Connections Still Considering Return Spot for Alwaysmining

Connections Still Considering Return Spot for Alwaysmining

Eastern Bay Flirts with Track Record in Sunday Feature Win
Live Racing Returns Friday, June 7 with 10-Race Program

LAUREL, MD – Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining exited his first work since the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 in good order, as his connections continue to examine their options for the multiple stakes winner’s next start.

Trainer Kelly Rubley, who won Sunday’s fifth race at Laurel Park with Gunpowder Farms’ homebred Boundary Pass ($4.60), said she was pleased with Alwaysmining’s return to the work tab after having his six-race win streak snapped when 11th in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

“It was a nice, solid work,” Rubley said of Alwaysmining’s half-mile breeze in 48.60 seconds Saturday over the all-weather surface at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., fifth-fastest of 35 horses. “He started off nice and easy in 12 and change and finished up in 11 and change – exactly what I was looking for.”

Alwaysmining had won five consecutive stakes and was three-for-three this year after his 11 ½-length romp in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes April 20 at Laurel, which earned him an automatic berth in the Preakness. In that race, he was third in a threatening position approaching the stretch before dropping back.

“It’s a relief, I’ll tell you,” Rubley said of the work. “He galloped out really well. We were very happy.”

Rubley indicated that she may cut Alwaysmining back for his return to racing. He is nominated to the $150,000 Easy Goer June 8 at Belmont Park, contested at 1 1/16 miles, as is the Matt Winn (G3) June 15 at Churchill Downs.

Other upcoming spots for 3-year-olds include the 1 1/16-mile Affirmed (G3) June 16 at Santa Anita and the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3) June 22 at Thistledown.

“We still have some thoughts in our head. We haven’t put anything down yet as definite at this point,” Rubley said. “He’s happy. I’m going to work him again next week and we’ll go from there, but everything’s good so far.”

Boundary Pass’ victory came in 1:40.22 over a firm Dahlia turf course, eclipsing the previous track record of 1:40.26 set by Seeking the Sunset April 22.

Eastern Bay Flirts with Track Record in Sunday Feature Win

Mopo Racing’s Eastern Bay, given clear run on the far outside, rallied from far back with an eye-catching run through the stretch to catch favored Oldies But Goodies and win Sunday’s featured sixth race by a neck in near-record time.

With seven-pound apprentice Avery Whisman aboard for trainer Dale Capuano, Eastern Bay ($10.20) ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:00.79 over a firm All Along turf course layout in the $47,000 third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up.

The All Along course record for 5 ½ furlongs in 1:00.53 set by Night Officer Sept. 12, 2012.

It was the second race for Eastern Bay since being claimed for $35,000 out of a third-place finish April 7 at Laurel. In the first start for his new connections he was a troubled ninth, beaten five lengths, in the 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury Stakes April 20, won by Dirty in then-Dahlia turf course record time of 1:00.65.

“He ran well. We thought he’d like the grass,” Capuano said. “When we ran him in the stake he got in all kinds of trouble and really was the only one that closed that day. He was 18 [lengths] back and got beat five lengths. They went in a minute, so he ran well. I just thought we needed a trip. He was a little wider than I wanted him to be but he was running fast, so it worked out.”

Oldies But Goodies, sent off at 7-5 following a fourth-place finish in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint May 17 at Pimlico in his seasonal debut, led through fractions of 21.28 and 43.38 seconds and opened up a 3 ½-length lead into the stretch as Eastern Bay settled fifth in the field of seven. A half-brother to John Jones, a stakes winner on both turf and dirt, Eastern Bay quickly made up ground down the center of the track and surged near the wire for his first win in three tries on the grass.

“I shook for him. I wasn’t the only one in,” Capuano said of his claim. “I just thought he ran once on the grass and ran well when his form wasn’t as good as it is now, so I thought he’d be worth a shot,” Capuano said. “And, if doesn’t [take to turf] then he runs on dirt. He loves an off track in case it rains, so we’ve got everything covered.”

Oldies But Goodies was a clear second, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Fielder in third.

Whisman also won Sunday’s first race with Dear Charlotte ($5.40) for Capuano.

“He’s three-for-three for me, so I like that,” Capuano said. “He’s nice, polite, listens, rides well. I have no complaints at this point, that’s for sure.”

Notes: Hillwood Stable’s Gnarly Mo ($2.80), a 3-year-old Maryland-bred son of champion Uncle Mo making his second career start for trainer Rodney Jenkins, dueled for the lead before pulling away to a comfortable five-length win in Sunday’s Race 7 under Victor Carrasco. The winning time was 1:36.08 over a fast main track in the $40,000 maiden special weight for 3-year-olds and up.

Live racing returns Friday, June 7 with a 10-race program featuring a carryover jackpot of $3,466.48 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (Races 5-10). Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday returned $131.96.