Owned by Tucci Stables and trained by Sid Attard, Just Rushing, who finished second in last year's event, resisted a late challenge from a hard-closing Wollemi Pine to notch the victory in the key Woodbine Mile (September 7) prep.
McAleney had the dark bay in full flight down the long stretch, fending off all comers, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Wollemi Pine. Off Duty, under Larry Melancon, was third, another half-length back.
Tam Lin, who recently finished second to Kip Deville, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Mile, was ninth in the 11-horse field as the 8-5 favourite.
The final time was 1:19.77, a shade off the track record of 1:19.38 set by Soaring Free in 2004.
"Sid gave me all the confidence in the world," said McAleney. "He said, 'Don't be afraid to use this horse. He's ready and he's good.' The way he ran the last two times, I thought if he could get the lead he could show the class he's got. He did."
Just Rushing celebrated his first win since a victory in last year's Vigil Stakes. In 2007, he finished second in three stakes and third on three occasions, also in added-money events, from eight starts.
"This horse gives you all he's got," praised Attard. "He was ready for today. We breezed him an easy half mile. He went in :46 and 2/5ths. I don't work horses like that. This time, I said to the exercise boy, 'If he wants to do it, let him do it.' He came back out of the work kicking and bucking."
Throughout his career, the lifetime winner of 13 races from 28 starts has hooked some tough competition.
In his first start of this year, he was third, beaten two lengths by Mulmur, who finished fourth in the Play The King. Prior to Saturday's race, Just Rushing lost by a nose to Wollemi Pine in a 6 ½ furlong grass race on August 1.
As for contesting the Woodbine Mile, Attard isn't going to rush into a decision.
"It's going to be tougher. We have to play it by ear and see how he comes back. He likes to have more time between races because he always gives you 110 per cent. We'll see."
Just Rushing paid $19.70, $8.90 and $5.70, combining with Wollemi Pine ($7, $4.10) for an $89.70 exactor. Off Duty ($5.10) rounded out an $801.30 triactor.
'Bird' is the word in Silver Deputy
TORONTO, August 23 * Mine That Bird made his first added-money event a winning one, taking the $100,000 Silver Deputy Stakes, Saturday at Woodbine.
Sent postward at 10-1, Mine That Bird, under Chantal Sutherland, stalked early fractions of :23.17 for the quarter and :46.46 at the half, before Sutherland called on the Kentucky-bred for his best run.
The bay colt collared even-money favourite Dryden, who finished second in the Colin Stakes on July 19, and second choice, Oconee, in mid-stretch and blew by his rivals to win by two lengths.
Mine That Bird covered the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.49 on the Polytrack.
"Dave (trainer Cotey) had me work him," said Sutherland. "I really liked him in the work. He's jockey-friendly in that he can go and stop. Today, I knew what I had underneath me, if I was able to let the speed go and get outside. He was very athletic. He's a nice little horse."
"There were about four horses in the race that all won off the front," said Cotey, who co-owns Mine That Bird with Derek Ball and HGHR Inc. "Our plan was to sit back and let them go. He came home quicker than anyone in his last race. We've been wanting a little more distance. That's what he's bred for. I thought if we sat behind there and they wore themselves out a little bit, we could take a big run and get a piece."
It was the second consecutive win for the son of Birdstone, who broke his maiden in his second start on August 4, a 1 ¾ length victory at six furlongs.
He finished fifth in his career bow, on July 20, 9 ¼ lengths behind Oconee in the six furlong race on the 'Poly.'
Mine That Bird paid $22.60, $8.10 and $2.90, combining with Oconee ($4, $2.40) for a $64.30 exactor. Dryden ($2.10) rounded out a $129.20 triactor.