Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger and Water Cannon caught frontrunning filly Pawyne Princess just yards from the wire to win the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes Saturday at Pimlico. Water Cannon, who has won five races in a row, could be heard from again at the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico, trainer Linda Albert said.Sent to post as the third choice in the betting behind Paddington and Pawyne Princess (the 13-10 choice), Water Cannon charged to the lead at the start from his outside post, then relinquished the lead to the filly down the backstretch and stalked her the rest of the way. Pawyne Princess appeared to be on her way to victory when Fogelsonger roused the son of Waquoit with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. They were up in time to win by a neck in 1:50.50 for the nine furlongs. Irish Laddie was third, a half-length behind.Fogelsonger said Water Cannon was difficult to handle early."I wasn't sending him, he was saying 'let's go' and I said to myself, if I'm going to be here I'm going to slow it down as much as possible. Rose (jockey Jeremy Rose, aboard Pawyne Princess) came on the outside and I didn't want to be on the lead to begin with, so I let him go and sat off him. She put in a hard effort but the horse I was on is very, very nice. At the top of the stretch I thought it was going to be a little tight and then as he started to get a little closer I thought 'he's got it'.""This is without a doubt the highlight of my career," Albert said. "If they let us in, we'll be in the Preakness. He's such a relaxed horse. I don't feel that the crowd would get to him or all the excitement of the day. He was laying down in his stall before we shipped over here. He's moving forward with every race. I wasn't sure he was going to get there, but he never lets us down. He's a real competitor.""We got what we needed and that is a race for the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II on May 14)," said Jerry Robb, who trains Pawyne Princess. "She proved she belongs. She needed the experience and it was either run here or run against older mares for $20,000. I was a nose short of doing the right thing. She is a nice filly."Paddington, the 7-5 second choice who is conditioned by Michael Dickinson, was rank entering the first turn and came up empty, finishing fourth, nearly three lengths behind the winner.
Water Cannon paid $7.60, $3.20 and $2.60 while claiming his fifth win in 11 starts. His biggest payday, $60,000, improved his career earnings to $166,750 for owners The Nonsequitur Stable LLC.He paid $7.60, $3.20 and $2.60. Pawyne Princess returned $2.80 and $2.20. Irish Laddie's show was $4.40.(Chart, Equibase)