Capones Vault Wins Texas Classic Futurity

(Saturday, November 30, 2002) - Trainer Ed Hardy uncovered a treasure in Capones Vault on Saturday night at Lone Star Park. Capones Vault, the quick 2-year-old Oklahoma-bred American Quarter Horse, broke alertly and dashed 400 yards in :19.53 to win the richest horse race in Texas history, the Grade 1, $1,061,703 Texas Classic Futurity.

A crowd of 7,123 was on hand at the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack’s final live program of the season to witness Capones Vault defeat race favorite Eye Opening Episode by a convincing three-quarters of a length under jockey Tad Leggett. Red Dog Leader was another three-quarter of a length back in third.

“This is amazing,” said co-owner Ted Moore, son of the late Bob Moore. “He’s a really special horse.”

Bob Moore, the prominent Oklahoma-based owner and breeder who campaigned the great Dashing Perfection to victories in the 1997 Dash For Cash Derby and Texas Classic Derby, passed away in 1998. His legacy remains, as Ted, along with his mother Lynn and sister Sunny Hale continue to run Bob Moore Farms in Norman, Oklahoma.

“I wish he could have been here to see this,” Ted Moore said. “A million-dollar race…he would have been proud to watch this guy run.”

Capones Vault was one of three runners saddled by 27-year-old Hardy, an amazing feat considering that 146 two-year-olds attempted to get just 10 spots in the final in 15 trial races two weeks ago. This was the biggest win of Hardy’s brief career.

“When he broke [from the starting gate] and got in front like he did, it looked so good,” Hardy said. “I looked at the outside horses and I just figured the way [Capones Vault] got out, they couldn’t beat him.”

For Capones Vault, winner of the Grade 3 Northlands Futurity at Canterbury Park in July, it was his fifth victory in eight starts. He’s never finished worse than second. The $424,681 winner’s share of the million-dollar race boosted his earnings to $483,197.

“When he left there he was gone,” said Leggett, who tacked 120 pounds en route to victory. “He ran so much better tonight than he did in the trials. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t expect him to do it like that. He hadn’t ever left there and run that good away from the gate.”

The final time was just five-hundredths of a second off the stakes and track record and was the second fastest Texas Classic Futurity in 10 runnings of the race.

Capones Vault, a First Smart Money gelding out of the Tejano mare Secret Interlude, paid $30 to win as the sixth wagering choice at odds of 14-1. He was the third fastest qualifier to the race.

Eye Opening Episode, the 6-5 favorite and fastest qualifier, finished second in a major Grade 1 race for the third time this year. After posting a win in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity, the gray gelding finished second in the All American Futurity on Labor Day and Dash For Cash Futurity last month.

Behind third place finisher Red Dog Leader was First Place Win and Fast First Prize. Fast First Prize, however, was disqualified by Texas Racing Commission stewards from fifth to last for causing interference in the race. Fast First Prize’s jockey G.R. Carter Jr. laid a claim of foul against runner-up Eye Opening Episode, but that charge was disallowed.

Moved up to fifth was Chicks Cartel, followed by Miss Ashante, IB Business, Jess Maid Magic and Apollos Ten Bears.

Earlier on the card, Southern Cartel won the $50,000 Texas Classic Futurity First Consolation by 1 ¼ lengths over One Corona For Me in :19.55. Larry Payne rode the winner for owner Bill Price of Marietta, Okla. and trainer Eddie Willis. Guy Watters’ Take Me Some Cash, under Darrell Constantin, was the $25,000 Second Consolation winner. The Rodney Reed trainee defeated Hemps Quick Dash by a half-length in :19.67.

Roy Baldillez won the Lone Star Park riding title with 28 wins, two more than John Hamilton, and Janet Van Bebber was the leading trainer with 20 trips to the winner’s circle, three more than “Sleepy” Gilbreath.

Geral Dewitt was the leading owner for the sixth time in as many years with 12 wins. His nearest competitors were Teddy Abrams, Rudy Munoz and Raul Rubalcava, who had four wins apiece. Dewitt was the leading owner at four of Texas racetracks this year: Lone Star Park, Retama Park, Sam Houston Race Park and Manor Downs.

Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie’s seasonal champions will be released Monday afternoon.

Live racing at Lone Star Park will resume Thursday, April 3, 2003 for the seventh Thoroughbred season. That 15-week season will continue through July 13. Until then, Lone Star Park’s Post Time Pavilion will remain open seven days a week (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) for simulcast wagering on racing action across the country.

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