Icabad Crane Wakes Up in Tesio Stakes
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Icabad Crane takes the Federico Tesio Stakes under Jeremy Rose.
Launching a strong bid from between horses on the final turn, favored Icabad Crane ran down the front-running Mint Lane in the final sixteenth of a mile to register a head victory in the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes on opening weekend at Pimlico April 19. The triumph could provide trainer H. Graham Motion and owner Earle I. Mack with a prospect for the May 17 Preakness (gr. I) over the track.

Making just his fourth lifetime start, the New York-bred Icabad Crane overcame an adventurous journey in the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds, closing from the back of the pack. After successfully threading his way through traffic for jockey Jeremy Rose, Icabad Crane was able to exploit an opening in upper stretch en route to his first stakes victory. The final time was 1:50.83 on a fast track.

The winning Jump Start   colt was coming off a third-place finish in Turfway Park's Rushaway over Polytrack March 22. 

Motion already has Adriano for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

“The Preakness is something Mr. Mack and Graham will discuss,” said assistant trainer Adrian Rolls. “This is only his fourth start, so this was a nice step up. He has a great disposition and is easy to train. You always hope to have good 3-year olds.”

Mint Lane wrestled the lead from a rank Fast Talking soon after the start and the two showed the way around the clubhouse turn. With Mario Pino guiding the way on a moderate pace, Mint Lane had plenty left in the stretch after leaving Fast Talking behind and opening a daylight lead. Icabad Crane, after bumping and carrying out Fast Talking in the stretch, rallied three wide to collar the stubborn Mint Lane inside the eighth pole. He prevailed in a stiff drive. Deputyville, with Jose Espinoza aboard, ran on for third, three lengths behind the runner-up. 

Quarter-mile fractions for the opening six furlongs were soft  --  :23.91, :48.49 and 1:13.32.

Rose rode Icabad Crane for the first time in the Tesio.

“My horse was great,” said Rose after his third win on the Pimlico card. “In the mornings he is lazy. When I worked him I couldn’t believe he was the horse everyone likes in the barn. He is a great horse to ride. I was impressed at how game he was when I had him in a couple of tight spots. Luckily it worked out for us. He’s a game little horse.”

With his third lifetime win, Icabad Crane nearly doubled his earnings to $125,400 with the winning share of $60,000. Gallagher's Stud bred the dark bay or brown colt who is out of Adorahy, by Rahy. The winner beat New York breds in his first and second starts.

Sent off as the 9-5 choice, Icabad Crane paid $5.80, $3.40 and $2.80.

Motion made his Derby debut with Chilito 10 years ago and has saddled two Preakness starters—Bay Eagle (2001) and Equality (2002).

Rose also earned stakes victories with Lexi Star (Geisha) and Ravalo (Allen’s Prospect) and just missed a sweep of Pimlico's four stakes by a length when Eddie C. was passed in deep stretch by Powerful Touch in the Jim McKay.

“I love these kinds of days,” Rose said.

Mint Lane, a Maria's Mon colt making his stakes debut for trainer James Jerkens, returned $5.40 and $3.80.

“I could not have asked for any more,” said Pino of the runner-up. “When I asked him he gave me everything he had. I couldn’t believe he got passed because I had so much horse turning into the lane. Someone was really going to have to be running to beat us.”

Deputyville, fifth most recently in the WinStar Derby for Gary Contessa, was $5.80 to show.

Wonder Man finished fourth, followed by Fast Talking, Regal Solo, Cave's Valley and Indian Jump.

(Chart, Equibase)

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