by Dustin Fabian
April 18, 2019
If Alwaysmining runs his win streak to six in Saturday’s Xpressbet Federico Tesio Stakes, he’ll all but assuredly punch his ticket to the Preakness Stakes on May 18. He’s a perfect 5-for-5 on dirt since moving to Kelly Rubley’s barn and he won the Private Terms and Miracle Wood, the two prior steps on the path to the ‘Tesio, by a combined 11-lengths.
But will he win Saturday? And if he does, how do you make money betting him? Let’s take a look at what will make Alwaysmining a ‘cinch’ in some people’s eyes…and what his rivals bring to the table.
By the way, the Xpressbet Federico Tesio is the last leg of our Money-Back Guarantee on the Preps promotion, which puts cash back in your pocket when your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd. Maybe take a shot against Alwaysmining here and put $10 to win on one of his rivals? And then if they run 2nd or 3rd, you get your cash back!
Alwaysmining (1/5): This isn’t a brag – more of a ‘face palm’ but I’ve actually had this horse in my stablemail since his debut at Keeneland last April. He missed the break and came flying late in one of those 4 1/2-furlong baby races where you can’t make up much ground. Not that I did anything with it (hence the face palm). I bet him in his next two races at Churchill and he was up the track both times. Then he showed up at Laurel, won 6-of-7 dirt races and the rest is history. Now when you bet him you’re stuck with sub-even-money odds. The speedster has turned his last three races into runaways and in the process he’s beaten horses like Win Win Win (2nd in the Blue Grass) and Gray Magician (2nd in the UAE Derby). If he continues down the path, he’ll be a popular horse to include on tickets on Preakness Day.
Tybalt (8/1): On paper he’s ‘second best’ here but the connections are so hesitant to run against Alwaysmining for the fourth time that they’ve cross-entered into a turf race on Saturday at Aqueduct. Being that he’s a son of Kitten’s Joy that shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it also goes to show how well respected Alwaysmining is locally. He was beaten 9 3/4-lengths in the Private Terms and 4 1/4-lengths in the Miracle Wood. Won’t be surprised if he runs at Aqueduct.
Bozzini (10/1): He breaks from the rail and has developed into a decent three-year-old for Jeremiah Englehart after showing minimal talent as a two-year-old. He started his career 0-for-4 but finally got his first win in a NY-bred maiden race at Finger Lakes…hardly an established path to greatness. But he has taken big steps forward since heading to Laurel – a win and a second – and he does get the services of Trevor McCarthy, who is riding ‘lights out’ at Laurel. He’s a secondary horse, though and would need to improve 10+ Beyer Speed Figure points to compete with Alwaysmining.
Majid (20/1): Majid brings the vaunted Zayat turquoise and gold silks to Laurel for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. They won a first-level allowance race here on March 24 at odds of 27/1 and, like Bozzini, he appears to be getting much better after a rocky start to his career. Couple that with the fact that he’s bred to route – by Shackleford, out of a Mineshaft mare – and he’s worth a look underneath.
Bottom Line: It’s hard (impossible?) to find a scenario where Alwaysmining loses and, even if you do, it’s hard to pick one horse that can do it. Anything can happen in racing but horses like Bozzini, Majid and Tybalt are so similar on paper that any of them *could* do it…but, in the eyes of most, none of them *should*. Alwaysmining will be 1/9 on the board and the best way to bet him will be the multi-race exotics…
…which takes me to Laurel’s Late Pick 5. Laurel’s Late Pick 5 boasts an industry-low 12% takeout and is a great bet for someone seeking to single Alwaysmining.
Here’s my ticket.
All-Stakes Late Pick 5 Ticket (Races 7 – 11)
Race 7 (4:12PM ET): Primonetta Stake
Race 8 (4:42PM ET): Dalhia Stakes (handicapped for ON TURF)
Race 9 (5:12PM ET) Weber City Miss Stakes
Race 10 (5:42PM ET): Xpressbet Federico Tesio Stakes
Race 11 (6:12PM ET): Henry Clark Stakes (handicapped for ON TURF)
Race 7: 1, 2, 3
Race 8: 6, 9
Race 9: 6
Race 10: 2
Race 11: 1, 3, 4, 5
Ticket Cost: $24 for $1