BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are 13 horses set to run for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, but only one is Maryland-bred.
Alwaysmining is a 3-year-old bred by local legend Poppet Pitts.
Pitts, now in her 80’s, was at Laurel last month to witness Alwaysmining win at the Tesio Stakes. Now, he’s back getting daily workouts at Elkton’s Fair Hill Training Center ahead of Saturday’s race.
“Sometimes I try to not let him go too fast because he likes to go fast,” Felix Astudillo said.
Astudillo is Alwaysmining’s regular exercise rider.
“It’s like you’re flying,” Astudillo said. “It doesn’t feel like he touches the ground.”
Alwaysmining is one of 35 horses being trained by Kelly Rudley. This is the first horse she’s ever had in the Preakness and credits his talent and temperament for making him a contender.
“The fact that he’s such a relaxed, laid back horse. He’s really fun to be around,” Rudley said. “He has very high galloping speed, very fast galloping speed.”
Pitts remembers the first time she saw Alwaysmining race.
“He came out of the gate very slowly and he ended up third,” Pitts said. The person who helps me in Kentucky said, ‘We’ve got a runner.'”
Now, Alwaysmining is set to run for the Black-eyed Susans.