Capt. Candyman Can gave Ian Wilkes the first Grade 1 victory of his training career after being placed first following the disqualification of Vineyard Haven in Saturday's $300,000 King's Bishop.
Vineyard Haven survived an early pace duel with his entrymate Everyday Heroes to reach the wire a head in front of Capt. Candyman Can. But Vineyard Haven came out under left-handed pressure from jockey Alan Garcia to bump and herd Capt. Candyman Can in late stretch before edging clear.
Following an inquiry and claim of foul by jockey Javier Castellano, the stewards wasted little time reversing the original order of finish and awarding Capt. Candyman Can the victory.
I'll take it any way I can get it, said Wilkes in reference to his first Grade 1 win.
The King's Bishop began with four horses contesting the pace before Vineyard Haven and Everyday Heroes pulled away on the turn. Vineyard Haven came away with a clear lead in early stretch, but Capt. Candyman Can quickly ranged alongside and appeared to have the leader measured until getting knocked off stride by Vineyard Haven inside the sixteenth pole.
I thought my horse was going to beat him if he hadn't been bumped, said Wilkes who trains Capt. Candyman Can for owners David Zell and Joseph Rauch. It looked to me watching the race that there was contact, but you never really know what happened until you see the head-on. Obviously I thought the stewards made the right decision.
Castellano agreed with Wilkes.
He came out and bumped me twice, said Castellano, who won the Grade 2 Ballston Spa earlier in the day with longshot Salve Germania. My horse lost momentum at that point. I think we would definitely have won without the bumping.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who had won graded stakes earlier on the card with Sara Louise (Victory Ride) and Music Note (Ballerina), took the stewards' decision to disqualify Vineyard Haven in stride.
I am very proud, I mean he won the race, said Suroor. It's just too bad it happened like it did. It was just an accident. The jockey tried to keep him straight. It's just one of those things that happens in races. I'm happy he's back and that he ran well.
The King's Bishop was Vineyard Haven's first start since finishing fourth in the UAE 2000 Guineas on Feb. 12. Vineyard Haven won the Grade 1 Hopeful for trainer Bobby Frankel here last summer.
Capt. Candyman Can, who finished second behind Quality Road's record-setting performance in the Grade 2 Amsterdam earlier in the session, completed seven furlongs in 1:22.35 over a sloppy track and returned $9.80.