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Captain Bodgit commandeers Pulpit

The fans came to see Pulpit, hyped into a wonder horse, and bet heavily on him, but the colt in the winner's circle after the Florida Derby was Captain Bodgit.

Pulpit, unbeaten in three starts after not racing as a 2-year-old, had to settle for second, but trainer Frank Brothers said, "It was probably his best race. He's a young horse. He's still learning."

Jockey Shane Sellers took a different slant.

"He just wasn't the same horse as last time," said Sellers, who had rated Pulpit off the pace to win the Fountain of Youth on Feb. 22, a race in which Captain Bodgit finished third. "When I asked him for a kick it just wasn't the same as he has shown in other races."

Pulpit ran fourth behind Wrightwood, Frisk Me Now and Michelle'sallhands through the first half-mile completed in 47 3/5 seconds. He was third after three-quarters and second behind Frisk Me Now in the stretch, then Captain Bodgit, ridden by Alex Solis, blew by the leaders for a 2{-length victory before a crowd of 27,104. Pulpit finished a neck in front of Frisk Me Now, who was 4\ lengths ahead of Jack Flash.

"I'm surprised we won," said Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, the syndicate that bought Captain Bodgit in January. "I didn't think we were ready for today. Now I'm nervous because he may be peaking too soon for the Kentucky Derby."

The victory was no surprise to winning trainer Gary Capuano.

"He ran a super race," said Capuano, 33. "He's a super horse. The race set up perfect for us."

Captain Bodgit was sixth after the first half-mile and fifth after three-quarters. The colt races with a funny looking tendon in his left foreleg.

The third meeting between Captain Bodgit and Pulpit is expected to be in the Blue Grass on April 12 at Keeneland.

Captain Bodgit earned $300,000 for his first victory in three starts this year and paid $9.80, $2.60 and $2.20. Pulpit returned $2.20 and $2.10, and Frisk Me Now was $2.80 to show. The winner reached the end of the 1[ miles under scale weight of 122 pounds in 1:50 3/5 on a fast track.

Completing the order of finish after Jack Flash were Wrightwood, Michelle'sallhands, Acceptable and Hurry the Dance.

Pulpit, who sustained a stress fracture in his left foreleg in March and did not race last year, has made four starts in eight weeks.

SWALE STAKES: Three Kentucky Derby eligibles ran 1-2-3 in the 7-furlong race at Gulfstream. Confide took charge in the stretch and drew off to a 7{-length victory over Country Rainbow, with The Silver Move another 1\ lengths back. It was The Silver Move's first start since he won the 1[-mile Remsen on Dec. 1 at Aqueduct. Confide, ridden by Mike Smith, was timed in 1:23 1/5 and paid a winning mutuel of $4.60.

BALDWIN STAKES: Latin Dancer moved up turning for home and steered clear of the pack en route to a 2\-length victory over King of Swing at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Corey Black, Latin Dancer covered 6{ furlongs on the turf in 1:14 2/5, paying $31.40, $10.60 and $5.80 as a 14-1 shot.

King of Swing returned $4 and $3, while Swiss Yodeler was another two lengths back in third and paid $5.60 while making the switch from dirt to turf.

Latin Dancer earned $67,850, his third win in 12 starts. Klinsman, the 2-1 wagering favorite, finished fourth.