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Pimlico Day 11: Federico Tesio Often Serves as Preakness Prep

Kid Cruz wins 2014 Private Terms
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

Just 2 weeks out from the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby and all major Derby preps “in the books”, all eyes shift to Louisville. That is unless you still enjoy exceptional horse racing, and the 11-race card at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday fit the bill.

Old Hilltop features four (4) stakes races, each carrying a $100,000 purse.. the Stormy Blues (5f on turf; 5th race), the Primonetta (6f on dirt; 8th race), the Henry S. Clark (1 mile on turf; 9th race) and the Federico Tesio (1 1/16 miles on dirt; 10th race). The latter is unofficially the local Preakness prep.

Six Triple Crown nominees are among the nine runners in the Tesio. The 2-1 morning line favorite is #7 - Kid Cruz, winner of the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park where he rallied from nearly 20 lengths back to win going away.

The Kid’s ownership group and trainer Linda Rice, had hoped to run him in the Wood Memorial two weeks ago, but a sore shoulder derailed those plans. It was thought the Illinois Derby would be Plan B, but transporting to Baltimore from New York was easier travel-wise. Plus, with a good showing on Saturday over this track, one would think the Preakness Stakes enters into future plans.

The 5-2 M/L 2nd choice is #2 - Oliver Zip, who won the Fred Capossela at Aqueduct before a near-miss second in the Bay Shore Stakes (G3). Next is #5 - Undertaker (5-1), who beat Kid Cruz earlier this year, and tries stakes company for the first time, as does #1 - Sassicaia (10-1), who remains a maiden after two starts at Gulfstream Park for trainer Chad Brown.

Of the four local runners, the one with the best shot, according to the M/L is #4 - Joint Custody (6-1) who has finished first or second seven times in eight career starts, including victories in the Marylander and Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel Park last fall, and a game second to Kid Cruz, in his initial two-turn try in the Private Terms, his most recent outing. If you’re looking for a price, #8 - Ground Control (15-1) is undefeated in two starts for the always dangerous Tony Dutrow barn.

Recapping previous posted selections from Saturday, April 12th at Pimlico, had 8 winners from 9 races, (5 Top Selection; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $7.20 (2nd), $14.00 (3rd), $13.00 (5th), $5.20 (6th), $13.20 (7th),$9.80 (8th), $13.40 (9th) and $4.40 (10th).

The BEST BET of the Day (17: 2-6-5) Sandbag (4th race: 2-1 M/L; 3-2 PT) surprisingly broke alertly and contested the early lead, was well within herself though pressured entering the lane under an all out drive and was caught just a few strides before the wire, returning $3.00 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (17: 5-5-0) Rum Tum Tugger (7th race: 15-1 M/L; 5-1 PT) was carried wide entering the first turn by a rival then settled towards the rear, angled towards the rail for the stretch run, but had to move towards the 3 path, rallied between horses and got up at the wire for the victory to return $13.20 to WIN $6.40 to PLACE and $3.40 to SHOW.

FYI – the BEST BET of the Day selection will never be a M/L favorite and the LONGSHOT PICK will simply be the runner having the highest M/L odds among my top picks for an entire card.

PLEASE NOTE: Statistics provided for the BEST BET and LONGSHOT PICK in parentheses represent the Number of Picks: Wins-Places-Shows. For example, the BEST BET (10: 1-2-3) was picked 10 times resulting in 1 winner, 2 places and 3 shows. In the past, I would reset these numbers at the start of each meet. For 2014, I reset these numbers on Jan. 1st in order to chart results on a yearly basis.

Selections for Saturday, Apr. 19th at Pimlico Race Course posted below are based on FAST track and FIRM turf.

1st race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles
#2 – Save This Dance (12-1)  $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#5 – Suave Swinger (10-1)
#4 – She’s Got Issues (7-2)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming N2L for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#7 – Big City Guy (5-1)
#2 – Cho Time (8-5)
#3 – Ronto’s Code (4-1)

3rd race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#6 – Three Men On (12-1)
#1 – General Wilko (9-2)
#7 – Kid Terrapin (3-1)

4th race – $6,250 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#2 – Star Destiny (5-2)
#5 – Isolation Road (12-1)
#1 – St Liams Halo (9-2)

5th race – $100,000 Stormy Blues Stakes for 3 y.o. – 5 furlongs on TURF
#3 – Tizgale (2-1)
#5 – Offlee Golden (15-1)
#6 – Miss Behaviour (3-1)

10 cent Jackpot Pick-5 Carryover: $40,168
note: Today the Pick-5 is races 6-10.

6th race – $40,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies– 6 furlongs
#2 – Cherokee Pass (5-1)
#3 – Corinnaise (9-5)
#1 – Yankee Red Head (12-1)

7th race – $12,500 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#5 – Target Sighted (2-1)
#7 – Court Band (8-1)
#10 – Rock in Bage (5-2)

8th race – $100,000 Primonetta Stakes for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Winning Image (7-2)
#7 – Red’s Round Table (8-1)
#4 – Do Somethin (3-1)

9th race – $100,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile on TURF
#4 – Under Control (9-2)
#2 – Hamp (15-1)
#7 – Change of Command (5-1)

10th race – $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes for 3 y.o. – 1 1/16 miles
#7 – Kid Cruz (2-1)
#8 – Ground Control (15-1)
#1 – Sassicaia (10-1)

11th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 miles on TURF
#2 – Distorted Dream (4-1)  *** BEST BET ***
#7 – Sir J. J. (10-1)
#8 – Cosmic Karma (6-1)

Good Luck!


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Older Comments about Pimlico Day 11: Federico Tesio Often Serves as Preakness Prep...

Kid Cruz was one of the buzz horses before he scratched from the Wood Memorial. Interested to see how he runs in the Tesio.

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                Meet Gary Quill

  I am the most passionate person on the planet when it comes to thoroughbred horse racing! One sunny summer day in 1964 at Timonium Race Track is where my Dad and mentor introduced me to “The Sport of Kings”. Since that day, I have had the pleasure to visit over 40 different tracks across North America. Though an IT professional by trade, I’ve had a part-time gig with the Maryland Jockey Club since 1988.

here are thousands of rail-birds who claim to be great handicappers. Well, I don’t claim to be the best… just the most passionate and one that won’t tout “chalk”. Like a savvy stock broker, I look for value and often find it. Unlike the talking heads on horse racing television networks and the dozens of websites featuring handicapper’s opinions, I’m ACCOUNTABLE. That is, good or bad, you’ll always know how my previously posted picks performed along with a running record of my BEST BET and LONGSHOT Play of the Day selections for Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) at TheRacingBiz, see "The GQ Approach".

   In addition to focusing on the Maryland thoroughbred racing circuit, each year I follow the Derby Trail and post “GQ’s Derby Double Dozen” in early February. 

   My personal mission is to rejuvenate interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Being able to share my energy, thoughts and opinions on this sport via HRN will certainly help the cause.


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