Old Bay Looks to Spice Up Resume in $100K MM Lassie

October 10, 2023

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Runaway Point Farms’ Old Bay, second in each of her first four races by a total of three lengths, goes after a breakthrough performance on the big stage in Saturday’s $100,000 Maryland Million Lassie for 2-year-old fillies at Laurel Park.

Bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman, who have been part of a record 16 Maryland Million winners, Old Bay shares her name with the popular Baltimore-based seasoning. The Lassie will be her first race in Maryland after racing exclusively at Delaware Park for trainer Mark Shuman.

“She keeps trying,” Shuman said. “I did try the blinkers two starts ago because it felt like she wouldn’t go past the horses on the inside of her, but she got game as could be to the horses on the outside of her. I put the blinkers on, and she got beat by a horse to the outside that I don’t think she should have gotten beat by, so I pulled them back off and realized it’s just immaturity. Ultimately, I think she’ll get better going farther.”

Such was the case with Old Bay’s two older siblings, Market Maven and Bawlmer Hon, the latter a winner of the 2017 All Along on the Laurel turf. Both took seven tries to break their maiden and went on to become six-figure earners.

“That’s the reason we purchased her. They always ran good, ultimately better as they went farther,” Shuman said. “Old Bay was a later foal than the other two but definitely shows more sprinting ability than her siblings did. She just hasn’t gotten it done. Short of winning, she’s done nothing wrong.”

Old Bay was beaten 1 ½ lengths at odds of 14-1 in her Aug. 2 debut, returning 17 days later to fall 1 ¼ lengths short when stretched out to six furlongs. She has lost by a neck in each of her last two races, a 5 ½-furlong waiver maiden claimer Sept. 7 and six-furlong allowance Sept. 27 while facing winners on a muddy and sealed track.

“It is back a little quick, but she came back good, so we decided to look at it. If there were two or three in there that we thought were real standouts we would have possibly condsiered something different,” Shuman said. “She’s just had the bad luck of not being a winner. I felt like if we didn’t enter, we might have regretted skipping the race.

“Since the day we bought her, she’s just done nothing wrong, ever. She’s good-feeling at times in the stall and everything, but anything you ask her to do on the track, in the paddock, getting on a van, she’s pure class. She acts like a 10-year-old gelding. She just has a ton of class and I think she has a ton of ability and keeps getting better. I hope that Saturday is a day she can put it together.”

Old Bay is one of six maidens in the Lassie, along with Go Sherry Go, Irish Angel, Miss Harriet, Enemynumbernine and Maryland-bred also-eligible Mischievousness. Barak Farm homebred Enemynumbernine has also finished second in each of her two races, maiden special weights at Laurel and historic Pimlico Race Course, the latter Sept. 10.

Trainer John Robb, a three-time Lassie winner, will send out No Guts No Glory Farm’s Remember Me, a homebred daughter of Imagining, for her fifth start. She has never been off the board, graduating by 2 ¾ lengths July 22 at Laurel and finishing third by less than a length in the five-furlong Keswick at Colonial Downs. She finished second as the favorite to undefeated Just Great in an Aug. 31 allowance at Delaware last time out.

Boh’s N O’s, Lilly Lightning, Shine On Moon and Maryland-bred also-eligible Forest Fuel are coming off wins. Also entered are Kissedbyanangel, back on dirt after a failed turf attempt in the $150,000 Selima Sept. 30 at Laurel; Thistledown-based Lucky Cougar; Super Fabulous and Sheilahs Warcloud.

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