- Published: Friday, 24 February 2012 15:28
Twelve days after Todd Pletcher became the 26th trainer in North America to win 3,000 races, Maryland mainstay Dale Capuano joined the elite group with a victory by Father Mudd ($12.40) in Thursday afternoon’s ninth race at Laurel Park.
“I was pretty proud when I won our first race so when you get to 3,000 it’s pretty remarkable,” Capuano said. “It’s just been a pretty good run. You know we’ve had a lot of help, great clients, great barn people who work for us, a team effort. I’m just the leader.”
The 49-year-old joins a club that includes other Maryland regulars King Leatherbury (3rd-6,335), Scott Lake (6th-5,153), Buddy Delp (12th-3,674) and Dick Dutrow (13th-3,665).
“Racing against most of those guys, day in and day out, just makes you better,” added Capuano. “The business has changed quite a bit since the mid-90’s and early 2000’s. We’re trying to change with the times and things are tougher now, but we’re going to keep rolling along. They economy is going down and most of the tracks race less days than they used to back then so we’re based here and we just don’t have the days we had ten or fifteen years ago and that really is a difference to an outfit like mine.”
Capuano will go for number 3,001 in Saturday’s opener with Iris’ Proverb.
“I really haven’t thought about the milestone much,” Capuano stated. “I am glad we reached it. We really aren’t winning races like we used to. I am just trying to go to work each day and doing the best I can do. When things slow down I am sure I will look back at this accomplishment and reminisce but this was just another race we were trying to find a way to win.”
- finished in the top three Maryland for 16 consecutive years (1991-2006)
- leading trainer in Maryland eight times (1991, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004)
- has 31 training titles at the major Maryland tracks (Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park) on his resume
- best year was 2001 when he was the fourth leading trainer in the country with 235 wins and earned a career-best $4.4 million dollars
- Heros Reward was named Maryland-based Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008, winning seven stakes and earning millionaire status. Victories included the G2 Nearctic Stakes and a pair of G3 turf sprints
- won his first graded race when Prized Stamp won the G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap in 2001 at odds of 17-1
- saddled Wind Splitter to an 11th place finish in the 1989 Kentucky Derby
- has nine Maryland Million victories (tied with King Leatherbury atop the standings), including a victory in the 2006 Classic with Due
- First winner was with Who’s Lucky in February 1981 at Bowie Race Course. Earned his 1,000 winner in 1996 and won number 2,000 six years later