LAUREL, MD. 01-21-12---Only twenty-five trainers in North American history have saddled 3,000 winners. Laurel Park-based Dale Capuano moved to within five victories of that plateau after Maple Leaf Racer ($4) won Saturday’s third race by a nose over Wakina.

“We are getting there,” said Capuano, who won his initial race with Who’s Lucky at Bowie Race Track in 1981. “This is fun. It is neat chasing history.”

The 49-year-old has 31 training titles at the major Maryland tracks on his resume and has been the leading conditioner in the state eight times since 1991. His best year was 2001, when he ranked fourth in North America with 235 wins with a career-best $4.4 million in earnings. He has won more than 100 races 15 times.

“When you start off training you just try to win one,” added Capuano. “That is pretty much how I thought about it and all of a sudden we started winning more than 100 a year and even had a couple years with 200. Averaging 100 wins for 30 years is pretty impressive when you consider the lean years when you are first starting out.”

Among those in the top 25 all-time are Maryland mainstays King Leatherbury (3rd-6,333), Scott Lake (6th-5,142), Buddy Delp (12th-3,674) and Dick Dutrow (13th-3,665). Todd Pletcher began the day 18 victories behind Capuano.

“Pletcher is going to run by us soon,” joked Capuano. “Just hoping we get to 3,000 milestone before him.”

Capuano, who is six-of-21 at Laurel after 12 live racing days, will start two runners out of town tonight and has five entered here on Wednesday afternoon.

PINO MOVES INTO SOLE POSSESSION OF 12TH PLACE ON ALL-TIME WIN LIST



Mario Pino moved ahead of Larry Snyder for 12th on the all-time win list when he guided multiple stakes winner Red’s Round Table ($3.80) to a popular score in today’s eighth race at Laurel Park. The 50-year-old has 6,389 trips to the winners’ circle during his career. It was his first victory of 2012.

Pino’s next goal is to land in the top 10 all-time before retiring. He is 82 wins away from passing Earlie Fires and moving into elusive company. He still must maneuver by Hall of Famer Sandy Hawley (6,450 wins) before setting sights on Fires (6,470).

“It is getting harder to win races. It seems like it took forever to get to this milestone,” said Pino, who rode Hard Spun to on-the-board finishes in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic. “I haven’t been getting a ton of mounts but I thought I had a good chance to win one today and I am happy to do it on a really classy horse. But I’ll keep plugging away and see if we can get in the top ten this year.”

The Ellicott City resident won his first race aboard Ed’s Desire on January 16, 1979 at Bowie Race Track and became the 15th jockey in North America to win 6,000 races when he rode Pass Play, a horse trained by his brother Mike, to victory at Laurel Park on November 7, 2007.

Red’s Round Table improves to eight-of-10 lifetime and is now is four-of-five at Laurel, including victories in the Marshua and Wide Country Stakes last year. She also has a pair of added money victories at Aqueduct and another at Delaware Park.

“She did everything right,” said winning trainer Tim Keefe. “Twenty years I worked for Jack and Gretchen Mobberley and Mario was riding everything for them so this was like old times. Now to be on my own and get to have him ride my horses is a good feeling.”