06/04/2005 12:00AM

Capitano captures Rolling Green


ALBANY, Calif. - Captiano ($5.80) sat back early and made a strong move in the lane to win the $95,625 Rolling Green Breeders' Cup Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Capitano was last early in the field of four in the 1 1/8-mile race on the Lakeside Turf Course as Mister Acpen took the lead with moderate fractions. Under jockey Jon Court, he moved up a bit on the second turn, eased out for room in the stretch and finished well to beat Courtly Jazz by one-half length in 1:49.46.

Courtly Jazz was closest to Mister Acpen early, made the lead in the lane but could not hold off the winner. He drifted out near the 16th pole and was disqualified from second to third after forcing Gold Ruckus to steady sharply. Mister Acpen faded to last, beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

"I thought he would try to steal it so I let my horse accelerate down the backstretch into the second turn," Court said. "Other than that, we didn't want to change anything. He's running to his best potential. We felt if he'd sit back and settle a bit more, he'd be more predominant at the finish.

"I just wanted to stay close to Gold Ruckus because he has the same style."

The victory was Capitano's first in a stakes following seconds in the Best Pal and Norfolk as a 2-year-old and seconds in the El Camino Real Derby and California Derby last year as a 3-year-old.

Trainer T.R. Bell II said he has changed Capitano's training so that he'll relax and sit back early since beginning to concentrate on the turf.

"Horses that do well on the turf do well from off the pace," he said. "Pretty much everyone knew (Mister Acpen) would be on the lead, but my colt was in a comfortable position."

The victory, worth $55,000 lifts Capitano's career earnings to $349,138 with four victories in 17 starts.