The countdown has begun for the 2014 debut of two-time Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. Trainer Tony Alagna told harnessracing.com Wednesday afternoon that Captaintreacherous, who dominated his 3-year-old peers last year before finishing sixth in the season-ending $512,000 TVG FFA final against older horses, will qualify for the first time as a 4 year old on Friday, May 16, at the Meadowlands.
"I'll train him at the Meadowlands on Saturday (May 10) and we'll qualify him next Friday,” Alagna said of the son of Somebeachsomewhere who has won 21 of 26 career starts and enters the season less than $17,000 shy of the $3-million mark in career earnings. "I'll let Tim (driver Tim Tetrick) go with him on Saturday.”
Alagna said The Captain would then have at least one more qualifier before making his pari-mutuel debut on June 13 in the Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old pacers.
"We'll give ourselves plenty of room so there will be two qualifiers, maybe a third, but we'll just take it a week at a time and see how he seems,” he said. "We'll adjust the schedule.”
Alagna said he was thrilled with Captaintreacherous's progress toward his 4-year-old campaign.
"I'm very happy with the way he's come back so far,” said Alagna. "He's got great weight and is in good shape. Everything is really good. I trained him 10 days ago at Gaitway a mile in 1:53 and he was excellent.”
Alagna said he was able to gauge Captaintreacherous versus older competition in last year's TVG final, where he lost to the winning Foiled Again by just two lengths.
"With another year of maturity, I am looking forward to seeing how he stacks up against the aged horses this year,” said Alagna. "Based on as good as he raced against them, beaten only two lengths at the end of a tough 3-year-old year, I think he will fit very well. I have a lot of faith in the horse.”
Alagna said Saturday's opening round of the TVG FFA Series at the Big M was never marked on the calendar.
"We never did,” he said. "Our plan for his first start has always been against the 4 year olds in the Meadowlands Maturity.”