Runnymede Racing's multiple stakes winner Alwaysmining, who had his six-race win streak snapped in the 144th Preakness (G1) May 18, emerged from the race in good order and returned to the track this week, trainer Kelly Rubley said.
Alwaysmining had his first gallop Thursday at Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., five days after finishing 11th in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness, where he went off as the fourth choice of 13 sophomores at odds of 6-1.
“He came out really well,” Rubley said. “He's back galloping, and we're happy with what we see so far.”
Alwaysmining had won five consecutive stakes, earning an automatic berth in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown for his 11 ½-length triumph in the Aug. 20 Federico Tesio at Laurel Park. He raced in contention into the turn and was third on the far outside, just two lengths behind front-running eventual winner War of Will, before fading under regular rider Daniel Centeno.
“I think the winner was much the best,” Rubley said. “But I thought he ran really well up to the mile and that's kind of when he started to dwindle off a little bit. He was right there at the top of the stretch, and we were thrilled. Now, we just regroup and start thinking about the next spot.”
Alwaysmining has won at distances from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, and Rubley said the gelded Maryland-bred son of Grade 1 winner Stay Thirsty will likely make his return at a distance somewhere in between.
“We have a lot of options. We've nominated to a lot of places,” she said. “I think we're going to shorten him up a little bit.”
Among the upcoming races for 3-year-olds are the Woody Stephens (G1) June 8 at Belmont Park and $75,000 Carry Back June 29 at Gulfstream Park, both at seven furlongs; the Matt Winn (G3) June 15 at Churchill Downs, Affirmed (G3) June 16 at Santa Anita and $150,000 Easy Goer June 8 at Belmont, all at 1 1/16 miles; and the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3) June 22 at Thistledown.
Locally, Laurel Park will host the $75,000 Concern Stakes at seven furlongs July 14 and $75,000 Star de Naskra at six furlongs Aug. 17, the latter for Maryland-bred/sired horses.
Rubley said Alwaysmining took the crowd and pageantry of Preakness day in stride.
“Perfect. That was not a concern with him, and I didn't think it would be,” she said. “I was glad to see he handled it very well.”
Alwaysmining was attempting to become the first Maryland-bred to win the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983, and make Rubley the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race.
The Preakness was the Triple Crown race debut for Rubley, Centeno and Runnymede's Greg and Caroline Bentley.
“I think they had a great time,” Rubley said. “It was a great experience for everyone.”
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