skip to Main Content

Captain Bombastic edges Cleon Jones in exciting Sleepy Hollow

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

By Bill Heller

Grimly holding on, Team Hanley’s unbeaten colt Captain Bombastic and Jose Ortiz edged Cleon Jones and Irad Ortiz Jr. by a short head in the one-mile $250,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes for two-year-old New York-breds on Empire Showcase Day Saturday at Belmont Park. Both horses are trained by Jeremiah Englehart. Captain Bombastic was 6-1 and Cleon Jones 7-2 in the field of six.

“Both horses ran really well,” said Englehart, who earlier Saturday saddled Maid of the Mist winner Critical Value and finished third with Pat on the Back in the Empire Classic. “I was glad they were able to go 1-2. It was a great day for the barn.”

Harris Bay, who was 2-1 with Dylan Davis in the saddle, finished third, 3 3/4 lengths behind Cleon Jones. City Man, the 9-5 favorite on the rail adding Lasix under Joel Rosario, broke last and finished fourth, a neck behind Harris Bay.

Chester and Mary Broman bred Captain Bombastic, a son of Forty Tales out of Stolen Star by Cat Thief who sold for $80,000 as a two-year-old in March. Captain Bombastic was making just his second career start after winning a maiden race by 2 1/4 lengths under Irad Ortiz Jr. on Sept. 28.

Cleon Jones, who won $145,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes by head under Irad Ortiz Jr. in his previous start on Sept. 20 at 6-1, was trying to win the Sleepy Hollow 50 years and two days after the Miracle Mets won the final game of the 1969 World Series not too far away from Belmont Park at Shea Stadium. Cleon Jones (the horse) is named for the Mets’ left fielder.

Irad Ortiz Jr. elected to ride Cleon Jones in the Sleepy Hollow, opening up the mount on Captain Bombastic, an assignment his brother Jose accepted.

Captain Bombastic got away second on the outside of front-running 5-1 Three Jokers and Luis Saez while Cleon Jones settled in fourth. Three Jokers led Captain Bombastic by a neck after a first quarter-mile in :23.31, then by three-quarters of a length after a half-mile in :46.26.

Captain Bombastic drew within a neck of Three Jokers after three-quarters of a mile in 1:10.30. Cleon Jones had rallied into third by then.

Captain Bombastic then struck the front, opening a length and a half lead in mid-stretch as Cleon Jones advanced into second. Cleon Jones steadily closed in on Captain Bombastic, who was up to the challenge. They battled heads apart to the wire with Captain Bombastic gamely holding on. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“When I asked him at the quarter pole, he responded beautifully,” Jose Ortiz said after winning his third race of the afternoon. “It was a great training job by Jeremiah.”

Now two-for-two to begin his career, Captain Bombastic has earned more than $170,000.

Back To Top