Hard knocking Dads Caps breaks through


Hard-knocking Dads Caps was three times the bridesmaid in recent starts, but he broke through at the highest level April 5 at Aqueduct Racetrack when stealing the $500,000 Carter Handicap at odds of 10-1.

The 4-year-old Discreet Cat colt came off a one-length second to Strapping Groom in the March 1 Tom Fool Handicap and wired the field in the seven-furlong Carter. After opening a big lead in the stretch, Dads Caps outlasted 5-2 favorite and 122-pound highweight Sahara Sky for the win. Final time was 1:22.02 on a fast track.

A slow break by Sahara Sky and an easy :23.58 seconds quarter by Dads Caps under Luis Contreras set the stage for the upset victory, coupled with a featherweight impost of 114 for the winner. It was the first graded score for Dads Caps and his first victory for owner/breeder Vince Scuderi and trainer Rudy Rodriguez since a Nov. 11 allowance win last season at Aqueduct.

Dads Caps paid $23.60, $10, and $6.10 while Sahara Sky brought $5.20 and $3.20, finishing second in the Carter for the second year in a row. Clearly Now, also sent off at odds of 5-2, was third and returned $3.20.

Bred in Kentucky out of the Grindstone mare Seeking the Silver, Dads Caps now has a 4-3-1 record from nine starts.