Captain Bodgit to stand at stud at Kentucky farm

ON HORSE RACING

September 07, 1997|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Captain Bodgit, who nearly won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness for his Maryland trainer Gary Capuano, will stand at stud next year at Margaux Farm in Midway, Ky.

The owners of Margaux Farm bought a half-interest in Captain Bodgit from Team Valor, the California corporation that bought him early this year from another Marylander, Phyllis Susini. Margaux Farm paid $1.25 million, and Captain Bodgit's stud fee will be $10,000, said Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor.

Irwin said Team Valor would buy some mares to breed to Captain Bodgit, and then race the offspring. Margaux Farm's top stallions are Cryptoclearance and Devil His Due.

Captain Bodgit was retired after injuring a tendon in the Preakness. He finished ferociously to gain third -- a head behind Free House who was a head behind Silver Charm -- in one of closest finishes in Triple Crown history. Captain Bodgit also charged valiantly in the Kentucky Derby, only to lose to Silver Charm by a nose.

Upbeat at Colonial Downs

After attracting a crowd of 13,468 for its opening Monday, Colonial Downs drew a mere 2,005 patrons Thursday for its second day of racing. Post time was 3 p.m.

"Thursday night, that's pretty good," said the ever-optimistic Jim Peterson, president of Colonial Downs. "It's all new to us. We're taking it one day at a time."

On opening day, patrons wagered about $45 apiece. Thursday, they bet about $50 each.

"We're going to have to get that up," Peterson said. "But we will. By the time we're finished, we'll have a whole lot of sophisticated bettors here."

Colonial Downs' management projected an average of 4,000 patrons per performance betting $405,000 over the 30-day inaugural meeting. That comes to about $100 apiece.

Meanwhile, Lenny Hale, Colonial Downs' racing secretary, said Friday that after a difficult midweek stretch trying to recruit horses to fill races, the recruiting business has picked up.

"More and more trainers are finding they prefer to stable here rather than ship down race by race -- if they've got the help willing to do it," Hale said. "And we got some trainers for the weekend races we hadn't gotten before."

He mentioned the Maryland trainers Katy Voss, Jerry Robb and John Alecci. King Leatherbury, Donald Barr and even Ron Cartwright -- who joked that he gets homesick as soon as he travels outside the Beltway -- entered their first horses at Colonial Downs.

"We've had a few glitches here and there," Hale said. "But I think by the time we've run for a week we'll get most of them straightened out."

He said that seven barns on the backstretch were filled with about 500 horses. And more horses are arriving daily, he said.

The Daily Racing Form reported that the Grade II turf race, the $100,000 All Along Stakes on Oct. 4, would likely be transferred to the Meadowlands because of Colonial Downs' immature grass course, but Hale said, "The grass is growing like crazy now," and he's planning to keep the race after all.

If he can't run it as scheduled, Hale said, the All Along would be held opening day, Oct. 15, at Laurel Park.

The other two turf races at Colonial Downs -- the $100,000 Bald Eagle Breeders' Cup on Sept. 27 and the $100,000 Damascus Stakes on Sept. 28 -- will probably be switched to dirt, Hale said.

While Colonial Downs races and Maryland's thoroughbred tracks shut down (except for simulcasting and stabling), fans of live racing will surely venture to nearby Delaware Park and Charles Town, W.Va.

Delaware Park races Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Post time is 12: 45 p.m.

Charles Town runs Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 1 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 7: 15 p.m.

Visitors to Charles Town are in for a treat -- depending on their point of view, of course. The track is hoping that the first of its video-lottery machines will be open for business Wednesday.

Track officials are calling it a "soft opening" with little publicity and fanfare, but they say 224 machines will be ready for play. Charles Town will eventually have 1,000 machines. A grand-opening celebration is planned for mid-October.

While no thoroughbreds race in Maryland, The Sun is carrying entries and results from Colonial Downs, because that's where the most horses from Maryland will race as part of the Maryland-Virginia racing circuit.

Butler's Janney elected

Stuart S. Janney III has been elected chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which represents owners and breeders nationwide in various aspects of the horse industry.

A resident of Butler, Janney said he's interested in topics such as seminars for new owners, intensified legislative lobbying on a state and national level, and the recently unveiled National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which hopes to establish a central office to market and promote thoroughbred racing.

Pub Date: 9/07/97

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