The Lauel meet starts on a high-note with the running of the 18th annual Maryland Million on Oct. 11. Over 160 offspring of Maryland stallions have been pre-entered in the 11 races which comprise the 2003 Maryland Million. The headline event for the meet is the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) on Nov. 15. Fifteen of the 29 added money races during the stand are six-figure affairs.
Horacio Karamanos, Dale Capuano and Michael Gill captured individual titles as the five-week Pimlico summer-fall meet concluded this afternoon.Karamanos , 30, buoyed by 11 wins on the turf, won his second riding title in the state by visiting the winners' circle 29 times, nine more than apprentice Luis Garcia. Mario Pino was third with 19 victories."I feel very confident on the turf," said Karamanos, who won the 2002 Laurel Park summer riding title. "I am very happy to have won a title at Pimlico because it is one of the most famous tracks in the country."For the 10th time in the last 12 meets at Old Hilltop, the training title went to Capuano who saddled 18 winners in the 23-day meet, easily outdistancing Ben Feliciano, Ferris Allen and John Salzman, who each had seven first place finishes. Capuano's runners won at an impressive 37% for the meet."It is like we are unconscious," said Capuano, who ranks 10th in the nation in victories. "Everything is going our way. We picked the right spots, won photos and there is not a better feeling. The condition book helps us at Pimlico. We won a lot of races at 5 ½ (furlongs) and seemed to have the horses that fit. But now we'll go back to Laurel and those races will be seven furlongs. Many of the horses that won here going short might not even run let alone win. I am expecting things to slow down a bit, but if we can continue to win at a 20% clip the rest of the year I'll be happy."For the fourth consecutive meet, Michael Gill won the owners title, winning 11 races. The New Hampshire native has 94 victories at Pimlico and Laurel Park this year.Final handle numbers will be released this week.Live racing returns to Laurel for the remainder of the year on Oct. 8. First post is 1:05 p.m. Racing will return to Pimlico in late March for the 2004 spring meet.