All the Road to the Kentucky Derby point races are in the books, but Saturday’s $125,000 Federico Tesio likely will produce a starter for the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on May 19.
The Maryland Jockey Club has made the Tesio a “Win and You’re In” race for the second jewel of the Triple Crown. A field of 11 was entered, with 10 likely to start and four are Triple Crown nominated.
Navy Commander (12-1) is entered in a stake on the Charles Town Classic card and may end up scratching.
The four Triple Crown nominated runners in the field are Still Having Fun (5-2), Diamond King (4-1), Dynamic Asset (12-1) and V.I.P. Code (8-1).
V.I. P. Code won the prep for the Tesio, pulling off the upset in the Private Terms at 36-1. The beaten favorite of that race was Still Having Fun, who checked in fourth.
The Tesio is one of five stakes on the 11-race card at Laurel Park.
I have included some of the stakes action in today’s Best Plays Report along with my strongest plays from Aqueduct and my analysis of the $1.2 million Charles Town Classic (G2).
Let’s head out to Laurel Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Laurel Park Race 10 The Federico Tesio (Post time 5:40 ET)
#6 Diamond King 4-1
#11 Holland Park 10-1
#2 Still Having Fun 5-2
#4 Noble Commander 6-1
Analysis: Diamond King stretches out to a route after a third in the Swale (G3) last out at Gulfstream Park going seven furlongs. The colt broke at the back of the pack and had to steady exciting the chute. He was a bit rank while saving ground, saving some ground and then angling three wide after bumping with a foe and could not get to the top pair. The winner Strike Power came back to run second in the Fountain of Youth (G2) in his next start. Our top pick’s lone start going long was in the Kentucky Jockey Club and he clipped heels and dropped the jock. He has enough pedigree to handle the extra ground. The $225,000 Keeneland purchase is by Quality Road out of a stakes placed Malibu Moon mare.
Holland Park tracked the early pace and finished gamely to break his maiden last out in his third career start. This guy should only bet betting with experience and has quite the pedigree. He is by Tapit out of the multiple Grade 1 winner Round Pond ($1.99 million) who has dropped two other foals to race including stakes winner Long River ($770,347).
Still Having Fun was a game winner of the Miracle Wood two back and then was off poorly last out in the Private Terms where he was pinched back and stumbled leaving the gate. He did not have the same punch, leveling off in a fourth-place finish as the beaten chalk. He figures to bounce back with a better effort, but his price may end up on the light side.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,11 / 2,4,6,11
TRI: 6,11 / 2,4,6,11 / 2,4,5,6,11
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