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Dunkelberger sees 7-win day as part of job

THE BALTIMORE SUN

One day after riding a record seven winners in a single day at Timonium, Travis Dunkelberger barely had time to savor the feat.

Yesterday, the 23-year-old jockey rode in eight races and won two more.

"It's hard to get excited about winning while you're riding," he said. "You have to take it race by race. You win a race. You put it behind you and go to the next race."

Earlier this year, Dunkelberger had an even better day. On March 30, he won one race at Pimlico in the afternoon and seven that night at Charles Town in West Virginia.

That made him one of at least seven jockeys with eight winners in a day. The North American record of nine wins in a single day was set by Chris Antley on Oct. 31, 1987, riding at two tracks.

Dunkelberger, a six-year veteran who competes routinely at Charles Town as well as in Maryland, is rapidly approaching 2,000 career victories.

But he said it was a thrill to win so many in one day.

"Just having all the horses fire for you, or having no flaws in any of the races, is a big day," he said.

Five of his winners Wednesday were trained by Dale Capuano, although the trainer of record was Phillip L. Capuano, his father. The younger Capuano is serving a 15-day suspension for running a horse on an illegal medication. The five wins in one day for one trainer broke another meet record.

"I don't know anybody better than [Travis] is, especially at a five-eighths mile track," said Dale Capuano, who watched the races from the grandstand. "He's got the most experience riding these small tracks."

The two races that Dunkelberger won yesterday expanded his meet-leading total to 17. Mark Rosenthal catapulted into second place in the standings with five victories yesterday, but is 10 behind Dunkelberger.

With only four days left in the meet, Dunkelberger seems likely to clinch a third riding title at Timonium. He tied for the lead with Rosenthal in 1997, won in 1998, but missed last year's meet because of a broken wrist.

NOTE: Fans will have the chance to enter the Cosequin $1 Million Challenge at Timonium today. All can enter, with contestants equal to the number of horses in the first race of the challenge selected to then pick winners in six races over two days.

Picking all six correctly is worth $1 million. A person with five winners can opt for $100,000 or going for the bigger pot.

Sun staff writer Kent Baker contributed to this article.

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