Digest (Dec. 29): Alwaysmining turns in hefty performance at Laurel Park

Runnymede Racing's Alwaysmining, three weeks removed from his first career stakes win, overcame an inside post and a game favorite to his inside to register a gutsy 1½-length victory in Saturday's $100,000 Heft Stakes. The Heft for 2-year-olds and the $100,000 Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies, both at seven furlongs, were among six stakes worth $550,000 in purses on a 10-race Christmastide Day program. With jockey Daniel Centeno in from Florida to ride for trainer Kelly Rubley, Alwaysmining ($7.20) completed the distance in 1:22.60 over a main track rated good. Win Win Win, unbeaten in two previous starts and sent off as the even-money favorite, was second, six lengths ahead of Clench in third. ... Madaket Stables and Heider Family Stables' Please Flatter Me kept her perfect record intact by setting the pace and pulling away from her rivals for a commanding 5 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Gin Talking. It was the second straight stakes win and third overall victory for Please Flatter Me ($5.40), favored at 8-5 in a field of 10 2-year-old fillies. She gave jockey Alex Cintron his second straight stakes win following Cordmaker in the $75,000 Jennings, hitting the wire in 1:23.81. ... Rising Sun Racing Stables' Colonel Sharp earned a trip back to graded-stakes company by putting away one multiple stakes winner in favored Laki and holding off another in Ohio shipper Altissimo to register a head victory in the $100,000 Dave's Friend at Laurel Park . "She just showed what kind of horse she is," Cintron said. "It was a pleasure to ride her. I didn't have much to worry about. She just opened up turning for home and ran away from those horses. She kind of made me nervous a little bit because she did it so easy, it didn't feel like she was running that fast." Based at Pimlico Race Course with trainer Mark Reid, Pennsylvania-bred Please Flatter Me broke her maiden going five furlongs Oct. 13 and won the six-furlong Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes Nov. 21, both at Penn National. In her Laurel debut, the daughter of Munnings was tracked by Ujjayi through a quarter-mile in 22.81 seconds, a half in 46.42 and six furlongs in 1:11.35 before finding another gear once straightened for home. Ujjayi stayed up for second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of Our Super Freak. "The only thing I was concerned about was the racetrack. We took a lot of mud," Reid said. "She normally doesn't work or do anything in it, so there's always that question, but I knew she has tremendous ability and just attacks everything so I wasn't that worried. She won today going seven-eighths; I think we're going to just keep stretching her and see what happens."

College BASKETBALL

City grad Davis' eightassists help Salisbury men

Senior Blair Davis (City) had a career high eight assists as No. 22 Salisbury showed no signs of having played just once in the past 20 days, getting back on the court on Saturday afternoon at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tournament. The Sea Gulls earned an 82-63 victory against the host Springfield. ... Stevenson (9-3) whittled a 15-point deficit down to four late, but the Mustangs fell, 100-92, to Manhattanville in the championship game of Lehman's Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament on Saturday night. Mark Terrell finished 9-14 from the floor and led four Mustangs in double figures with 23 points. Montaque Wright totaled 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals in the loss. ... Johnson & Wales used an 11-0 run to break a 55-all deadlock with 5:04 to play in the second half to top McDaniel 70-61 in the opening round of the Al Senavitis Memorial Tournament . ...

Women: Johns Hopkins defeated FDU-Florham, 69-62, as Lillian Scott scored 23 points and Lexie Scholtz added 20 points in the Blue Jays' victory. ... Hood committed only two turnovers, the fewest in Division III this season and tied for the fewest in any division, in a 70-58 win over Susquehanna at the Susan Dunagan Holiday Classic.

From Sun staff and news services

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