Copper Tax makes it three straight in $100,000 First State Dash

Copper Bullet’s speedy 2-year-old colt Copper Tax racked up his third consecutive win on Sept. 27 with a sterling effort in the $100,000 First State Dash at Delaware Park.

The bay colt is a neck away from being undefeated in four starts, while his three victories have come at a combined 16 ¼-lengths. Stakes-placed Copper Em is the leading earner thus far for Copper Bullet, who is ranked in the top 10 on the 2023 First-Crop Sire list with $555,318 in progeny earnings.

Copper Tax shot to the front out of the gate in Wednesday’s six-furlong race, but settled back into fourth in the first quarter-mile. He was forced to go four-wide into the turn, then when called upon with three furlongs to run, roused to the lead. He sprinted clear of the field in upper stretch and was hand ridden the rest of the way over the muddy going.

“He finishes strong and he really finished strong today,” said winning trainer Gary Capuano. “It has been my feeling all along that he will stretch out because going short you kind of got to rush him early to keep him in contention. If he runs long, he will get a chance to relax a little and you will not have to pressure him. I think he will go two turns, but we will see. He has run four pretty good races fairly quick, so we will see how he comes out of the race and go from there.”

Copper Tax has now earned $120,000 for Rose Petal Stable, LLC. Bred in Kentucky by Lance Sullenberger, Copper Tax is the second foal out of the stakes-place mare Wilhelmina.