LAUREL, MD – Runnymoore Racing’s Alwaysmining successfully sustained steady pressure throughout the race while taking the field all the way home in Saturday’s $100,000 John B. Campbell Stakes at Laurel Park.
Breaking well from post 3 under Julian Pimentel as the 2/1 third choice on the tote, Alwaysmining cleared over to the rail and held command heading into the clubhouse turn. The 6/5 favorite Monongahela was unable to get a lone lead, resorting to closely tracking his inside foe through opening fractions of :24.58, :48.11, and 1:11.91.
Put to a drive at the 1/4 pole, Monongahela attempted to slide past Alwaysmining at the top of the stretch, but the local hero fought back and refused to yield. The pair fought heads apart for much of the stretch run, and at one point, Monongahela held a slim lead.
In the shadow of the wire, however, Alwaysmining gamely inched ahead to prevail by a neck. Trained by Kelly Rubley, Alwaysmining completed the 1 1/16-mile event over a fast main track in a final time of 1:42.46.
“He was unbelievable,” Pimentel said. “He’s a pretty nice horse. When I asked him to run, he took off. He never let that other horse go by him. The plan was to get to the lead and try to go as easy as I can, but I had that horse next to me the whole time. Nothing you can do about that. He never really let him go by. He always kept his nose in front of him and kept trying the whole time.”
Someday Jones rallied late to take third, 1 1/4 lengths behind the top pair, while 3 1/2 lengths behind him, Forewarned nosed out Bonus Points to complete the order of finish. Wait for It and Senior Investment were scratched.
Alwaysmining’s win was his seventh against stakes foes and improved his overall mark to 19-9-1-2 with $536,442 earned. The 4-year-old gelded son of Stay Thirsty also won the Jennings Stakes here last time out while going 1 mile against fellow Maryland-breds.
“I think it’s going to be a great year, even better than last year,” Rubley said. “He continues to mature and has filled out a lot. He’s got a lot of heart.”
Alwaysmining returned $6 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Monongahela brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Someday Jones paid $2.10 to show.