OZONE PARK, NY – Making his graded stakes debut and second career start while facing open company for the first time, Alpha Delta Stables’ Long Haul Bay drew away impressively from a field of six to capture the Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Leaving from post 4 as the 7-5 second choice with Manny Franco aboard, Long Haul Bay broke comfortably and settled in fifth position as Even Thunder quickly broke from the gate to set fractions of 23.09 and 46.78, with Caledonian and even-money favorite Theory in close position.
At the 3/8 pole, Theory made a move toward the leader as Long Haul Bay surged from the three-path. When the field reached the 1/4-pole, Long Haul Bay passed Theory to engage Even Thunder. Charging away at the top of the stretch, Long Haul Bay put away his rivals to secure the victory by 3 1/4 lengths to complete the seven-furlong distance in 1:24.14.
“He’s improved so much; I like him a lot,” said Franco. “When I rode him the first time, I knew he could run. He showed that today. He broke sharp, but when I saw there were three horses going, I decided to take him back and wait a little. When I saw the chance to make a move, I made it.”
The victory boosted the son of Quality Road’s career earnings to $183,000 for the winning connections.
“Mid-stretch, it looked pretty good,” said Whit Beckman, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown. “I was pretty confident how he was going to finish. Both [Long Haul Bay and stablemate Cloud Computing in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial] were originally in Florida, and Chad sent them up knowing they’d be good horses for New York. Once we got them up, these two separated themselves early as top-quality type horses. It’s just been maintaining them. We know the talent is there and they’ve done the rest themselves.”
Following Even Thunder in second were You’re to Blame, Theory, Miggsy, and Caledonian.
Long Haul Bay returned $4.80, $3.90, and $3. Even Thunder brought back $9.20 and $5.40, while You’re to Blame paid $4.20 to show.