TVG Juvenile presented by TAA Division
Jockey (from last start)
BreederRustlewood Farm, Inc.
Gun Runner, the 2017 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner, looks to be well represented by several members of his first crop in this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships juvenile races, including Pappacap who finished second in the Grade 1 American Pharoah at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 1.
A homebred for Rustlewood Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, Pappacap has had a busy summer. After starting his career with a 2 ¾-length victory in a Gulfstream Park maiden special weight, Casse put the colt on a plane to take on the West Coast.
That proved to be a successful move when the front-running Pappacap earned his first graded stakes victory in his first attempt in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar. Getting a feel for the track in preparation for the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) in November, Pappacap was also taught how to channel his speed and rate off horses.
Jockey Joe Bravo was pleased with how willingly the colt rated, which is usually a question mark for young speed demons.
“I was glad to see how well he settled in behind those two (horses) up front,” Bravo said. “His race in Florida, he just was pure speed. You don’t know if that’s the way they like to go. But he showed another dimension today. Mark Casse sends them out ready.”
Seeing the colt succeed is no surprise to his trainer. Pappacap completed his early training at Casse’s farm in Ocala, Florida, and gave indications that he’d be a star.
“Pappacap has been a horse, from the time we started breezing at our training center in Ocala, that always seemed a little extra special,” Casse told TVG News in September. “George and Karen Russell are small breeders, but wonderful people and we’re very excited for them.”
Once the colt won his debut, Casse ran the idea of preparing Pappacap in California for the Breeders’ Cup past the Russells, and they readily agreed.
The Russells’ Rustlewood Farm started its first horse as owners in 2000 and has only seen its stable make more than 50 starts in one year just once, that coming in 2016. Pappacap is one of three graded stakes winners for them. Pappacap will be the first Breeders’ Cup starter for Rustlewood Farm.