For Dunkelberger, winning at Timonium continues

Victory in Taking Risks is one of three for jockey

Horse Racing

September 06, 2005|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

Before the eight-day meet at the Maryland State Fair began, jockey Travis Dunkelberger, 28 and a 10-year veteran, already had the reputation of a winner at the five-eighths-mile track that is known as a bullring because of its tight quarters.

Yesterday, on the last day of the meet, he added to his reputation as the track's leading jockey with three wins, including victory in the $50,000 Taking Risks Stakes for Maryland-breds, that secured his fourth or fifth title at Timonium. Dunkelberger wasn't sure which, and track spokesman Rich Paul said no records from previous years were kept.

"Just call him the track's `Perennial' champion," Paul said.

Dunkelberger drove Dale's Prospect, owned by Phillip Capuano and trained by his son Dale, along the rail for a come-from-behind victory, beating Hands On to the finish by a neck. Captain Chessie was third. It was Dunkelberger's 15th victory of this meet; his closest competitors, Chris Russell and Eric Camacho, with nine winners each.

After the race, the Charles Town, W.Va.,-based Dunkelberger said he is planning to relocate to Laurel Park for the winter meet that begins tomorrow.

"I ride for a lot of trainers who race at Laurel," Dunkelberger said. "I rode all of Scott Lake's winners here - including Outcashem, a real nice horse, who won twice in four days - and [Lake] is the one I'll probably ride the most for at Laurel."

Lake, who won the top trainer title at this meet, had five winners, one more than trainers Howard E. Wolfendale, Peter Bazeos and Dale Capuano.

Capuano expected Captain Chessie and Lothar to be out of the gate fast in yesterday's Taking Risks Stakes. But Lothar pulled up entering the first turn. "I just didn't like the way he felt," said Camacho, Lothar's jockey

That development left it to Captain Chessie and Mr. Mutter to set the pace. But Mr. Mutter couldn't maintain the pace and Captain Chessie drifted wide near the sixteenth pole, opening the inside lane.

Named for Dale Capuano, Dale's Prospect paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.20.

"My dad snuck that name in on me," Capuano said. "It wasn't supposed to be. The horse had been around ... and one day I just asked what his name was. My dad said, `Dale's Prospect, after you.' I said, `You're killing me.' "

Dale's Prospect has won four of nine starts this year. Capuano said winning with a horse named after him means little, but then softened.

"His pictures from the winner's circle go in the same pile with all the others," he said. "But I do like him. I like him because he tries. Any horse that tries and tries hard is special to me."

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