Alwaysmining nominated for return in Dickie Small Stks.
Alwaysmining. Photo by Dottie Miller.
Five-time stakes winner Alwaysmining, unraced since mid-July, undefeated stablemate Arrifana and nearly a dozen graded-stakes winners are among 102 nominations made to four stakes worth $400,000 in purses Saturday, Nov. 30 at Laurel Park.
Kelly Rubley-trained Alwaysmining reeled off five consecutive wins, all in Laurel stakes, over the winter and spring capped by the Federico Tesio, earning him an automatic berth to the Preakness Stakes (G1), where he chased the pace before tiring to 11th. Since then, he was placed third in the Easy Goer and ran ninth in the Indiana Derby (G3) July 13, his most recent start.
Maryland-bred Alwaysmining, who has yet to face older horses, tops 27 horses nominated to the $100,000 Richard W. Small for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles. The sophomore son of Stay Thirsty has been working steadily at the Fair Hill Training Center for his return, including a bullet five furlongs in 1:01 Thursday over the all-weather surface.
Also nominated to the Small are Alwaysmining’s Iowa Derby-winning stablemate Top Line Growth; graded-stakes winners Adventist, Blended Citizen, Golden Brown, Isotherm, Monongahela, Name Changer and Sunny Ridge; local multiple stakes winners Bonus Points, Clubman and O Dionysus; 2019 Maryland Million Classic hero Forest Fire, a winner of three straight; and six-time graded-stakes placed True Timber.
Rubley also trains Arrifana, an undefeated 3-year-old daughter of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin who is prominent among 19 horses nominated to the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go at about 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 3 and up. Three of Arrifana’s four wins have come at Laurel, most recently a half-length open allowance triumph going to the Thirty Eight Go Go distance.
Graded-stakes placed Afleet Destiny, Indy Union and Remedy; Midnight Disguise and Newly Minted, multiple stakes winners trained by Linda Rice; stakes winner Trace of Grace and stakes-placed Cee Bee Gee Bee, Jehozacat, Steamy Hot and Trolley Ride are also nominated.
Alwaysmining and Top Line Growth are also among 20 nominations to the $100,000 Force the Pass City of Laurel for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs, along with 2018 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Knicks Go; multiple graded-stakes winner Call Paul, second as the favorite last out in the Maryland Million Sprint; and 2019 Gotham (G3) winner Haikal.
Most popular among horsemen was the $100,000 Imagining Safely Kept at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies, which attracted 36 nominations including Arrifana, whose first two wins came at the distance. Multiple stakes winner Las Setas, unraced since her seventh-place finish in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17; 2019 Beaumont (G3) winner Fancy Dress Party; Wesley Ward-trained stakes winners Mae Never No and Moonlight Romance; and Grade 1-placed Meadow Dance are also nominated.
Winners of the City of Laurel and Safely Kept will earn automatic entry into the $300,000 Malibu (G1) and $300,000 La Brea (G1), respectively, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, opening day of Santa Anita’s winter-spring meet.
Both the Malibu and La Brea are contested at seven furlongs. If the winner of Laurel’s races go in either race, they will be given a $2,500 stipend toward travel costs.
In addition to live racing, Laurel is also hosting the Stallion Showcase Nov. 30 starting at 8 a.m. in the historic paddock and including free breakfast. Stallions Force the Pass of Wasabi Ventures, Imagining of Anchor & Hope Farm and Street Magician of Legacy Farm will be on display.
Representatives from those breeding operations as well as Murmur Farm, Shamrock Farm, Winding Creek Farm, Bonita Farm, Northview Stallion Station and Country Life Farm will be on hand both in the paddock and a luncheon starting at 12:30 p.m. in the Ruffian Room on Laurel’s second-floor clubhouse.
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