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Dale Capuano 20 Shy Of 3,000 After Two Win Afternoon
LAUREL, MD. 11-04-11---Only twenty-five trainers in North American history have saddled 3,000 winners. Laurel Park-based Dale Capuano moved to within 20 victories of the plateau after visiting the Laurel Park winners’ circle twice Friday afternoon: Bubbie Hon ($3.80-third) and Moises ($8.60-sixth).
“Three thousand is quite a lot of wins,” said Capuano, who won his initial race with Who’s Lucky at Bowie in 1981. “When you start out you are just looking for that first one. We were very fortunate to have some really good years and the wins started adding up.”
Capuano, who will turn 49 Sunday, has 31 training titles at the major Maryland tracks on his resume and has been the leading conditioner in the state eight times since 1991. His best year was 2001, when he ranked fourth in North America with 235 wins with a career-best $4.4 million in earnings.
“We once had 80 horses in training. Now we have about half that number so it is going to take some time to reach the number,” added Capuano. “We’ll keep trucking along. Hopefully we’ll get there early next year here at Laurel.”
Among those in the top 25 all-time are Maryland mainstays King Leatherbury (3rd-6,331), Scott Lake (6th-5,118), Buddy Delp (12th-3,674) and Dick Dutrow (13th-3,665).
Todd Pletcher began the day 67 victories behind Capuano but has 170 more winners this year.
“I am hoping to get there before Pletcher,” joked Capuano. “He is tracking me.”
Capuano will start Nashi in Saturday’s second race and has multiple entries on the Tuesday and Wednesday cards next week.
NESS WINS A PAIR, TIES SMITH ATOP TRAINER STANDINGS
Jamie Ness saddled two winners on a card for the fourth time in less than a month at Laurel Park and moved into a tie with Hamilton Smith atop the trainer standings during the current fall meeting.
The Ness barn won with Espresso Royale ($3.40) in the opener and Lavenham ($6.20) in the eighth race. The 37-year-old, who has been the leading trainer at Tampa Bay Downs the last five years, has 15 victories from just 43 starters and has finished in the money 36 times.
Ness has 279 first place finishes this year, trailing only Steve Asmussen.