Karamanos guides My Main Starr to win in Dahlia Stakes

April 11, 2010|By Sports Digest

My Main Starr won the $70,000 Dahlia Stakes on Saturday, the final day of the winter meet at Laurel Park. Ridden by Horacio Karamanos, the daughter of Deputy Commander passed Fareena and Sales Tax in the final stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The 3-1 shot covered the 1 1/16 -mile distance in 1 minute, 42.12 seconds, improving to 2-for-2 in turf races. My Main Starr, owned by Gary Capuano and Paul Fowler and trained by Capuano, paid $8.60 and topped an $89.40 exacta and a $339 triple. Fareena finished second, and Sales Tax took third. "My filly ran in the middle of the race, a little bit back," Karamanos said. "When I asked her, I put her clear and she switched leads and responded." The 5-year-old mare, who had most recently finished third in the Maryland Racing Media Stakes, won her maiden voyage at Laurel Park in October as a 30-1 long shot. "The plan was to send her to Gulfstream Park with my brother Dale, but he ended up not getting stalls so we stayed here and had her run on the dirt until turf season," Capuano said. "It was an honest enough pace. It looked like she was running easy. She was last or next to last but she wasn't too far back, and when she started picking them up, I was confident she would finish. She is a consistent runner, and we'll have lots of options for her." My Main Starr increased her lifetime earnings to $240, 907.

Also: Jockey Erick Rodriguez and trainer Chris Grove concluded the 15-week winter meet at Laurel Park by winning individual titles. The training title is the first for Grove, who rallied with two wins Wednesday, a victory Thursday and another Friday to edge Scott Lake, 27-25. Lake had won 12 of the previous 16 titles at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Grove, 40, won five stakes races during the meet, including the Grade II Barbara Fritchie and General George Handicaps on Feb. 15 with Sweet Goodbye and Greenspring, respectively. His $653,480 in earnings for the winter meet were best among Laurel Park trainers. "The best part is that I am not a claiming trainer so we did this by winning stakes and allowance races," Grove said. "This is for the entire barn, from the exercise riders to the grooms and hot walkers. About three weeks ago, I told them we had a shot at winning this, and they all wanted it." Rodriguez had 55 first-place finishes, 20 more than Harry Vega, to top the rider standings. A top-10 jockey in Maryland since 2003, Rodriguez, 30, had 15 multiple-win days during the meet. He also captured the fall meet title in 2009. "I am really happy," Rodriguez said. "I have been riding good horses for top trainers and now expect to win." Ben Mondello and Adam Russo won the owner standings, finishing first 11 times, two more than PTK LLC.

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