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Don’t bother calling Gary Capuano

April 14, 1997

Gary Capuano, trainer of Captain Bodgit, has his Kentucky Derby strategy in place.

``I’m probably going to have to deal with a lot of you guys,″ Capuano told reporters Saturday after Captain Bodgit won the Wood Memorial in the rain at Aqueduct. ``The first thing I’m going to do is turn my phone off.″

He won’t escape seemingly endless questions, however, from the media horde that will descend on Churchill Downs because Captain Bodgit has emerged as a major player in the May 3 Derby. His impressive win in the Wood followed his upset of Pulpit in the Florida Derby.

Two other trainers who will be busy fielding questions are Frank Brothers and Wayne Catalano.

``I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet,″ Brothers said after Pulpit rebounded from his loss in the Florida Derby to win the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

After Louisiana Derby winner Crypto Star won the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, Catalano said: ``I got excited in the Louisiana Derby and I’m more excited today. I’ll get even more excited in Kentucky.″

Other possible Derby starters in action Saturday were Accelerator, second in the Wood Memorial; Acceptable, second, and Stolen Gold, third, in the Blue Grass; and Phantom On Tour, second, and Pacificbounty, third, in the Arkansas Derby.

Also headed for the Derby are Free House, Silver Charm and Hello, the first three finishers in the Santa Anita Derby April 5, and Jim Beam winner Concerto, who will prep in the Federico Tessio next Saturday at Pimlico.

Captain Bodgit, sixth about five lengths off the pace after three-quarters of a mile, splashed through the slop in the stretch and won the Wood Memorial by two lengths over Accelerator, seventh after three-quarters. Pace-setting Smokin Mel finished third.

Captain Bodgit, owned by a 32-member syndicate and ridden by Alex Solis, carried 123 pounds over the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 2-5 and paid a winning mutuel of $5.50.

Pulpit stalked pacesetter Jules to the top of the stretch, then drew off for a 3 1/2-length victory over Acceptable in the Blue Grass for his fourth victory in five starts, all of them this year.

Pulpit, bred and owned by Claiborne Farm, carried 121 pounds over the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49 4-5 and paid $2.80.

Crypto Star, 10th, 11 1/2 lengths off the lead, charged past Phantom On Tour in the deep stretch for a half-length victory in the Arkansas Derby.

The winner, owned by Darrell Yates and Evelyn Ltd., was ridden by Pat Day over the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49 1-5 for a $7 payoff.

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