LAUREL -- Silano has been away from the races for nine weeks, but Phil and Dale Capuano hope their stable star is streamlined enough not to get Stream-lined today.
Silano faces Jet Stream and Runaway Stream in the $75,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Race Course. Those three are the likely favorites in the 1 1/8 -mile race for older horses.
Phil Capuano owns Silano, a winner of $673,577. His son, Dale, trains the 7-year-old gelding, who won a Nov. 17 allowance race at Laurel in his last start. On three occasions since, they could have run Silano, but a wet track (too much slop), a 1 1/4 -mile race (too much distance) and a program cancellation (too much snow) kept him from starting.
Meanwhile, Silano has trained well for the Johnson Memorial, and the Capuanos are confident.
"If the track's fast, it [the layoff] won't affect him at all," Phil said.
"If I beat Jet Stream, I win," Dale said.
Two defending champions are among the nine Johnson Memorial entrants: Baldski's Choice (1989) and Due North (1990). For 9-year-old Due North, today marks his fourth start in the race and 102nd in his career.
The race is named for the late Maryland-based trainer killed in a 1985 plane crash. His widow, Lynette Johnson, will make the trophy presentation. One dollar from each paid admission will be donated to the Morgan State University's Frank J. De Francis Athletic Fund.
NOTES: Dale Capuano has been especially hot in 1991. He won two races yesterday, giving him 13 this year, tops among Maryland trainers. . . . First Down won the $21,000 feature, marking the third winning ride of the day for the meet's leading rider, Mike Luzzi. The filly has missed earning a check only once in 10 starts since she was claimed for $16,000 last August by trainer Paul Seefeldt. . . . Haymaker, easy winner of the Goss L. Stryker Stakes at Laurel on Saturday, will make his next start in the Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 16 at Aqueduct. . . . The first out-of-town simulcast this year will be the Donn Handicap from Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9. . . . Joe Rocco was shut out with seven mounts yesterday, keeping his career victory total at 1,998.