Cantchaco looking to prove he’s for real in the $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity
Cantchaco in the Winner's Circle after his Bill Wineberg Stakes score
Cantchaco pulled off a 30/1 shocker in his career debut when he scored a victory in the $15,000 Bill Wineberg Stakes. However he won’t be nearly that price when he starts in the $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity on Sunday November 18th as part of Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. Cantchaco is a second generation homebred for owners and breeders Larry and Gay Welliver. They also bred and raced Cantchaco’s mom Cant Woman who was a two time winner at Portland Meadows back in 2006. Cant Woman was a claiming runner but her son has already proven himself a stakes winner and will try and make it two for two, with the Don Jackson being his first start around two turns.
“I’m not concerned about the distance,” said trainer Carol Duby. “With this horse, he’s still young and immature, but he’s a very efficient runner and has some ability.”
Cantchaco was born out in McMinnville at the Welliver’s farm and was broken by local trainer Roddina Barrett. When he came to the Duby barn to start his training career, he proved a bit of a challenge.
“He really has had trouble learning to steer and lead,” said Duby. “His adrenaline gets up when he’s training and he makes himself tough to steer. We’ve spent a lot of time working on his rating ability and steering ability. He’s a little opinionated and wants to do things on his own schedule.”
As the time for his career debut got nearer and nearer, the time to find a spot for his debut became the question.
“We looked for a spot in a race a week and a half before the Wineberg,” said Duby. “But he just wasn’t ready quite yet, so we entered the Wineberg. Then we drew the 1 hole and we actually talked about scratching. We just weren’t sure how he’d react to being on the inside like that.”
When the gates popped open on October 20th for the Bill Wineberg Stakes, Cantchaco broke a little slow, but quickly got into stride.
“He broke a little tardy and he’s scared of other horses,” said jockey Marijo Terleski. “So when the rail opened up he flew up and we slowed them down.”
Cantchaco went to the front and set reasonable fractions, and as they turned into the stretch, he had to brace for the challenge of heavily favored Captainnotsosober who came right to him at the head of the lane.
“That horse came to him, but once Marijo got him to switch leads he really found a new lease on life,” said Duby.
He switched leads and maintained his half length advantage for the final furlong and won impressively in a time of 1:12.54 for the six furlong distance. The win was a sweet one for the Wellivers, and a break from tradition for Larry Welliver.
“In the 35 years I’ve been married to my husband this is the first time he didn’t bet on a first time starter because he didn’t want to jinx it,” said Larry’s wife and co-owner Gay. “That really was a nice win.”
Cantchaco will be entered in the $25,000 Don Jackson Futurity that will take place as part of Oregon Championship Day presented by Spirit Mountain Casino which will be run on Sunday November 18th.