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Keeneland Select Pick of the Day | April 24, 2021

April 22, 2021

Race 10 at Pimlico | Saturday April 24 | Post Time 5:37 PM Eastern

Federico Tesio Stakes | Purse $125,000 | One Mile and One Eighth | Three Year Olds

 

The Federico Tesio Stakes has historically been a prep for the Preakness Stakes, usually run three weeks before the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico. The race has been run at Laurel since 2015, but prior to that was run at Pimlico, where the Preakness is held. This year, as the Pimlico meeting starts a bit earlier than usual the race returns to its roots. The winner will receive an automatic spot in the starting gate for the Preakness (May 15) and with the Tesio being run at a mile and one-eighth, it serves as an indicator of whether the winner, or other entrants, may run well at the mile and three-sixteenths distance of the Preakness next month.

Analysis: Favoritism will likely go to Maythehorsebwithu (8), who has finished worse than second just once in eight races. Therein lies the rub, as he has finished second four times in eight races, with his first try around two turns last month in the Private Terms Stakes not that great as he was beaten by a half-length as the even money favorite. Shackled Love (7) won the Private Terms, at odds of 21 to 1, but prior to that he finished second twice in a row, both times losing ground in the last eighth of a mile. Both Maythehorsebwithu and Shackled Love like to run in front or close up early, which could be problematic in this race with both drawing outside and with Zertz (6) and Hello Hot Rod (5) both horses which earned their wins on the lead for most of the race. Hello Hot Rod stretches out off a seven furlong win in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes in January and coming back from four months off should be “fresh” and full of speed early as well, so my believe is we are going to see all four horses going faster than average for the opening quarter and half-mile, which sets the race up for a horse which will be mid-pack in the early stages.

Top Contender: Not only does The Reds (4) have the running style I’m looking for with the pace scenario I envision, he is also one of only two horses in the field to have run nine furlongs, and THE ONLY HORSE to have won at the trip. One before last on January 31, The Reds sat last of fifth, just three lengths off the early leaders, before making a three wide move to go from fifth to first entering the stretch before drawing off to win by nearly four lengths. In his only other try at the distance, The Reds finished third to Risk Taking, who won the Withers Stakes in his next start. Being by Tonalist (who won the Belmont), there’s little doubt The Reds will love this trip and further, and as the only other foal of his dam was also a nine furlong winner, this colt appears to be a very strong play in this race.

 

Betting Strategies 

Win bets:

The Reds (4) to win at odds of 2 to 1 or higher.

Exactas:

The Reds (4) over Maythehorsebwithu (8), Shackled Love (7) and Tiz Mandate (2)