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Can 'Captain' keep 'Pace' for Katz?

August 28, 2012
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For longtime owner Marvin Katz, the 2012 edition of the $1 million Metro Pace, set for Saturday night at Mohawk, is a decidedly different experience than last year's edition.
 
The Toronto-based businessman shares ownership of Simply Business, the 2-year-old colt that pulled off a 20-1 upset from post nine in the 2011 Metro, and Captaintreacherous, the rookie that will be the probable favorite from post four in this year's lucrative final.
 
"In fairness, Simply Business, (trainer) Jimmy Takter really liked him a lot and pointed him to race in the Metro,” explained Katz, who has owned horses for over 30 years, including champions like Peaceful Way, Muscle Massive, Lookout Victory, Dream Away and Chasing Tail. "Despite his long odds and bad post position, we actually went into it thinking he had a reasonable opportunity to do well.
 
"Captaintreacherous is a different experience,” he continued. "He has been at the forefront of the division almost from the start of the season. He has been highly acclaimed as we've gone along and done nothing but prove everyone's excitement and anticipation to be justified. The pressure of being the favorite is almost greater than the anonymity of being a longshot. With the increased anticipation comes a sense of pressure.”
 
The Tony Alagna-trained Captaintreacherous has crafted an impressive record of 4-1-0 from five starts and boasts earnings of $241,337 for Katz, who owns a piece of the bay with Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and breeder White Birch Farm.
 
The son of 2007 Metro winner Somebeachsomewherealso sports a striking 1:49.3 speed badge.The mark was first set in the Woodrow Wilson final on August 4, Hambletonian day, at the Meadowlands, then matched in last Saturday's Metro elimination at the Campbellville oval.
 
"He's not that far off the world record,” Katz said, referring to Sweet Lou's dazzling 1:49 world-record performance in the 2011 Breeders Crown at Woodbine. "It's a tremendous accomplishment (for Captaintreacherous). His races have been astounding. I've been watching racing for over 30 years, this was incredible. His Woodrow Wilson performance was jaw dropping. His race from last Saturday wouldn't be far from that.”
 
Katz believes it's not just raw speed that makes "Captain" a special horse.
 
"He is so well-mannered, so versatile,” he noted. "I think that is an unusual combination particularly for a 2 year old so early in his career.”
 
Katz had seen the colt at the 2011 Lexington Select Yearling Sale and took note of the pedigree page going through the sales catalogue. But when the auctioneer said, "Sold," Katz didn't own Captaintreacherous.
 
"We primarily buy trotters, trotting fillies primarily, trotting colts from time to time, but our primary focus is trotters,"he explained."We have had some pacers, and we've had some great pacers, but I particularly liked this colt,” he explained.
 
"I noted that Myron Bell (of Brittany Farms) had signed the ticket for him at $250,000 at the Lexington Sale. I went to him the next day and congratulated him and told him I thought he bought a helluva colt. He told me there was a piece of him available and I said, ‘Great, I'm in.' It was just that simple.”
 
Captaintreacherous hasn't been the only star to emerge this year for Katz.
 
He also owns Knows Nothing, one of Ontario's top 3-year-old trotting colts and To Dream On, an undefeated 2-year-old trotting filly, who won the Merrie Annabelle final, also on Hambletonian day, and is set to contest a Peaceful Way Stakes elimination on Sept. 6 at Mohawk.
 
"To have three horses like that at one time, it's hard to imagine in some respects, even for ourselves,” said Katz.
 
Even after all his years and success in the sport, Katz still battles nerves leading up to the big races.
 
"I think that's part of the thrill of participating is the anticipation and that's why you see such a big smile on our face when we are fortunate enough to win a big event,” he offered. "We know how difficult it is and we know how fortunate we feel when we are out there (in the winner's circle).” (WEG)
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