04/08/2017 3:47PM

Long Haul Bay's win in Bay Shore shows off Brown's bench strength

Barbara D. Livingston
Long Haul Bay returned $4.80 as the 7-5 second choice in winning the Bay Shore Stakes on Saturday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - When Favorable Outcome was injured a few weeks ago, trainer Chad Brown went to his bench to find a representative for Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct.

Brown actually summoned two from the bench, and it was the New York-bred debut winner Long Haul Bay who proved the most suitable substitute, rallying from off the pace under Manny Franco to win the Bay Shore by 3 1/4 lengths over Even Thunder. It was a neck back to You’re to Blame, Brown’s other runner. Theory, the 3-5 favorite making his seasonal debut for trainer Todd Pletcher, finished fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths. Miggsy and Caledonian completed the order of finish.

Favorable Outcome, who won the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream in his seasonal debut, was targeting the Bay Shore until he was diagnosed with a knee chip that required surgery.

“When Favorable Outcome got hurt, it opened the race up for everyone else, including my other horses, because I think a lot of Favorable Outcome,” Brown said by phone from Keeneland. “I handicapped it out as not being so much to ask. I thought there were enough question marks about the horses in the field that it would not be so tall an order to jump into a stakes with that horse based on his first figure.”

Long Haul Bay rallied from fourth to win by a nose his debut Feb. 18, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

Long Haul Bay was fifth of six early Saturday, but only about two lengths off the pace. Even Thunder, a 15-1 shot under Rajiv Maragh, set the pace chased by Caledonian with Theory three wide. When John Velazquez began to ask Theory to move, Franco followed with Long Haul Bay.

Turning for home, Long Haul Bay went by Theory, then went past Even Thunder at the eighth pole en route to the victory.

“He broke sharp; when I saw there were three horses going, I decided to take him back and wait a little,” Franco said. “When I saw the chance to make a move, I made it.”

Long Haul Bay, a son of Quality Road owned and bred by John Clay’s Alpha Delta Stables, covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.14 and returned $4.80 as the 7-5 second choice.

For Brown, it was his third victory in the last four runnings of the Bay Shore. He won it in 2015 with March and in 2014 with Coup de Grace.

“This horse was able to step up and show his ability, I’m very proud of this horse,” said Brown, who credited Clay for being patient after Long Haul Bay developed some physical issues at 2.

Theory, winner of the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont last year, came up empty in his first start since finishing 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November.

“He didn’t show up today,” Velazquez said. “Perfect position, no fire, very disappointed.”