The Pimlico stewards promoted 19-10 favorite The Reds from second to first in Saturday’s $125,000 Federico Tesio S., the anchor of a stakes-laden program at Old Hilltop.
Bearing down on 8-1 chance Excellorator inside the final furlong, The Reds was soon taken off his line when Excellorator drifted out. The latter came out on top by a head, but an objection by The Reds’ jockey Victor Carrasco was sustained and the placings reversed.
Owned by Flanagan Racing and trained by John Kimmel, The Reds returned $5.80. Excellorator was demoted to second, with Royal Number finishing third. The final time for 1 1/8 miles over a fast track was 1:49.48.
Although an automatic bid to the May 15 Preakness (G1) was available to the Tesio winner, none of the top three finishers are presently nominated to the Triple Crown.
A son of Tonalist, The Reds has been mostly effective in two-turn races. A maiden winner at Aqueduct over 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 31 in his fifth starts, he entered the Tesio off a fifth-place finish in the March 6 Gotham (G3) when cutting back to a one-turn mile.
“This horse is really suited to run further. He’s got that kind of temperament. He settles really well,” Kimmel said. “I’m not sure if we’ll come back in three weeks but we’ll see how the Derby and the participants in the Preakness shakes out and we’ll go from there.”
Miss Leslie sprung a 9-1 upset of the $125,000 Weber City Miss S. under J.D. Acosta, thus gaining an automatic entry into the May 14 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).
Trailing the field of six much of the way after a troubled start, the three-year-old daughter of Paynter rallied best of all down the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Oliviaofthedesert, with 7-5 favorite Littlestitious a non-threatening third.
Owned by BB Horses and trained by Claudio Gonzalez, Miss Leslie returned $21.20 after completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.28.
Making her first start in two months, Miss Leslie had previously captured the Anne Arundel County S. at Laurel over 1 1/16 miles in late December before finishing second and sixth in two other stakes appearances around one turn.
Laki warmed up for a potential swing at next month’s Maryland Sprint (G3) by defeating the pace-setting Lebda by a half-length in the $100,000 Frank Y. Whiteley S. over six furlongs.
Under Horacio Karamanos, Laki tracked in second most of the way before taking over approaching the eighth pole. The eight-year-old son of Cuba finished up in 1:09.33 and paid $10.20.
Owned by Hillside Equestrian Meadows and trained by Damon Dilodovico, Laki had won six stakes previously, including the 2019 edition of the Whiteley, but was nosed out in the 2020 renewal held at Laurel last November. Laki’s signature victory came last October in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) on the Preakness Day undercard.
Favorites were beaten in photo finishes in the two-turn grass stakes on the card. Xanthique rallied in between 6-5 chances Crystal Cliffs and Vigilantes Way and edged the former by a nose to take the $100,000 Dahlia S. for fillies and mares.
Feargal Lynch guided the Tom Morley-trained daughter of Into Mischief through 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.92 on firm ground and paid $14.20 for owner VinLauer Racing Stables.
In the $100,000 Henry S. Clark S., also at 1 1/16 miles, Corelli nabbed 9-5 favorite Pixelate late by a nose in a time of 1:41.55 under Jevian Toledo and paid $12.
Owned by George Strawbridge and trained by Jonathan Thomas, Corelli was winning for the first time in five U.S. appearances since is re-importation from England. The Point of Entry gelding placed in one of four starts last season, finishing third in the United Nations (G1).
Jockey Angel Cruz rebounded from his disqualification aboard Excellorator in the Federico Tesio by guiding Completed Pass to a victory over 7-5 favorite Francatelli in the $100,000 King T. Leatherbury S., a five-furlong turf sprint.
The winning margin was three parts of a length for the seven-year-old son of Pass Rush, who sped in :56.52 and paid $6.80 as the second choice. He’s owned by Robert Bone and trained by Claudio Gonzalez.
This effort should set Completed Pass up for the May 15 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, a race he won in 2019 but finished second in my a neck in its belated 2020 renewal last October. The Indiana-bred also captured the Laurel Dash last September.