LAUREL, Md.--Four MATCH races were featured at Laurel on April 20 as races five through eight, and N.J.-bred Irish Strait and Md.-bred Alwaysmining won stakes on the same card.
Runnymede Racing LLC's Alwaysmining won the $125,000 Federico Tesio Stakes for 3 year olds at 1 1/8 miles to win his sixth straight victory, five of them in stakes.
By Stay Thirsty out of What Will Be, by Anees, Alwaysmining was bred in Maryland by Avla Pitts.
He is trained by Kelly Rubley at Fair Hill and was ridden by Daniel Centeno, and he won in commanding fashion.
He was rated back of the leaders, went to the lead after 6 furlongs and drew off to win by 11 1/2 lengths under a hand ride.
Joe Cassidy, racing manager for Greg and Caroline Bentley's Runnymede Racing, suggested they buy Alwaysmining after he won a maiden special weight at Laurel on June 30, 2018.
The Bentleys had been running mainly turf horses, and they wanted to get a horse to run on the dirt, and this one turned out better than they had ever dreamed.
STARTING ON Oct. 27, 2018 with an allowance race at Laurel, Alwaysmining has now run off six straight wins, the last five in stakes, the Maryland Juvenile Futuritty and the Heft Stakes at 7 furlongs last year and the Miracle Wood Stakes at 1 mile, the Private Terms Stakes at 1 1/16 miles and the Frederico Tesio at 1 1/8 miles this year. always as a front runner..
Alwaysmining is nominated to the Kentucky Derby but his connections have opted not to run him there.
As he is a gelding, they have opted for a conservative route to keep him racing fit for a longer time.
IRISH STRAIT, an Isabelle de Tomaso 7-year-old homebred by English Channel out of Irish Sovereign, by Polish Numbers, won the $100,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes by a neck.
This has been a wonderful family for de Tomaso.
Irish Strait is out of Irish Sovereign, sho is the dam of Irish Score, who is the dam of Regally Irish, who won the $100,000 Bridgetown, a six-furlong turf sprint for 3 year olds at Aqueduct Racetrack on April 14.
Regally Irish, by Regal Ransom out of Irish Score, by Even the Score, and Irish Score is out of Irish Sovereign, the dam of Irish War Cry, so his dam is the half sister of Irish War Cry. on April 14
De Tomaso previously campaigned Irish War Cry, a multiple graded stakes winner whose wins included the G1 Pennsylvania Derby, the G2 Pimlico Special and the G2 Wood Memorial as well as finishing second in the G1 Belmont Stakes.
The first of the MATCH series, the $100,000 Frank Whitley Jr. Stakes for 5 year old and up at 6 furlongs, was won by Laki, owned vy Hillside Equestrian Meadows, trained by Damon Dilodovico and ridden by Horacio Karamanos.
The $100,000 King T. Leatherbury Stakes for 3 year olds and up at 5 1/2 furlongs, wwas won by Dirty, owned by Tom O'Grady, trained by Jeremiah Englehart nd ridden by Jorge Vargss, Jr.
The $100,000 Primonetta Stkes for fillies and mares 3 year olds and up at 6 furlongs, was won by Ms Locust Point, owned by Jim Reichenberg and Cash is King LLC, trained by John Servis and ridden by Vargas
Ms Locust Point won by a nose ove Cairenn, trained out of Fair Hill by Graham Motion, who came back to win the fourth MATCH race of the day.
Motion saddled Secret Message, owned by Madaket Stables, LLC, ERJ Racing LLC, Elayne Stable 5 LLC and Bouchey Thoroughbred Ventures LLC and ridden by Trevor McCarthy, to win the $100,000 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares 3 year olds and up at 1 mile on the turf.
The MATCH Series offers up to $375,000 in bonuses for the top three owners and trainers in each division, as well as owner and trainer bonuses for the overall champion by points among all divisions.
Points in each series stakes are awarded as follows: 10 for first, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth, two for fifth, and one for sixth through last.
In addition, $40,000 in bonus money is available to the top Maryland-bred, New Jersey-bred, Pennsylvania-bred and Delaware Certified runners in the series.
The Match series continues June 1 at Penn National, July 13 at Delaware Park. Sept. 2 at Parx and Sept. 28 at Monmouth Park.