Odds-on choice Abstraction was bottled up most of the way, but when he finally angled out for clear sailing, the son of Pulpit spurted to the lead in deep stretch and drew away to win the $75,750 Federico Tesio Stakes (VIDEO) April 27 at Pimlico Race Course.
Leandro Goncalves was aboard the 3-year-old son of Pulpit in the 1 1/16-mile local stakes prep for the Preakness (gr. I) for trainer David Carroll. Abstraction, sent postward at 4-5, scored by 2 1/4 lengths over Heat Press, who nosed pacesetter Rienzi for second. The final time was 1:46.16 over a fast track.
After placing in his debut and winning his second start at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots by nearly 10 lengths March 13, My Meadowview Farm's homebred Abstraction lived up to top billing.
"I was trapped the whole way and he gave me everything he had," said Goncalves, who was making his first trip to Pimlico. "He helped me push horses out of my way and get out. When I got him outside at the three-sixteenths pole, I asked him. That's the key. You get him outside and he has that big kick and he switched leads and it was pretty much over. He keeps getting better and better as he has matured. He has a lot of talent."
Abstraction, who is not Triple crown nominated, paid $3.60, $2.40, $2.10. The exacta with Heat Press ($3.40, $3) was $14.60. Rienzi, who carved easy quarter mile fractions of :25.07, :49.02, and 1:13.61, paid $2.80 to show.
The winning bay colt is out of the grade II winner Andujar, by Quiet American.
"He's a very improving horse who has always shown talent," Carroll said. "Today was a big step forward with the ship and a paceless race. But he showed today he has a big heart. He's always a horse who trains with talent.
"It was a great learning experience for him. He was trapped down inside. He got a lot of dirt. He had to make room and once he did, he picked it up nicely and galloped out strong. He's got talent and hopefully he'll keep improving."
Carroll had not been to Pimlico since 1989 when he was the exercise rider for Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Easy Goer.
"It's great to be back," Carroll said. "That was a great experience but it was a tough loss. Today was a lot more fun but we are not making any commitments to the Preakness. Where his next race will be, I have no idea."
Six competed in the Tesio after the scratches of Handsome Tiger, Indian Companion, Just Win Baby, and Wabbajack. Dynamic Strike finished fourth, followed by Hanky Doodle, and Wry Me.