05/14/2013 3:19PM

Phil Capuano, Maryland horseman, dies at 80

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Phil Capuano, a longtime Maryland horseman and active member of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, died on May 10 at age 80.

An owner and breeder since 1962, Capuano was a founding member of the MTHA, and was an advocate for backstretch issues as chairman of the MTHA’s Backstretch Committee at the now-defunct Bowie Race Track.

In 1995, Capuano received the MTHA’s award for Outstanding Service to Maryland Horsemen.

A former trainer, Capuano and his wife Connie developed a breeding operation at their Upper Marlboro, Md. farm, starting with Yemen’s Mite, a winning mare by Yemen, who he and a partner purchased in 1966 as a yearling for $800.

The mare was loaned out to other breeders to help cover costs, but the Capuanos finally bred Yemen’s Mite on their own accord with her fifth foal, Gary’s Friend, who became a stakes winner of $94,530. They scored once again with Silano, a Silver Badge gelding who won eight stakes in Maryland and finished in the money in a combined 26 stakes races for earnings of $693,524.

Capuano is survived by his wife, Connie, who also works in the family’s horse operations, sons Dale and Gary, who are both Maryland-based trainers, and daughter Gina.

Family and friends will gather at the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home, at 16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, Md. on Wed., May 15 from 2 to 6 p.m. Eastern. Services and interment will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of the Chesapeake.