05/21/2010 12:00AM

Capi representing small barns well


FORT ERIE, Ontario − Louis Capi has sent only three runners to post, but he is fourth in the Fort Erie trainer standings. That's because all three of his runners have won.

Small barns with few horses often get overlooked in the trainer standings, but Capi, 60, has taken his share of plaudits this spring. One of his runners, Impressive Cat, returned from a five-month layoff and won his season debut in a maiden race May 10. The other two, Sometime Anytime and Chief No Tell, scored after flopping in their first starts off five-month layoffs.

Capi gave credit to his groom, Colin Rankin, and to his horses.

"Rankin is top-notch, and we worked hard to get our horses ready to go," Capi said. "One of my best personal statistics is sending out runners to win after a layoff, and this year we were confident that all three would run well. There are plenty of ups and down in this game, and you have to enjoy every win."

Capi's career stretches back nearly 40 years. He got his start in Woodbine in the late-1960s, working as a hotwalker and groom before receiving his trainer's license in 1972.

"My first Thoroughbred to post was a filly named Ringwood Babe, and we put her into a 4 1/2-furlong claimer at Greenwood," he said. "You can imagine the thrill and excitement as the Babe won in my debut as a trainer. The winner's circle never felt better."

Through the years, Capi did his share of claiming and compiled a lifetime win rate of 14 percent. One claim he fondly remembers is Chris's Bad Boy.

"I took that one at the Fort for $13,000 but later lost him for $47,000," Capi said. "Overall, he made me a profit of over $125,000, but he was a great horse. He ended up winning stakes events and over $900,000 in purse money."

Capi moved to Fort Erie in 1985 and has been a fixture here ever since.

"I did spend most of my career on the Ontario circuit," he said. "I wanted to be a jockey, but the weight would not stay off. Now I exercise my own horses every day and try to have them in top condition when they go to post."

Carignan dominating rider standings

Jockey agent Scotty Lane was all smiles last week, when his two riders, Krista Carignan and Rui Pimentel, dominated the standings. Carignan has broken clear from the pack and has won 13 races, and Pimentel has won eight, three more than Melonie Pinto.

Lane credited Carignan's great start to hard work and a strong desire to do her very best every time out.

"I watched her ride last year," Lane said. "I could see that there was plenty of talent and potential there, but the trouble was that many of her mounts were often longshots with little chance of winning."

Lane contacted Carignan last fall through her former agent, Doug Gibbons, who had suggested that Carignan would be riding at the Fort throughout 2010.

"We had some discussions on what both our plans were for the upcoming meet at the Fort, and she finally agreed to come aboard," Lane said.

"I can tell you that she is great to work with in the mornings, and her success so far is directly related to an outstanding work ethic."