'Filling races is more difficult these days'

August 26, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

The number of starters per race have declined at Charles Town Races & Slots, but state steward Danny Wright said that is not alarming.

"Every track in the country is having the same problems we are. Filling races is more difficult these days," Wright said. "I think Delaware Park affected us some and Timonium will feature Charles Town horses."

At one time, Charles Town led the entire country in starters per race. That figure has declined somewhat in recent years.

Charles Town racing secretary Doug Lamp said the allowance races are tougher to fill than the maidens.

"There's a shortage of horses and certain races are more difficult to fill than others," Lamp said. "We don't have any problems filling the maiden races. The allowance races and high claiming races are a different story."


Moving to Timonium

Live thoroughbred racing in Maryland has switched to the Maryland State Fair at Timonium.

The schedule continues today with a 1:05 p.m. post time and will also be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 3.

The 5/8-mile racetrack will host two stakes races over Labor Day weekend - the $45,000 Alma North for fillies and mares on Saturday and the $45,000 Taking Risks on Sept. 3. Both 6 1/2-furlong races are restricted to Maryland-breds.

Last year's leading jockey and trainer are defending their titles.

Jonathan Joyce won his first and only race meeting in 2006 and trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. took conditioning honors.

Most of the competing horses have competed recently at Charles Town, Colonial Downs, Laurel Park, Penn National and Delaware Park.

Pony tales

The 10-day Laurel Park summer meeting ended last Thursday with Luis Garcia, three trainers and Michael Gill capturing individual titles.

Garcia won his second career title in Maryland in consistent fashion, winning 11 races - two more than Horacio Karamanos. The 22-year-old, who topped the Pimlico standings in the spring, leads all riders in the colony with 90 trips to the winner's circle this calendar year.

Dale Capuano, Hamilton Smith and Gammy Vazquez all saddled four winners to share the training crown. The title is the 30th at the major Maryland tracks for Capuano, who has been in the top three among Maryland conditioners since 1991.

Gill, who secured 14 consecutive meets at Laurel and Pimlico from 2002 to 2005, won four races from 13 starters during the meet to seize the owner title.

Live thoroughbred racing returns to the central Maryland track on Sept. 5 for the 17-week fall meeting that ends Dec. 29.

·Eddie Read Handicap winner After Market heads a field of nine horses heading into today's 68th edition of the Grade II, $250,000 Del Mar Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on the Del Mar turf.

The 4-year-old son of Storm Cat is on a three-race win streak - including the Grade I Read and Grade I Charlie Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park, in which he defeated Lava Man.

Prior to the Whittingham, After Market scored in the Grade III Inglewood Handicap.

·The New York Racing Association has announced the appointment of Hal Handel to the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Handel leaves Greenwood Racing of Bensalem, Pa., where he has been chief executive officer since 1998.

Larry Yanos covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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