It was a fight to the finish in the second race of the day at Miami Valley Raceway Monday, March 21. Alwaysthebstplace and GD Rockin Kay, both Indiana sired pacers, fought hard in the stretch with the final call going to Alwaysthebstplace by a head on the outside.
Starting from post six, Alwaysthebstplace and Trevor Smith were the first out of the gate and secured the top spot at the quarter in :27.2 before being overtaken by GD Rockin Kay, who moved out and around for the lead for driver Matt Krueger as the favorite of the field. GD Rockin Kay led during the middle fractions of the race in :57.0 and 1:25.0 with another Indiana sired mare, Always A Z Tam and Brett Miller, challenging first over on the outside.
As the field neared the three-quarter mile marker, Always A Z Tam began to retreat giving Alwaysthebstplace the opportunity to get out and challenge GD Rockin Kay for the stretch drive. The two mares fought hard to the wire with the final surge getting the win for Alwaysthebstplace in 1:53.3. GD Rockin Kay was one-half length ahead of Garbo and Dan Noble for third in the three-horse photo finish.
Alwaysthebstplace was the second favorite of the field, paying $7.40 for the win. The four-year-old Always A Virgin mare is owned by Black Magic Racing LLC of Ohio and trained by Todd Luther. DM Stables and William Rufenacht bred the mare, who earned her first win of the season. Her career best time remains at 1:52.2 taken at Harrah’s Hoosier Park last summer. Unraced at two, Alwaysthebstplace has seven career wins and is just under the $100,000 mark for earnings.
Alwaysthebstplace has changed hands several times over the past few months. She has been with her current connections since late January. Prior to that, she was part of the claiming game, changing barns twice since late December.
Alwaysthebstplace is part of the plethora of foals by Best Place who have taken records and earned money. Only one of nine of racing age have not raced. The quickest includes Always At My Place, a full brother with a mark of 1:47.2 and earnings of more than $1.1 million, and the gelding is still racing. Overall, six of the nine have marks of 1:53.0 or under. The latest foal, a colt by Always a Virgin named Always A Miller, is a two-year-old in 2022.
Later in the card, another Always a Virgin product scored a win in conditioned claiming action. Farmers Only and Dan Noble turned in a gate to wire effort for the win in 1:52.3. Nob Hill Flash and Sam Widger finished second over Shady Deal and Tony Hall for third.
Farmers Only is trained by Christi Noble and owned by Adrian Adam. Diamond H Racing Stable bred the six-year-old gelding, who now has six wins and more than $63,000 in earnings. The race also marked a new career best time for the gelding.