Capuano Retires But Plans To Stay Active

A large group gathered in the winner’s circle following the fourth race Dec. 31 at Laurel Park for a special presentation to honor trainer Dale Capuano, who is retiring as a trainer of record after a successful 41-year career.

Capuano, 60, a former member of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Board of Directors, has turned the day-to-day operation over to his nephew, Phillip Capuano, son of trainer Gary Capuano.

“I’ve been thinking about (stepping away) the last couple of years,” Capuano said. “This business, it’s all I do, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I want to do some other things besides get up at four o’clock in the morning and work six or seven days a week. It’s time for me to do something else and enjoy myself.”

Capuano said he will remain involved in the racing industry. He mentioned perhaps serving as a racing manager for some of his owners, helping his nephew identify horses to be claimed, and more closely studying the Daily Racing Form and watching video replays of races. Capuano also has more than 10 yearlings he had purchased for clients and plans to follow through in their development.

“I’ll still be around the racetrack,” he said.

Capuano is 22nd on the all-time list of trainers by victories with 3,662, and his horses have earned more than $68 million in purses. He topped the $1 million mark in season earnings 34 times, including each of the past 30 years, and won 31 meet training titles in Maryland.

Capuano, whose late father, Phillip, also was a horsemen’s advocate, leads the way with 15 victories in Maryland Million races over his career. He won his first race in 1981 and the former Bowie Race Course.

“What has really kept me going is I’ve had great clients pretty much my entire career,” Capuano said. “People like Lou Ulman, we’ve been together over 30 years, and Steve Newby and Neil Glasser. Unfortunately, some of them have passed away that were with me in the beginning—Harvey Linden was really helpful for me in the beginning of my career. Today we have Mopo Racing with Maury Povich—just great, great people to work with—and Super C Racing. I don’t want to leave anybody out. It just makes my job so much easier when you have great people to work with.”

Phillip Capuano, 29, also was raised in the Thoroughbred business. When not at Laurel, he has overseen his father’s string at Delaware Park. He also assisted his uncle and has gotten to know his owners.

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