Just two days after her superstar sire died at the age of 24, Three Chimneys Farm's Always Carina (Malibu Moon) followed up a highly-graded debut victory with a facile allowance/optional claiming romp at Belmont despite a troubled start, earning 'TDN Rising Star' honors.
Unveiled at a nickel below even-money over a muddy, sealed track Apr. 11 at Aqueduct, the homebred shook off some intense early pace pressure and splashed clear in the lane to a four-length success, earning a 94 Beyer. Returning with a quartet of local interim breezes, capped by an easy half-mile move in :49 3/5 (31/64) May 15, the dark bay was backed to 2-5 to stretch her speed out to a flat mile. Stumbling significantly, albeit forward, at the start, Always Carina led early while pressed by Jordan's Leo (Malibu Moon) through a :23.34 quarter with Malibu Curl (Curlin) close behind in third.
The latter rival made a quick three-wide bid for the front midway around the turn, but Jose Ortiz still rode the chalk with confidence passing the five-sixteenths pole. She proved that confidence well-founded once straightening for home, quickly skipping clear under her own power. It was only a matter of how far from there, and Always Carina glided past the post 9 3/4 lengths to the good of Stand by You (Munnings).
The winner has a juvenile Palace Malice half-sister and a yearling half-sister by Gun Runner. She is the second foal out of Miss Always Ready, a $400,000 Keeneland April purchase in 2014, following Structor (Palace Malice), GISW, $710,880. Miss Always Ready was bred back to Palace Malice once more last spring. Second dam Miss Seffens was a five-time stakes winner with a career-high 108 Beyer who ran fourth in the 2000 GI Kentucky Oaks.
7th-Belmont, $89,240, Alw (NW1$X)/Opt. Clm ($80,000), 5-20, 3yo, f, 1m, 1:36.38, ft, 9 3/4 lengths.
ALWAYS CARINA f, 3, by Malibu Moon
1st Dam: Miss Always Ready, by More Than Ready
2nd Dam: Miss Seffens, by Dehere
3rd Dam: Noise Enough, by Bold Ruckus
Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $94,600. Click for the Equibase.com chart, VIDEO, sponsored by TVG or free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
O/B-Three Chimneys Farm, LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.