February 3, 2023

Federico Tesio could yield another Preakness “new shooter”

Preakness scenic from Pimlico (Photo by Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com)

Federico Tesio S. — Race 10 (5:37 p.m. ET)

With horses like Concert Tour, Crowded Trade, and Rombauer bypassing next week’s Kentucky Derby (G1) to await the May 15 Preakness (G1), the list of “new shooters” for the middle leg of the Triple Crown is already well advanced. Another three-year-old might be added to the list on Saturday as the winner of the $125,000 Federico Tesio S. at Pimlico is eligible for an automatic entry into the 1 3/16-mile classic over the same track in three weeks.

Shackled Love and Maythehorsebwithu, separated by a half-length in last month’s Private Terms S. at Laurel after a race-long duel, will renew acquaintance with each other, as well as Private Terms third-place finisher Excellorater and also-rans Zertz and Royal Number. Of that quintet, only Maythehorsebwithu is presently Triple Crown nominated, a requirement to gain entry into the Preakness.

Also among the current Triple Crown noms is Hello Hot Rod, who’s won three in a row, including a narrow head decision in the seven-furlong Jimmy Winkfield S. at Aqueduct when last seen on Jan. 31. Also in that category is Tiz Mandate, four lengths second to Maythehorsebwithu in the Miracle Wood S. at Laurel in late February.

Not yet Triple Crown nominated but a potential player in the 1 1/8-mile Tesio is The Reds. A graduate over the distance at Aqueduct two back, the son of Tonalist was subsequently a non-factor at a big price in the Gotham (G3) when stepping down to a mile. However, his fifth-place run was good enough to earn a 96 Brisnet Speed rating.

Pimlico undercard

The stakes-laden card at Old Hilltop on Saturday features a number of preps for Preakness weekend stakes. The $125,000 Weber City Miss S., for three-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles, serves as a “Win & You’re In” for the May 14 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

Littlestitious and Fraudulent Charge, recently one-two in the Beyond the Wire S. at Laurel, will square off against each other again are joined by stakes veterans Oliviaofthedesert and Exogen, as well as stakes newcomer Hybrid Eclipse. The latter was a six-length allowance scorer for Linda Rice when last seen two months ago.

Several stakes scheduled for the turf are potentially in peril with rain forecast in Baltimore on Saturday. Early notables in those include Carotari and Completed Pass in the $125,000 King T. Leatherbury over five furlongs; 2020 Del Mar Derby (G2) winner Pixelate in the $100,000 Henry S. Clark S. at 1 1/16 miles; and Regret (G3) runner-up Crystal Cliffs in the $100,000 Dahlia S. for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

A solid field in the $100,000 Frank Y. Whiteley S. over six furlongs includes Whereshetoldmetogo, Laki, Eastern Bay, and Absentee.