04/05/2005 11:00PM

Capitano right back after win

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Less than two weeks after winning for the first time this year, Capitano returns in a tougher field in a $60,000 allowance race at Santa Anita on Friday.

Trainer Ray Bell said the quick comeback is not a concern. "He seems to be doing so good I better run him," he said. "He came out his race in better shape than he went in."

is part of a strong six-horse field competing in a one-mile allowance race. It is the eighth race on a nine-race program that begins at 3 p.m.

Capitano will be well backed, but Terroplane, second in an allowance race on March 9, might be favored.

Capitano had an eventful trip when he won an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf March 26. Capitano, 6-1, was off slowly, settled behind a very quick pace, and rallied along the rail to win by three-quarters of a length.

The victory ended a four-race losing streak dating back to May.

Capitano was never worse than fourth in the losing streak. His starts were well spaced during that time because he had a problematic quarter crack.

"He had a quarter crack that was nagging him," Bell said. "We couldn't really stabilize it. Finally, with patience and time, it was mending and healing. You have to give it sufficient time to grow out."

The closing kick Capitano showed in his last start might work well in Friday's race. Terroplane, who was stakes-placed last year; Running Free, who was third in the Crystal Water Handicap on March 12; and Kingdom Come all have shown speed.

Capitano raced near the front last year, but Bell prefers that jockey Jon Court try a late rally. Court rode Capitano last out.

"He was last in the early stages and showed another dimension," Bell said. "I think we'll try the same tactics - stalk and come up with a big run."

The distance is a minor concern. "Ideally it would be a mile and an eighth," Bell said.

is one of two starters trained by Neil Drysdale. Terroplane is winless in six starts since last May. On March 9, he led by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole of an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles, but finished a half-length behind Exterior. Drysdale also starts Bonfante, who has yet to win around two turns.