The 10-day Laurel Park summer meeting ended Aug. 21 with jockey Julian Pimentel, trainer Gary Capuano, and owner Sondra Bender capturing individual titles. Live racing shifts to Timonium Aug. 22 for the seven-day state fair meet.
Pimentel won his first career title in Maryland in consistent fashion, capturing eight races—one more than Eric Camacho. After five years as one of the top riders on the New Jersey circuit, the now 27-year-old moved his tack to Maryland during the summer of 2006.
“We did really well during the meet, and hopefully we can carry the momentum into the fall,” said Pimentel, who was a finalist for outstanding apprentice rider in 2001 when he was the leading rider at Meadowlands. “There was certainly an adjustment that had to be made when I arrived here, but everything is working out and we are riding for some good people.”
Capuano, the younger brother of perennial contender Dale Capuano, saddled five winners from eight starters to take the training crown, including a victory by turf router Ovechkin, a 4-year-old gelding named in honor of Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin. Mike Trombetta and Ferris Allen each visited the winner’s circle four times during the stand.
Bender, a fixture at the major Maryland tracks for years, won three races from six starters, all with conditioner Larry Murray, to seize the owner title.
The Maryland Jockey Club does not release final handle figures for the mini-meet.
Live racing returns to the central Maryland track Thursday, Sept. 4, for the 17-week fall meeting that ends Saturday, Dec. 27.