After Preakness, Alwaysmining to 'regroup' in lower level races

May 22, 2019 09:43am
After Preakness, Alwaysmining to 'regroup' in lower level races
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club

Joe Cassidy, racing manager for Runnymede Racing, likened Alwaysmining entering the Preakness Stakes to the NCAA tournament’s mid-major that the traditional powers hoped to avoid.

Last Saturday, “We found out he’s still a very nice horse, but at what level, he’s going to tell us where he wants to play,” Cassidy said after the gelded son of Stay Thirsty ranged up three-wide near the lead at Pimlico Race Course but faded to finish 11th.

Moving forward, is he a Grade 1 or a Grade 3 horse?

“That’s exactly how we’re looking at it,” Cassidy said. “We knew it was a big jump in class, and he only got beat 13 lengths. It wasn’t devastating, but it was disappointing.”

Alwaysmining entered the Preakness on a six-race winning streak dating back to October, with each of those starts for trainer Kelly Rubley at Laurel Park. Along the way, he defeated Preakness rival Win Win Win along with Gray Magician, who ran in the Kentucky Derby, plus answered questions by stretching out to nine furlongs and rating off the pace in a victory.

Cassidy spoke in the days following the Preakness with Rubley, who reported that Alwaysmining was “alert and bright,” with no clear reason for why his rally halted.

“When he made his move I was kind of like, ‘Here we go,’” Cassidy said. “But that was a hot race. None of those horses gave up. You get to the top of the stretch and watch that many gear changes — it was impressive. What a race to be part of.”

From here, connections could head to the midwest, where there’s plenty of money to be made in races such as the Ohio Derby (G3) and Indiana Derby (G3).

“I’m going to regroup and say let’s get him to some of those races — find out where he belongs and have some fun with him,” Cassidy said. “What a nice horse. Not many win six in a row and do what he was doing. He’s already taken us for the ride of our lives.”


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