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Captain Bodgit

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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | February 9, 1997
HALLANDALE, Fla. -- The sale of Captain Bodgit, a Kentucky Derby contender trained by Gary Capuano, left all parties smiling -- well, just about all parties.Phyllis Susini, a Maryland resident who buys and sells racehorses -- usually mediocre ones -- sold the 3-year-old colt last week for $500,000. It was the only racehorse she owned. She declined to reveal her age or what she paid for him last spring in a private sale. But clearly, this is Susini's greatest racing bonanza.Team Valor, a Pasadena, Calif.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | June 8, 2001
ELMONT, N.Y. - Most Americans handicapping the Belmont Stakes will look at the past performances of Dr Greenfield and shake their heads. How do you make sense of a horse who has run only four times, all in England, and only once on dirt? Ask Barry Irwin, president of the Team Valor syndicate that owns the colt, and he smiles. "He's a big horse, and he can run all day," Irwin said. "We're very confident." When Team Valor starts a horse in the Belmont, it pays to listen to Irwin. In 1992, Team Valor supplemented the English-bred My Memories to the race.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | September 7, 1997
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.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 14, 2000
NEW YORK -- The scene remains vivid: Two gutsy horses, finally freed of trouble, exploding down the stretch at Aqueduct in a scintillating sprint to the wire. Red Bullet and Aptitude stamped that vision into memory in the Gotham Stakes three weeks ago at Aqueduct. Red Bullet remained undefeated, and the surging Aptitude finished a half-length behind in one of the most inspiring skirmishes on this year's Triple Crown trail. Tomorrow, those two and 10 others, including Jinny Vance's Postponed, will compete in the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct.
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By Tom Keyser | February 6, 1997
HIALEAH, Fla. -- Captain Bodgit, a promising 3-year-old colt trained by Gary Capuano, has been sold for $500,000.Team Valor, based in Pasadena, Calif., bought Captain Bodgit from Phyllis Susini of Valrico, Fla., in a transaction that leaves the horse in Capuano's barn. Based at Bowie, Capuano is spending the winter at Hialeah Park with 18 horses.The top mount is Captain Bodgit. He won five straight races, including the Laurel Futurity, before finishing third last month in his 3-year-old debut, the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 16, 1997
The countdown began yesterday for Gary Capuano and Captain Bodgit as the Maryland trainer and his Kentucky Derby contender settled into Barn 40 at Churchill Downs.Captain Bodgit arrived at the racetrack in Louisville about 4 a.m. yesterday. He left late the night before on a flight from Newark, N.J. -- near Aqueduct in New York, where on Saturday he won the Wood Memorial Stakes -- flew to Dayton, Ohio, and then rode in a van to the track where the 123rd Kentucky Derby will take place May 3.Capuano, who drove to Louisville on Monday, said the brown colt walked off the van alert and apparently happy.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 22, 1997
Captain Bodgit, the Maryland-based horse whose explosive finishes earned second place in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness, was retired yesterday because of a strained tendon in his left front leg.Gary Capuano, trainer of the 3-year-old colt, noticed swelling in the leg Monday, two days after Captain Bodgit's furious rally in the Preakness fell a couple of feet short. On Tuesday, Dr. Alex Harthill of Louisville, Ky., diagnosed the injury as a strain in the deep flexor tendon, about halfway between the hoof and knee.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The score is tied. In their two encounters in Florida, they each won once.Tomorrow, in the 123rd Kentucky Derby, they meet again as likely co-favorites: the blue-blooded Pulpit vs. the blue-collar Captain Bodgit.They are merely two of 13 entrants in the first jewel of the Triple Crown, but they are the two whose rivalry excites the imagination. Their rematch is the centerpiece around which the Derby feast will be served.But their soft-spoken trainers -- Frank Brothers of Pulpit and the Marylander Gary Capuano of Captain Bodgit -- do not stoke the rivalry with heated rhetoric.
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | November 3, 1996
For the proprietor of a one-horse stable, Phyllis Susini is doing just fine in the racing business.Her one charge happens to be Captain Bodgit, who extended his winning streak to five yesterday by out-finishing Concerto by three quarters of a length in the Grade III, $100,000 Laurel Futurity."
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By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1997
The two Maryland-trained entries in the Kentucky Derby are both solid racehorses with respectable pedigrees that could command top dollar in an auction.But if either Concerto or Captain Bodgit wins tomorrow's classic, their value would easily double or triple, to several million dollars.Even in the high-stakes world of thoroughbreds, where millions of dollars are paid for horses who can generate returns either on the track or in the breeding barn, a Kentucky Derby win is like nothing else.
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By MIKE KLINGAMAN | May 15, 1999
BREAKERName: Marshall W. SilvermanMaryland Ties to Preakness: Spartan Cat (6th, 1998).Role: To untested yearlings, Marshall Silverman is Mr. Manners. He has broken thousands of spirited young thoroughbreds, teaching them to accept a rider, to behave. "Never had a horse I couldn't break," says Silverman, of New Freedom, Pa. "The trick is to move at the animal's pace. You don't want to jerk all of the heart out of them." Spartan Cat was relatively easy to break, he says, "considering his ornery temperament.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | June 27, 1998
This was the trip Gary Capuano was supposed to make a year ago with a Team Valor horse: Captain Bodgit to the Belmont Stakes.But the late-running Captain Bodgit, second in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness, injured a tendon before the Belmont and was retired. Based at the Bowie Training Center, Capuano hasn't saddled a Team Valor horse since -- until today, when he makes a rare trip to Belmont Park with the filly Really Polish.Team Valor, the California-based racing syndicate, bought Really Polish, a Texas-bred daughter of Polish Numbers, for Capuano to train partly as a reward for his excellent work with Captain Bodgit.
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By Kent Baker and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | May 14, 1998
Less than nine months ago, he was clinging to life at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after a frightening spill at Timonium.Saturday, he will ride in the 123rd Preakness."
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By John Eisenberg | May 11, 1998
BOWIE -- A year ago, he trained a horse that won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, lost the Kentucky Derby by a neck and lost the Preakness in a three-way photo finish.Shortly after that run ended when an injured tendon forced Captain Bodgit to retire, Gary Capuano found himself saddling a horse in a $5,000 race for non-winners at Charles Town."What are you doing here?" someone asked, as if Capuano suddenly was too important for the small track in West Virginia.Capuano smiled. "I've been up here before," he said, "and I'll be up here again."
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By Tom Keyser and Kent Baker and Tom Keyser and Kent Baker,SUN STAFF | February 22, 1998
The winners are in. Maryland's equivalent of the Eclipse Awards are final. And the 1997 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year is Smoke Glacken.A son of Two Punch and Majesty's Crown, Smoke Glacken also won a 1997 Eclipse award as the nation's outstanding sprinter. At distances of a mile or less, he was undefeated in six starts.Based on the vote of eight Maryland racing writers, Smoke Glacken was the unanimous choice for state-bred Horse of the Year.The Maryland Horse Breeders Association conducted the poll.
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By Kent Baker | December 3, 1997
Gary Capuano was named the state's outstanding trainer for 1997 at the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association annual awards ceremony and Christmas party at Laurel Park yesterday.Capuano, 33, broke into national prominence with Captain Bodgit, who barely missed winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in two memorable battles with Silver Charm and Free House.Capuano's brother, Dale, won the same award in 1988.The outstanding-owner honor went to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Houghton of Buckingham Farm, whose horse, Palliser Bay, was the high-scoring Maryland entry in the MATCH series.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | March 21, 1997
Captain Bodgit, the top contender for the Kentucky Derby, will race next in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Park, not the Blue Grass Stakes in Keeneland, Ky., as expected.Racing officials at Keeneland never received Captain Bodgit's nomination form, making him ineligible for the April 12 race, said Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, the California corporation that owns the horse.Irwin said yesterday that he believes his office sent the form Feb. 23, the day before nominations closed."But they did not get one from us," Irwin said.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 9, 1997
Exhibit One: On national television, even Jim McKay, a fellow Marylander, can't remember his name.Exhibit Two: A premier racetrack, Gulfstream Park, misspells his horse's name in promotions for a premier race. And the so-called ultimate authority on horse racing, the Daily Racing Form, pays the colt the ultimate insult by misidentifying him for months as a gelding.Exhibit Three: When representatives of top jockeys call his barn, they ask whether their jocks can ride Dale's horse.Case closed.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | November 1, 1997
The incredible journey began one year ago when two Maryland trainers saddled horses for the Laurel Futurity.First run in 1921 -- and to be run for the 75th time today at Laurel Park -- the Futurity for 2-year-olds has showcased such winners as Count Fleet, Citation, Secretariat and Affirmed. All winners the next year of the Triple Crown, they became captivating horse stories.But last year's Futurity became the story of the trainers, Gary Capuano and John J. Tammaro III.Astute horsemen from devout horse families, they both sensed potential greatness in their precocious 2-year-olds, Captain Bodgit and Concerto.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | October 26, 1997
Racing commissions in Maryland and Kentucky have approved changes in the Preakness and Kentucky Derby post-position draws that could make the draws nearly as exciting as the races.Beginning next year, the draws for those two races -- and presumably the Belmont Stakes as well -- will focus on strategy instead of chance. The Maryland Racing Commission approved the change Wednesday for the Preakness, one week after the Kentucky commission approved it for the Derby.For years, a numbered pill was drawn from a cup and matched with a horse.
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