Laurel Park: Alwaysmining zips to maiden-breaking score
Alwaysmining cruised in a two-year-old maiden special weight at Laurel Park with Kevin Gomez up. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
by Frank Vespe
The fourth time was the charm for Alwaysmining.
Or maybe it was the switch to jockey Kevin Gomez.
Either way, it worked out for the two-year-old Stay Thirsty colt, as he broke his maiden with a flashy 4 1/2-length score over a fast main track at Laurel Park.
“I felt good about the horse,” a pleased — almost giddy — Gomez said after the race. It turned out to be one of four winners on the day for the rider.
Alwaysmining broke alertly, but Transom and Jevian Toledo were on a mission for the lead. That duo cleared to a length-and-change advantage after an opening quarter-mile in 23.13 seconds, while Gomez eased his mount back and outside his rival.
That, said Gomez, was the plan.
The connections “told me to get a good break, get him out of there. If someone else is faster, get him outside because he doesn’t like dirt in his face. That’s exactly what we did.”
Gomez and his mount bided their time before Alwaysmining bid while under a rating hold to take command entering the lane and then drew away to the easy win.
“He passed him like nothing,” Gomez said. “I started asking him, and then I saw no one was coming.”
Running time for the 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast main track was 1:04.56 — nearly three seconds faster than maiden two-year-old fillies managed it three races prior.
It was the first win for Alwaysmining in his fourth career start. He previously had run third once and fourth twice against maidens, the first at Keeneland and the latter two at Churchill Downs. He was bred in Maryland by Avia Pitts and is trained by Laura Wohlers for James McIngvale.
Alwaysmining paid $8.20 to win as the second choice in the field of seven and topped an exacta with the favorite, Absolved, that paid $10.20 for a dollar.
It was the second of what became four wins for Gomez on the day. He also scored with Tiz Emily and Jill in the second, Lily Rae in the sixth, and Clever Triad in the tenth. Jevian Toledo also had a good day, winning three.