Updated on 09/17/2011 6:32PM

Promise of slots starts a stampede


By November 2005, purses at Philadelphia Park will be $225,000 daily, thanks to advance payments made to the purse fund from the $18 million that slot machines in Pennsylvania are expected to produce during their first 18 months of operation.

That kind of money is a powerful lure to horsemen, especially those from states where purses are not slots-fueled, and could result in an influx of new trainers to the Keystone State.

Among those who thinks the time is ripe to begin racing at Philadelphia Park is Dale Capuano.

Capuano, the leading trainer in Maryland six of the last seven years, said he would file an application for stalls at Philadelphia Park by the Sept. 18 deadline.

Although Capuano would like the maximum of 44 stalls for his large operation, which

consists of about 80 horses divided between Pimlico and Bowie, it's unlikely he will be accomodated.

Sal Sinatra, racing secretary at Philadelphia Park, said his office has been inundated with applications from horsemen eager to get their foot in the door before the arrival of slots. Simply put, Sinatra doesn't have room for everybody who wants stalls and won't evict horsemen already on the grounds.

"If spots do open, I've got a long waiting list," said Sinatra, who expects to finalize stall allocations in early October. "Even then, a trainer might be able to get eight, 10, or 12 stalls, but it would be tough for them to get a lot more than that."

Capuano said it's become clear that racing in Maryland, where political infighting has indefinitely stalled passage of slots legisation, has an uncertain future.

"By next year, Philadelphia will have purses up to $220,000 or $230,000 a day," Capuano said. "That's $100,000 a day more than Maryland."

If offered only a small number of stalls, Capuano said he will probably stay put for now. "Ten or 20 stalls won't cut it for me," Capuano said. "I know it's a problem to give all the stalls that everybody wants, but I'm going to try."

One Maryland horseman who beat the rush to Philadelphia Park is John Scanlan, who relocated from Maryland to Philly Park earlier in the summer when he was able to get 20 stalls.

Another prominent Maryland horseman, Tony Dutrow, reportedly has purchased a home for his family near Philadelphia Park. According to Sinatra, he had not received a stall application from Dutrow as of Friday.

Better Talk Now may skip Breeders' Cup

A fourth-place finish in last weekend's Man o' War at Belmont Park has caused trainer Graham Motion to rethink his plans for Better Talk Now.

Originally, Motion intended to use the Man o' War as a stepping-stone to next month's Breeders' Cup Turf. Now, he's leaning toward going to Woodbine for the Canadian International, a $1.5 million race on Oct. 24, a week prior to the Breeders' Cup.

Prior to his performance in the Man o' War, in which he was beaten 4 1/2 lengths, the 5-year-old Better Talk Now had won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga and was second in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont.

Back to main track for Misty Sixes

Don't look for Misty Sixes to return to the turf anytime soon, even though she was beaten only a head in last weekend's George Rosenberger Memorial at Delaware.

Trainer Steve Klesaris wants Misty Sixes to win a graded stakes before she retires, and he believes her best shot to do that is on dirt.

"I think it will be easier for her to win a Grade 3 on the dirt than on the turf," said Klesaris, whose horses are running under the name of his assistant, Lillian Altieri, while he serves a suspension.

* Distinct Vision and Country Be Gold, who finished second and third in last weekend's Owners' Day Handicap at Delaware, are possible for the $100,000 Kelso Handicap there at 1 3/16 miles on Oct 2.

* Class Concern, who upset Richetta in last weekend's Humphrey S. Finney at Pimlico, is expected to make his next start in the Maryland Million Turf on Oct. 9.

* He Loves Me, a Pimlico-based 3-year old filly who finished third in the Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 11, is being pointed to the Maryland Million Oaks.