Runnymede Racing's Alwaysmining earned an automatic berth into the Preakness (G1) with a dominanting 11 1/2-length victory in the Federico Tesio at Laurel. The Kelly Rubley trainee is unbeaten this season and rides into his biggest assignment to date with six wins in succession.

The son of Stay Thirsty graduated in his fourth career start in June, driving home a clear maiden winner at Laurel in a 5 1/2-furlong dash. Following a pair of unplaced results, the Maryland-bred was a 10-length allowance victory at Laurel, and the gelding led throughout in a pair of subsequent stakes tallies to conclude his juvenile campaign.

Alwaysmining started his three-year-old season in the Miracle Wood at Laurel and was never headed en route to a 4 1/4-length score under regular pilot Daniel Centeno. Another romp followed in the subsequent Private Terms, this time by 6 3/4 lengths, which preceded his Tesio masterpiece.

He was bred in Maryland by Avla Pitts and passed through the sales ring on a pair of occasions. Alwaysmining fetched a bid of $32,000 at the 2017 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale as a short yearling before bringing the gavel down at $130,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Alwaysmining is the first stakes hero out of the winning Anees mare What Will Be. She is also responsible for unnamed two-year-old filly by Jimmy Creed, an unnamed yearling filly by Fast Anna, as well as a weanling colt by Shackleford, who is also unnamed.

The surging Preakness contender continues to move forward and is on par with many of his sophomore counterparts in recording BRIS Speed figures of 98, 99 and 99 in his trio of performances in 2019.

While the gelding has faced inferior competition compared to what he will run up against in the Preakness, he has decimated his foes by a combined 36 1/4 lengths during his win streak while rarely being asked for much in the stretch. In addition, he is a perfect four-for-four traveling distances of one mile or longer.

Alwaysmining will go postward in the Preakness with a world of confidence and something of a home-court advantage. With the defection of many Kentucky Derby contestants, I think that he is a legitimate contender for the Preakness.