Alwaysinahurry gives Dale Capuano hat trick

Trainer Dale Capuano has won more than 3,600 races in a career that’s seen him finish in the top 100 for wins nationally 15 times since 2000.

But he said Sunday he couldn’t remember ever accomplishing the feat he managed today at Laurel Park. Capuano sent out three horses Sunday, they ran in three consecutive races, and all three won.

Capuano won with Dolice Vita in the fifth, a $10,000 claimer, and then with Jackie A in the sixth, a Maryland-bred allowance, both wins coming by a nose. For good measure, he then saddled Alwaysinahurry to a popular win in the day’s feature, a $70,000 open allowance.

The win by Alwaysinahurry was his second straight and third in four outings. He won the Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial Stakes in his prior start.

“He’s been good for us,” Capuano said of a runner who now has six wins and almost $350,000 in the bank from 20 lifetime starts. “He should have won a couple more races this year. He’s had some races that he had a lot of trouble and some bad luck, but now, hopefully, he’s turning the corner.”

It was a salty crew the Great Notion gelding faced today. All six runners entered with at least $200,000 in earnings, topped by Parx shipper Yodel E. A. Who’s $429,000 bankroll.

That meant it would be a tough task for any runner, and it was made tougher for Alwaysinahurry when he ran into traffic trouble. It was a compact field that set sail, with all six runners within four lengths of leader Going to the Lead, who carved out fractions of 23.56 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.07 for the half.

Alwaysinahurry was along in time to win a $70,000 open allowance at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue.

Alwaysinahurry, ridden for the fourth straight outing by Angel Cruz, was part of a four-horse wall comprising the second flight of runners. But rounding the turn, he found himself in tight quarters, and Cruz had to steady back to last.

“I was not happy watching the race around the three-eighths pole,” Capuano recalled afterwards. “He had to drop back to last and go around, so it’s a good thing he was the best horse.”

He was that. Once Cruz got him clear, the four-year-old, owned by Maury Povich’s Mopo Racing, came running. He rallied stoutly on the outside to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Going to the Lead, who was just a nose ahead of Yodel E. A. Who. It was another 1 ¼ lengths back to fourth-place finisher Air Token.

Running time for the seven furlongs on a main track rated fast was 1:24.83.

Alwaysinahurry returned $4.40 as the post time favorite. The one-dollar exacta paid $20.00.

Alwaysinahurry has won two stakes in his career, having won the 2021 edition of the Concern at Laurel Park to go with last month’s Bender score. Capuano said a return to stakes company, in the one-mile Jennings for Maryland-breds at Laurel January 21, would most likely be next.

“We’re getting some good racing luck now, and seven-eighths is a good distance for him,” Capuano said. “That Maryland-bred stake going a mile should be right up his alley.”

NOTES Cruz struck again in the eighth race, winning a third-level allowance aboard Award Wanted for trainer John Robb. That gave Cruz three wins on the day… Carlos Lopez won twice, once for Capuano and also on Clubman for Jamie Ness. That was one of two wins on the day for Ness, who swept the early double… Award Wanted was the day’s biggest surprise, paying $31.60 to win, triggering a pick-four payout of $1,272.70…