The industry is aghast that Captaintreacherous tasted defeat for the second time last night in the Monument Circle at Hoosier Park, defeated by 43-1 Dedi's Dragon driven by Yannick Gingras in 1:50.1. The winning margin was 1/2 length.
Now I'll be perfectly honest, I figured the Captain was ripe for a defeat at least once more this year, but this was not the race it would happen in. Quite simply, this was not a race the Captain should have lost.
But for those who questioned Dedi's Dragon as a possible conqueror of the Captain, the first thing to note is the horse comes from the Burke Stable which is always a good sign. True, last week he missed qualifying for the Messenger final at Yonkers by finishing fifth at Yonkers, but looking at his last effort at The Red Mile you see a second place finish in the Tatersalls against Sunfire Blue Chip, coming home in a :25.4 which is faster than any final quarter that Captaintreacherous showed on the program page. Now, don't let me come across as a genius as there are other horses I would have considered before the race winner, but the potential was there and if you thought the Captain was vulnerable, you can't say where the heck did this one come out of?
The biggest impact of this defeat may be in the Horse of the Year Balloting. Bee A Magician in my opinion now has to be the clear cut favorite going undefeated this season. There is only one more chance for her to stumble, in the Moni Maker at Meadowlands. Again, it isn't the defeat of the Captain which will hurt him, it is the caliber of horse which took him down; this was simply was not a race Captaintreacherous was expected to loose. It will take a victory in the Meadowlands Classic or a defeat by Bee A Magician and a respectable finish against older horses in the Classic by the Captain in order for him to get back into the Horse of the Year hunt.
However, it may not come to that. After testing comes back on the Captain, his team may decide enough is enough and call it a year and let the chips fall where they may as they have a 4yo season to look forward to. The Captain has gone many tough miles this year and it may be they just caught up with him and with the aura of invincibility now torn away, his opponents may take it to him hard at the Meadowlands where in the past they respected him and raced accordingly.
We will see in the next few days what transpires.