Alwaysmining Stands Out in Federico Tesio Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 19th, 2019

When six horses line up to contest the $125,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park, it’s hard to imagine any outcome other than a resounding victory for #2 Alwaysmining.

On paper the son of Stay Thirsty towers over the field and will be an overwhelming favorite to claim victory in the 1 1/8-mile race, which serves as a prep for the Preakness Stakes (G1) four weeks from now.

Speed figures? Alwaysmining has fired off four straight 91+ BRIS speed ratings, while only one of his rivals has ever posted higher than an 88. Consistency? Alwaysmining has won five straight races (including four stakes), all in gate-to-wire fashion. Class? In his last three starts, Alwaysmining has defeated the likes of Win Win Win (runner-up in the grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes) and Gray Magician (runner-up in the group 2 UAE Derby). Last time out Alwaysmining had little difficulty winning the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms Stakes at Laurel by 6 3/4 lengths, so negotiating 1 1/8 miles on Saturday shouldn’t be an issue.
For handicappers Alwaysmining simultaneously offers a clear reward and a tricky challenge. There’s no reason he shouldn’t win the Tesio, but he’ll also be favored at something like 1-5 or 1-10, making a win bet and even the exacta unappealing.

If we’re going to make a meaningful profit playing Alwaysmining, we’ll have to look to the trifecta and superfecta, while keeping our tickets narrow, because spreading too deep will cut into our profit margins. Fortunately #5 Tybalt looms as an obvious horse to key underneath. The son of Kitten’s Joy has placed third behind Alwaysmining on three occasions, including in the Private Terms Stakes, and while he has lost ground in the final furlong of all four of his route races, he has a class and speed advantage here that should help him hit the board, even if 1 1/8 miles is pushing his distance limitations.

Two other logical contenders are #6 Majid and #4 Trifor Gold, who were separated by a half-length when finishing second and third in a one-mile optional-claiming allowance at Laurel last month. Majid got the nod that day for trainer Rudy Rodriguez, but Trifor Gold was closing in resolutely through the final furlong and is Triple Crown nominated, which suggests that his connections think highly of him.

I’ll play against #3 Dixie Drawl, who was soundly beaten in the Private Terms, and #1 Bozzini, a former claimer stepping up in class and distance.

$5 trifecta: 2 with 5 with 4,6 ($10) $5 trifecta: 2 with 4,6 with 5 ($10) $3 superfecta: 2 with 5 with 4,6 with 4,6 ($6) $2 superfecta: 2 with 4,6 with 5 with 4,6 ($4)

Good luck!