TESIO STAKES DRAWS TWO DOZEN NOMINATIONS

Shackled Love
Shackled Love upset the Private Terms Stakes. Photo by Jerry Dzierwinski.

Stakes winners Shackled Love and Maythehorsebwithu, separated by a half-length in the Private Terms last month; fellow stakes winners Hello Hot Rod and It Can Be Done; 2020 Remsen (G2) winner Brooklyn Strong and Holy Bull (G3) runner-up Tarantino are among 24 horses nominated to the $125,000 Federico Tesio Saturday, April 24 at Laurel Park.

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The 40th running of the 1 1/8-mile Tesio for 3-year-olds, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 15 at Pimlico Race Course, is among seven stakes worth $750,000 in purses on the Spring Stakes Spectacular program that drew a total of 201 nominees.

ZWP Stable, Inc. and Non Stop Stable’s Shackled Love upset the about 1 1/16-mile Private Terms at odds of 21-1 in his stakes debut March 13 at Laurel, a half-length over Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stables’ Maythehorsebwithu, who was favored off his runaway triumph in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 20.

Hello Hot Rod won three straight races including the Jimmy Winkfield Jan. 31 at Aqueduct for Laurel-based trainer and co-owner Brittany Russell before being purchased for $335,000 by George Sharp at Fasig-Tipton’s mixed sale Feb. 9 and moved to trainer Shawn Davis. Two of his wins came by open lengths at Laurel, his lone loss coming by a neck in debut last October.

Red Oak Stable’s It Can Be Done broke his maiden over the main track at Monmouth Park last fall and has made his last four starts on turf, winning the Nownownow Stakes in October and most recently running third by a neck in the Cutler Bay March 27 at Gulfstream Park.

Mark Schwartz’s Brooklyn Strong ran fifth in his sophomore debut, the April 3 Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct. As a 2-year-old, the New York-bred Wicked Strong gelding captured the Sleepy Hollow prior to an upset triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen in December.

SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm and Robert Masterson’s Tarantino won two of three starts on grass to start his career before making his dirt debut in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull Jan. 30 at Gulfstream, running second behind Greatest Honour. Tarantino endured troubled trips in his two most recent efforts, including a fourth to Greatest Honour in Gulfstream’s Feb. 27 Fountain of Youth (G2).

Tarantino is trained by Rodolphe Brisset, who also nominated a pair of colts owned by WinStar Farm and CHC Inc. – Editor in Chief, runner-up in the Rushaway Stakes over Turfway Park’s all-weather surface March 27, and Harvard, second in a six-furlong maiden special weight Feb. 28 at Gulfstream in his career debut.

Also prominent among Tesio nominees are Excellorator, third in the Private Terms; It’s Sizzling Time and Three Two Zone, each exiting back-to-back wins at Laurel; Royal Number, a 1 1/16-mile allowance winner at Laurel Jan. 9; Phillip Ward’s Miracle Wood runner-up Tiz Mandate; and Whisper Hill Farm homebred Unbridled Honor, fourth last out in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) March 6. Unbridled Honor is trained by Todd Pletcher, who captured last year’s Tesio with subsequent Grade 1 winner Happy Saver.

Co-headlining the Spring Stakes Spectacular program is the sixth running of the $125,000 Weber City Miss, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for 3-year-old fillies to the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 14 at Pimlico. Topping the 20 nominees is Joel Politi’s multiple stakes winner Littlestitious, who ended Street Lute’s five-stakes win streak with a 4-1 upset in the one-mile Beyond the Wire March 13 at Laurel.

Team Gaudet and Five Hellions Farm’s Fraudulent Charge was nominated off three consecutive runner-up finishes in stakes, twice to Street Lute in the 2020 Gin Talking and 2021 Wide Country, and most recently Littlestitious in the Beyond the Wire. Trained by Lacey Gaudet, the Will Take Charge filly has been beaten a total of 1 ½ lengths in those races.

Nominees also include 2020 Anne Arundel County winner Miss Leslie; stakes-placed Be Sneaky, Exogen, Juror Number Four, Psychic Ability and Spritz; Hybrid Eclipse, a winner of two straight including a Laurel allowance Feb. 25 at the Weber City Miss distance; and Moonsafe, a front-running 15 ¼-length waiver maiden claiming winner Feb. 27 at Laurel.

Most popular among horsemen with 37 nominations was the $100,000 Frank Y. Whiteley for 3-year-olds and up sprinting seven furlongs. The group includes 2020 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) winner Laki; Jan. 30 Toboggan (G3) winner American Power; Feb. 20 General George (G3) winner Share the Ride and runner-up Tattooed; 2020 Fred W. Hooper (G3) winner Phat Man; Whereshetoldmetogo, whose multiple stakes wins include a six-furlong version of the Whiteley last November; and stakes winners Eastern Bay and Lebda from leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez.

Fillies and mares 3 and up will travel six furlongs in the $100,000 Primonetta. Among the 20 nominees are Hibiscus Punch, 41-1 upset winner of the Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3) Feb. 20 at Laurel; 2020 Vagrancy (G3) winner Victim of Love; Fritchie show finisher Club Car; six-time stakes winner Street Lute, who suffered only her second loss in nine starts in the Beyond the Wire; defending champ Dontletsweetfoolya and fellow multiple stakes winners Hello Beautiful and Needs Supervision; and March 13 Conniver winner Kiss the Girl.

Spring Stakes Spectacular includes the first three stakes scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course, led by the 21st running of the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. Thirty-four horses were nominated including graded-stakes winners Ballagh Rocks, Decorated Invader, Eons and Roadster; 2020 Maryland Million Turf winner Pretty Good Year; and multiple graded-stakes placed 8-year-old Abiding Star.

The 18th running of the $100,000 Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass attracted 30 nominations led by 2020 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) winner Magic Attitude; Lucky Stride, a winner of back-to-back dirt stakes this year including the Feb. 20 Nellie Morse at Laurel; Grade 3 winner English Affair; Call Me Love, a two-time group stakes winner in Italy; 2020 Regret (G3) runner-up Crystal Cliffs; and Vigilantes Way, winner of the 2020 Tropical Park Oaks for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.

Rounding out the stakes action is the $100,000 King T. Leatherbury for 3-year-olds and up sprinting 5 ½ furlongs on the grass. Among the 36 nominees are Fiya, a winner of five straight races, the last two of them in stakes, including the 2020 Maryland Million Turf Sprint; fellow multiple turf stakes winners Carotari, Completed Pass and Justaholic; and 2019 Laurel Dash winner Dubini.

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