Less than 90 minutes after Dale Capuano assumed a tenuous lead among Pimlico Race Course trainers yesterday, a former protege enjoyed one of his finest moments.
Damon Dilodovico sent out the winner of the $16,500 feature, following a narrow triumph by Feeling Frivolous, Capuano's sixth-race, go-ahead runner.
Miss Champagne uncorked a rally from last to win the featured ninth, marking the third straight winner for Dilodovico, 25, and fourth from his last five starters. Before going out on his own 10 months ago, Dilodovico labored for several years for Capuano, who, after 72 racing days, clings to a 32-31 lead over perennial champion King Leatherbury.
Miss Champagne, third choice in a field of six 3-year-old fillies, paid $8 to win after running six furlongs in 1 minute, 11 4/5 seconds. She drew clear in the final 1 1/16-mile to win by three lengths over Baby o' Mine.
Mike Luzzi rode Miss Champagne, giving him a riding double on the 10-race program and allowing him to cut into Edgar Prado's )) lead atop the jockeys' standings. Prado, shut out yesterday, has a 79-75 lead over Luzzi, who led for much of the meet before Prado went on a recent tear.
NOTES: Trainer Bernie Bond has sent out the winners in four of the 11 2-year-old races run at the Pimlico meet, including More Paces in yesterday's third race. . . . Wind Splitter is the likely favorite in a field of six in tomorrow's $50,000 Broad Brush Handicap at Pimlico. . . . Tomorrow's out-of-town simulcasts to Pimlico/Laurel: The $300,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds and the $100,000 True North for older sprinters. . . . The Falls, impressive winner of his only career start, has suffered a hairline leg fracture and won't run again until next year as a 3-year-old, said trainer Carlos Garcia. . . . Best Pal, a narrowly beaten second last weekend at Hollywood Park, has been turned over to Gary Jones, one of several trainers for Golden Eagle Farm. Ian Jory had trained Best Pal, second-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby and earner of over $1.3 million.