by Laurel Park Press Release
March 17, 2019
LAUREL, MD – For a horse that never been two turns before, Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining made it look easy in extending his win streak to five races, the last four in stakes, with a front-running 6 ¾-length romp in Saturday’s $100,000 Private Terms at Laurel Park.
The 30th running of the Private Terms for 3-year-olds at about 1 1/16 miles was the third of five stakes worth $450,000 in purses on an 11-race St. Patrick’s Day eve program. It serves as a prep for the $125,000 Federico Tesio April 20, a ‘Win and In’ event for Triple Crown-nominated horses like Alwaysmining to the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course.
“That’s what we were hoping we’d see,” winning trainer Kelly Rubley said, after Alwaysmining ($3) coasted to the wire in 1:42.65 over a fast main track under a hand ride from regular pilot Daniel Centeno. “He looks like he’s galloping, just relaxed. He’s a very classy horse.”
Alwaysmining is a gelded son of Stay Thirsty, winner of the 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1) as a 3-year-old in 2011. He won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Heft Stakes, both at seven furlongs, to cap his 2-year-old season, and opened 2019 with a victory in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 16.
Breaking from Post 3 as the 1-2 favorite in a field of seven, Alwaysmining found himself on the lead with stakes-placed Joevia settling into second and Miracle Wood third-place finisher Tybalt in third through a quarter-mile in 24.38 seconds, opening up by four lengths after a half in 48.44.
Joevia closed the gap to two lengths after six furlongs went in 1:12.66, but was unable to keep up as Alwaysmining gained separation once straightened for home and steadily pulled clear of his rivals, running one mile in a modest 1:36.46.
“The plan was like always, to try to break sharp and go to the lead,” Centeno said. “I know [Joevia] was the other speed in the race so I was looking to see what he’d do. When we went to the first turn, I looked and he took back a little bit, and my horse was going easy on the lead all the way.”
The only anxious moment came and went early for Rubley, who got the horse last summer after he won one of his first five starts. Following a seventh-place effort over yielding turf in the Laurel Futurity in September, Alwaysmining has won by a combined 25 lengths during his streak.
“My biggest concern was it’s really a short jump to the first turn here when we go a mile and a sixteenth and if we didn’t clear it, I wasn’t sure how our trip would play out. Obviously, he had no problem jumping out on top,” Rubley said. “I was extremely impressed with this race. Danny said he never even had to use the stick on him, which I think is phenomenal. He’s just doing it for fun.”
Joevia stayed up to be a clear second, three lengths ahead Tybalt. They were followed by Dixie Drawl, Still Dreaming, Alwasymining’s stablemate Red Gum and Makes Mo Cents.
Rubley, who nominated Alwaysmining to Saturday’s Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park and Sunday’s Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park, opted to keep him at home for his first two-turn test. The 1 1/8-mile Tesio also comes over a Laurel main track where Alwaysmining owns six wins from seven starts, including his maiden triumph last summer.
“We’ll see,” Rubley said. “Every time we win we get more excited, of course.”