Capra falls to Vandeweghe, ending bid for Australian Open
Ellicott City's Beatrice Capra fell short in her bid to earn a wild-card berth for the Australian Open, falling to CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-1, 6-4, in a second-round match Saturday at a USTA eight-woman playoff in Atlanta. The defeat came a day after Capra beat Shelby Rogers, 6-3, 6-2, in her first match since losing to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the U.S. Open last summer. "CoCo played just a great match all the way around," said Capra, ranked 225th in the world. "Her first serve was on and I expected it to be a little bit more inconsistent. But she just didn't miss that much and didn't give me any opportunities. I wish I was going to Australia, but I was just glad to get the invite and to get a round. This is only my third match since the Open so I'm just happy to be out there playing again."
Boyce, Grove win riding titles as Laurel Park season concludes
Maryland natives Forest Boyce (Garrison Forest) and Chris Grove wrapped up year-end titles at the major Maryland tracks for the calendar year in the jockey and trainer divisions respectively after Saturday's final card of the season at Laurel Park. Despite riding only 18 winners during the first two meets of the season, Boyce won her first riding championship in the state with 104 victories at Laurel and Pimlico Race Course during 2010. The 26-year-old won the riding title for the Laurel fall meeting with 71 scores where she had 23 multiple-win days, including a career-best four trips to the winner's circle Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Erick Rodriguez finished second in the overall standings with 99 first-place finishes. "It is absolutely amazing," said Boyce, who also won the riding title during the Laurel summer meet. Boyce spent the majority of the year as an apprentice and credits her support system, including agent Jay "Shug" Burtis, for much of the success. She began working for the late conditioner Mikey Smithwick at the age of 11 and galloped horses for trainer Dickie Small before making her professional debut in the summer of 2009. Former riders Mario Verge and Jimbo Bracciale serve as mentors. "I have a terrific support system," added Boyce. "The guys in the room have been really helpful as well, especially Mario Pino, Harry Vega and Erick Rodriguez. I also have to thank all the trainers that we were able to ride for, Dickie, Ferris Allen, Hammy Smith and Alex White. You need to be on the right horses to win races." Grove, a Frederick native, saddled 57 winners at the major Maryland tracks during the campaign, four more than Scott Lake, who had won five straight training titles in the state. The Grove barn captured the Laurel winter and Laurel summer titles. The 41-year-old won the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie and General George Handicaps at Laurel Park on Feb. 15 with Sweet Goodbye and Greenspring and saddled four consecutive winners at Laurel on Aug. 14.
More Laurel Park: Concealed Identity, the 2-year-old Smarty Jones gelding of Linda Gaudet and Morris Bailey, was the surprise winner of the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship, the feature offering on closing day of the fall meeting. Away alertly in the 71/2-furlong test, Concealed Identity and J.D. Acosta were content to back off pacesetters Gaelic Partner and odds-on favorite Steady Warrior as the field raced down the backstretch. All five runners bunched up on the far turn before Concealed Identity and Steady Warrior edged away and were set down for the drive. A furlong from the wire, Concealed Identity separated from the favorite and continued on to win by 31/2 lengths, while stopping the clock in 1 minute, 32.12 seconds. Broad Rule rallied to take second, and Go Marie Tu came up the rail to finish third. Steady Warrior, the 4-5 betting choice, finished with little encouragement and was fourth, causing huge show prices. The winner, who is trained by Eddie Gaudet, paid $17.40 to win, $7 to place and $38 to show. Broad Rule paid $4.60 to place and $22.80 to show. Go Marie Tu paid $31.80 to show.