Shake Em Loose carries high hopes into Tesio

Rudy Sanchez-Salomon will continue chasing the dream when the owner-trainer sends out his claimer-turned-multiple stakes winner Shake Em Loose in search of a third straight victory and Triple Crown race berth in Saturday’s $125,000 Federico Tesio at Laurel Park.

The Tesio, for three-year-olds, is a “win and in” event for the Grade 1 Preakness May 21 at Pimlico. Sanchez-Salomon made Shake Em Loose eligible for the Triple Crown races by nominating him before the late March 28 deadline for $6,000. The gelded son of 2013 Malibu (G1) winner Shakin It Up has won three of four starts since being claimed for $16,000 out of a maiden victory last November.

Two of those wins have come in stakes – the seven-furlong Heft at odds of 59-1 racing first time for his new connections to end 2021, and his two-turn debut in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 19 over 2-year-old Maryland-bred champion Joe.

“He’s doing great. I hope he’s going to run the same as his last couple races here. I’ve been lucky and blessed, so we’ll see,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “I’m a little more confident since the last race, but you never know. It’s always another day.”

Shake Em Loose entered the stretch of the Private Terms in front and was able to fend off a rally from Joe to win by 1 ¾ lengths. In his prior start, he made a bold move around the turn to take the lead and rolled by 3 ¾ lengths in a one-mile optional claiming allowance, also at Laurel, where Sanchez-Salomon is based.

“The last race didn’t take too much out of him. He did get a little tired right after, because he had to dig down that day but, man, he fought for it. He didn’t want to get beat,” he said. “When the other horse got close to him, he switched leads and took off again.”

In his only loss since the claim, Shake Em Loose was unprepared at the start and broke in the air in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 29. Trailing the field at one point, he was never in contention and finished seventh.

“I schooled him a little bit different this time so he got some dirt in his face, which I don’t think he minds anyway,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “He’s doing as good as he’s ever done. Even the one he lost, that was just an unfortunate break that day.”

Charlie Marquez, aboard for the last two starts, gets a return call from Post 2 in a field of nine at topweight of 124 pounds.

The nine-furlong Tesio headlines a day with four stakes at Laurel, including the Weber City Miss, which provides guaranteed entry into the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for sophomore fillies.

Shake Em Loose is 3-1 on the morning line, the second choice in the field of nine behind the Mike Trombetta-trained Joe, whom he defeated in the Private Terms. The field also includes several Parx shippers, as well as South Street, a Quality Road ridgling who broke his maiden last out for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

“Everybody’s got these kinds of dreams. We’ll see how high we can set the expectations,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “We’re all very, very excited.”