Alpha Delta Stables' homebred Long Haul Bay laid several lengths off the pace in Saturday's G3 Bay Shore, but closed with a steady run around the far turn and pulled away late to win by about 3 1/2 lengths under Manny Franco. The sophomore son of Quality Road, trained by Chad Brown, covered seven furlongs on Aqueduct's fast main track 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 start of the race was fairly even, and early on the field of 3-year-olds stretched four-wide across the chute before joining up with the main track. Franco made the clever decision to pull Long Haul Bay out of the pace struggle, taking back to fifth position while in the clear on the outside. That left Even Thunder to pull out to a 3/4-length lead over Caledonian and Theory, with Miggsy sneaking up the rail to gain fourth. Through fractions of :23.09 and :46.78 the order remained largely unchanged, but as the field began to approach the turn for home Long Haul Bay and Franco angled out wide to make their run at the leaders.
Caledonian dropped back, and Theory was in perfection position alongside the leading Even Thunder. Long Haul Bay was only three-wide around the far turn, and at the top of the lane he was already eating into Even Thunder's lead. Theory faltered at the head of the lane, but Even Thunder kept on trying even after he was passed by Long Haul Bay. Long Haul Bay crossed the wire about 3 1/2 lengths in front of Even Thunder in second, and You're to Blame closed on well to be third. Theory faded to fourth.
Bred in New York by the owner, Long Haul Bay is out of the French Deputy mare French Satin. He didn't make his career debut until February of 2017, but won easily at first asking over the inner track. The Bay Shore is his first graded stakes win, and improves the colt's record to two wins from two starts for earnings of over $180,000.
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