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Runnymede Racing’s Alwaysmining charged to the lead at the start and was never threatened en route to a two and a half-length score in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Futurity at Laurel Park on Saturday, Dec. 8, defeating stakes winners Our Braintrust and Scrap Copper, who finished second and third.

Guided by Daniel Centeno, the son of Stay Thirsty registered his first stakes victory in a sharp 1:21.91 for the seven furlongs. It was his second straight gate-to-wire win, following a 10-length romp in allowance company at Laurel on Oct. 27.

Alwaysmining launched his career in April at Keeneland while racing for James McIngvale, who purchased the dark bay colt for $130,000 at the previous fall’s Keeneland September yearling sale. In his fourth start, Alwaysmining easily won a maiden special weight at Laurel for McIngvale, then was sold privately to Runnymede Racing. In his three most recent starts, he has been sent out by Fair Hill-based trainer Kelly Rubley.

“I’ve been very happy with how he’s been training coming into this race. The last race was obviously quite impressive,” Rubley said. “I think the fun part about this horse is that he’s versatile. He’s won at a mile, he won at five and a half and now seven [furlongs], so the possibilities are endless. We’ll see how he comes back from this. We’re going to enjoy today.”

Alwaysmining is the first stakes winner bred in the name of longtime Maryland horsewoman Avla “Poppet” Pitts, who regularly foals out a couple of mares each year at her Hitchcock Plains Farm in Fallston. Her two broodmares currently in residence are Rey Lake, an 16-year-old daughter of Meadowlake, and Alwaysmining’s 15-year-old dam What Will Be.

Purchased privately by Pitts from breeders Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor late in her racing career at the end of the 2009 season, What Will Be retired with four wins in 33 starts and earnings of $128,529. The daughter of Anees has become a solid producer, delivering six consecutive foals, and four of her first five foals are winners. Pitts regularly sells each year’s babies as short yearlings at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages sale – Alwaysmining brought $32,000 when purchased by 3-D Bloodstock. The mare’s 2017 filly, a daughter of Jimmy Creed, sold for $37,000 this past January. The highest price of What Will Be’s short yearlings was Fletcher Is Golden, a son of Majestic Warrior sold for $57,000 in 2014. He went back through the ring later that year, selling for $110,000 at Ocala.

Pitts oversees the foalings, with the help of neighbor Vivian Rall. “I have fun with them as babies, and then they go down to Hunter Valley in Kentucky for sales prep the first part of December,” she said. What Will Be’s chestnut filly by Fast Anna is in Kentucky now. The mare was bred to Shackleford for 2019, and will likely go to Klimt this upcoming season. Both stallions stand at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington – What Will Be was booked to Klimt in 2018, “but the day she was ready to be bred he was booked, so that’s how we ended up with Shackleford,” said Pitts.

Read more about the running of the Maryland Juvenile Futurity here http://www.laurelpark.com/race-info/news/alwaysmining-strikes-gold-maryland-juvenile-futurity

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