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Capestro follows win with third place for 104.5:1 horse

On July 27, San Luis Rey Training Center colt Dominant Soul gave trainer Paula Capestro her first Del Mar Thoroughbred Club victory since 2015. Capestro saddled a 104.5:1 long shot Aug. 16 at Del Mar, and Severin finished third only three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

The win was in the eighth career race for Dominant Soul, who had 12:1 odds that day. The 3-year-old, who is owned as well as trained by Capestro, finished fourth in his previous race June 6 at Santa Anita Park. A third-place result March 8 at Santa Anita was his best finish before the July 27 race. He finished sixth in his first-ever start Nov. 9, 2019, at Del Mar.

In seven of Dominant Soul's eight races, Tiago Pereira has been his jockey, so Capestro didn't need to provide significant instruction about the horse before the July 27 race. "I just sort of leave it to him because he knows the horse's speed," Capestro said.

"In that particular race, the horse was real aggressive and we got to the lead without too much trouble," Capestro said. "He just never quit, just poured it on. That was a good race."

Dominant Soul broke first among the 11 horses in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward who had not previously won a race. He required 22.48 seconds to cover the first quarter of a mile and at that point he led second-place Power Source, a San Luis Rey colt trained by Richard Baltas, by a head.

Half a mile into the race Dominant Soul expanded his lead over Power Source to two lengths, and 48.58 seconds had elapsed since the start of the race. The lead had expanded to 2 1/2 lengths when Dominant Soul reached three-quarters of a mile from the starting gate 1:10.62 into the race.

Power Source fell back to fourth by the time the horses entered the stretch. Dominant Soul reached that point 1:35.25 after the starting gate was opened, and he was 1 1/2 lengths in front of second-place Comradery.

No Slo Mo passed Comradery in the stretch and finished second, a length behind Dominant Soul and 1 1/2 lengths in front of Comradery. Power Source finished seventh, 8 1/4 lengths behind Dominant Soul.

Dominant Soul had a winning time of 1:41.45.

"That was a real thrill. I think that's a good horse. He's developing a little bit every race," Capestro said.

Capestro's previous victory at Del Mar was July 24, 2015, when Blondy's Reward won a 6 1/2-furlong dirt race. Capestro's previous first-place finish on Del Mar's turf course was Aug. 16, 2009, when Malibu Win was victorious in a one-mile race.

The previous victory for Capestro in a 1 1/16-mile turf race was Aug. 1, 2007. That race was the first win for Forest Melody, who won two more races at other tracks before becoming a brood mare. Forest Melody carried Dominant Soul after Capestro's most recent Del Mar winner was sired by Dominus. Capestro was the breeder of Dominant Soul, who was foaled in Kentucky April 7, 2017.

The total purse for the fourth race July 27 was $50,000, and first place paid $30,000. Dominant Soul increased his career earnings to $51,051. The win was the first for Capestro at any track in 2020 and the 240th of her career.

Martin Meza is Capestro's assistant trainer. "He's been working with me for about 20 years," Capestro said.

Meza lives in Fallbrook. He and his brother, Trinidad, own Severin. "He deserves all the credit," Capestro said of Severin's third-place finish.

Trinidad Meza was the breeder for Severin, who was foaled in California Feb. 15, 2015. Severin was sired by Royal Legacy out of Avenue of Flags.

Del Mar has now given Severin his three highest finishes. He finished second in a July 2019 race, although he trailed the winner by 1 1/4 lengths. The disqualification of the first horse across the finish line in an August 2019 race moved Severin from fifth place to fourth.

The Aug. 16 race was the 16th career start for Severin but his first on a turf course. "The turf races are sort of strategic and you never quite know," Capestro said.

The starter allowance race was five furlongs and had nine horses. Severin was ridden by Eswan Flores. "He did a great job," Capestro said.

Severin and Flores broke eighth. Factorial had the initial lead, and Severin was seventh both after 3/16 of a mile and at 3/8 of a mile. San Luis Rey gelding Brix, who is trained by Baltas, was fourth and 3 1/2 lengths behind Factorial both at 3/16 of a mile and after 3/8 of a mile.

Flores took Severin to the inside. "It was lucky that the rail opened up for us," Capestro said.

Mantaray Island held the lead as the horses entered the stretch. Brix was third, trailing Mantaray Island by two lengths. Severin and Flores entered the stretch in fifth place, 3 1/4 lengths behind Mantaray Island.

Brix passed Factorial in the stretch and won the race in 57.39 seconds. Factorial finished a neck behind Brix. Severin crossed the finish line half a length behind Factorial.

"Another jump or two he would have won," Capestro said. "We were right there."

Although the base purse was $34,000, California-bred incentives brought the total value of the race to $40,080 and third place was worth $4,080 to Severin's team as well as $23.00 to any bettor who wagered $2.00 on Severin to show. Brix was foaled in California March 23, 2016, and first place was worth $24,480.

The third-place finish occurred the day after Paula and Andy Capestro celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. "That was great," Capestro said.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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