Capuano starts fast at Laurel with 'Cure'

Trainer picks up where he left off

June 22, 2000|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Trainer Dale Capuano never skipped a beat when Maryland racing shifted to Laurel Park yesterday, as Saratoga Cure drove to a two-length victory in the opening-day feature, the $40,000 Chase Me Stakes over six furlongs.

Capuano won the recently concluded competition for the trainers' title at Pimlico with 47 winners, easily out-distancing second-place Scott Lake's 22. His primary rider, Travis Dunkelberger, who finished second in the Pimlico jockey standings, was aboard Saratoga Cure.

"He ran like a madman today," Dunkelberger said of Saratoga Cure, a gelding by Cure the Blues out of Saratoga Smile. "[At] 1:09 and 1M-w5, he ran too fast. I should have saved something. You sit on him and when you ask him to run he kicks in."

The winner did the chasing early, stalking a quick pace set by long-shot Royal Defiance and Riker before Dunkelberger swung him to the outside as they reached the stretch. He passed Trounce, who had rallied for the lead, then pulled away to earn the $24,000 lion's share of the purse.

It was the first added-money win for the C&T Stables' runner, whose earnings top $200,000. Saratoga Cure has not been worse than third in his last six outings.

A crowd of 4,124 attended Laurel's opening program on a muggy afternoon. Total attendance, including Pimlico and Rosecroft Raceway, was 6,394 and the in-state handle was $407,540.

High Yield, a disappointment in the Triple Crown series this year, has been retired after fracturing a sesamoid, according to The Daily Racing Form.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, High Yield won three Grade I races, including the Fountain of Youth and the Blue Grass Stakes before finishing far back in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He retires with four wins in 14 starts and a bankroll of $1,170,196.

He is expected to stand at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

Another Triple Crown horse, Wheelaway, who finished fourth in the Belmont, is expected to be out until fall following ankle surgery. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will conduct the largest direct-mail promotion ever in racing - sending vouchers worth a minimum of $2 to more than a million mailboxes around the country starting July 24.

One ticket will be worth $1million, and all vouchers must be redeemed at a participating NTRA member racetrack or off-track betting site on Aug. 6.

Promotion participants include Pimlico, Delaware Park, and Colonial Downs (Va.).

The promotion is designed to draw fans on a date that includes Saratoga's $750,000 Whitney Handicap, Monmouth Park's $1$million Haskell Invitational, and Canterbury Park's $560,000 Claiming Crown.

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