York Sire Stakes was Captain Ahab’s half-sister Heart Of Mine (Roll With Joe-Aquavella) who claimed her eighth win of the year in the easiest of fashion at Batavia Downs on July 28.
Scotty Zeron left and floated his way to the lead in :28.2 and cleared just past that station. With no opposition from there, he backed down the half to :58.1 and the race was basically over at that point.
Heart Of Mine continued on the second circuit and maintained a 1-¾ length lead up the backstretch, around the last turn and heading into the stretch where she extended it to almost three. Down the lane Zeron had Heart Of Mine wrapped up and pacing with authority to win in 1:53.4 at the beam.
“She’s pretty nice. She’s extremely professional out there so she can position herself, good gaited so she gets around the turns well and she’s so easy to drive. She’s doing it pretty easy right now and she’s not breaking a sweat so we’ll see how she is going forward,” said Zeron.
Hall of Famer Linda Toscano trains Heart Of Mine ($2.40) for owners The Bay’s Stable, Radio Racing Stable, Fred Wallace and the Camelot Stable. The filly now has $176,916 made this year and went to $308,331 lifetime in only 20 starts.