Slow Pace Can't Stop Grundlefoot at Laurel

(Edited from track report)
The field bunched up from the start and hoped to make a it a sprint for the finish, but heavily favored Grundlefoot was too good for that game, overpowering his rivals in the run to the wire, winning the $50,000 Lexington Park Stakes at Laurel Park on Sunday.

Jockey Mario Pino kept the 5-year-old son of Unaccounted For covered up along the rail as they raced into the far turn. Grundlefoot sliced his way to the outside and moved into overdrive for the stretch run. He went on to finish the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.52, beating Cool N Collective by a length. Ewer All Wet was a very close third.

The winner paid $2.80 as a popular favorite.

Grundlefoot has rewarded trainer Gary Capuano and his followers six victories in seven appearances at Laurel Park, including three stakes wins. His career earnings are $616,780 and he is 12-for-31 lifetime.

The younger Capuano, who conditioned Captain Bodgit through the 1997 Triple Crown campaign, is currently tied with Scott Lake atop the trainer standings at the Laurel summer meet, each with five wins.

Pino said, "When I pulled him out it was all over. I was somewhat hemmed in but gradually he eased himself out. It was a slow pace and it takes a good horse to run them down like he did today."

The win was the 4,975th in Pino's career, who is poised to become the 18th jockey in history to reach 5,000 wins.

"I'm thinking about it as it gets closer," said Pino. "When it gets down to the final five it will get really exciting. When it's over I'll be happy."

(Chart, Equibase)