10/23/2002 11:00PM

Steinlen: Sunk on soft ground, Capsized returns

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Capsized brought a big reputation to the Sea o' Erin Breeders' Cup Mile last month. When he finished fourth as the favorite, his connections blamed the loss on a soft turf course.

On Saturday, Capsized will have a chance to redeem himself when he starts in the $100,000 Steinlen Handicap. The race follows the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"He didn't run his main effort last time," said trainer Lisa Lewis. "It rained hard that morning and the turf was soft. He didn't have that late kick. We debated coming back to Arlington, but we thought he had bad luck."

A winner of 6 of 23 starts and $429,593, Capsized is one of eight entrants in the Steinlen, which will be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The course is likely to be firm. The 6-year-old Capsized drew post 2. His main competitors are European imports One More Round and Royal Quarters, and logical candidates from the Midwest, Al's Dearly Bred and February Storm.

Al's Dearly Bred was third in the Sea o' Erin Mile on Sept. 29 and won a minor handicap race here on Sept. 8. Trained by Hugh Robertson, the 5-year-old Al's Dearly Bred is likely to set the pace.

The improving February Storm is trained by D. Wayne Lukas. The 3-year-old has won his last two starts, including the Storm Cat Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

Royal Quarters is another improving 3-year-old. Trained by Brian Meehan, he was second in the Fortune Stakes at Epsom on Sept. 6. One More Round has erratic form. Trained by Dermot Weld, he won the September Handicap at Leopardstown, Ireland, on Sept. 7, but was 16th of 23 in a handicap race at Ascot, England, on Sept. 28.

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