Hagyard Fayette-Bound First Captain is "Where He Wants To Be"

October 27, 2022

According to Anthony Hamilton, assistant to trainer Shug McGaughey, West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing’s First Captain is “where he wants to be” going into Saturday’s 65th running of the $350,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

After two sprints to start the year, First Captain has put together a strong resume that includes a victory in the 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special (G3), a runner-up finish by a nose in the 1¼-mile Suburban (G2) and a third-place finish behind Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) candidate Olympiad in the 1¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga in his most recent start.

“We targeted the Fayette after the Jockey Club Gold Cup,” said Hamilton, who has been with First Captain all season. “He has done well all year.”

First Captain’s lone off-the-board finish in nine career starts was a seventh in the Carter (G1) going 7 furlongs.

“Shug said he made a mistake there running in the Carter,” Hamilton said. “(First Captain) had run so well off a layoff going seven-eighths in Florida (in a victory).”

The Hagyard Fayette might not be the final stop of 2022 for First Captain in Kentucky.

“The Clark (G1-Presented by Norton Healthcare on Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs) is a strong possibility,” Hamilton said. “But let’s see how things go this weekend first.”