For the second straight year, the Tesio is a "Win and You’re In" event for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.
Also on Saturday's card is the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies, a "Win and You’re In" race for Pimlico's $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) May 19. That race features undefeated Jenda's Agenda for Cindy and Larry Jones and Fox Hill Farms.
St. Elias Stables' Action Everyday didn't debut until late December and won each of his first two races at Tampa Bay Downs before finishing a well-beaten fourth in the March 4 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in his most recent start.
"Action Everyday is a horse that has shown some ability and he's also shown some immaturity," Pletcher said. "He has been a little bit unprofessional at times in some of his races, so we felt like a little more of an incremental step probably made sense for him.
"We felt like the Tesio, from a timing standpoint, was good and the distance should suit him well. We're optimistic that he's got some improvement in him and that he'll continue to sort of put things mentally together and learn how to polish his races off a little bit."
The son of The Factor rolled by four lengths in his unveiling, a seven-furlong maiden special weight Dec. 23 at Tampa Bay, where he returned in an entry-level, optional-claiming allowance Jan. 27 to win by 1 1/4 lengths despite drifting out in the stretch.
"He came into us sort of later in the fall at Palm Beach Downs, so it took a little bit of time to get him ready. He's had a pretty smooth winter and early spring, so we decided to ship him up to New York and take a shot at some of those races," Pletcher said. "He was actually very professional in his debut and then in his second start he made the lead and tried to sort of pull himself up and didn't quite know what to do with it.
"We've been working on that. We put some blinkers on him, which seems to keep him a little more focused. I think the real key would be if he'll just go over there and keep his mind on business and hopefully move forward."
Pletcher previously won the Tesio with Smoked Em in 2002.
Following an eight-length romp against winners while facing open company for the first time, New York-bred Carradine will attempt to continue Linda Rice's outstanding winter-spring meet at Laurel and provide the trainer with her third Tesio win. Rice leads the Laurel meet in purse earnings ($653,860) and is third with 19 wins, while her horses have finished in the top three at an 81% clip from 37 starters. D A S L Stable's Carradine will be racing outside of his home state for the first time in the Tesio.
Carradine, who did not meet his $39,000 reserve when offered at Fasig-Tipton's 2015 Midlantic eastern fall yearling sale at Timonium, ran four times at Aqueduct's winter inner-track meet, finishing third in the Damon Runyon Stakes and second in the Gander Stakes, prior to his breakthrough optional-claiming allowance win.
Also in the Tesio are Twisted Tom and O Dionysus, who ran 1-2 in the Private Terms Stakes March 18 at Laurel. It marked the stakes debut for Cobra Farm's Twisted Tom, who came flying on the far outside to nail favored O Dionysus by a nose in his fifth start.
Laurel-based O Dionysus will make his 10th start in the Tesio and ninth on his home track, where he owns two wins, four seconds, and a third. An easy winner of the one-mile Miracle Wood Stakes Feb. 18, the Bodemeister colt was also narrowly beaten by Triple Crown contender Irish War Cry in the Marylander Stakes Dec. 31 and graded stakes winner No Dozing second time out last fall.
O Dionysus was making his two-turn debut in the Private Terms, rating behind horses for a half-mile before edging past stubborn leader Dharmaster in mid-stretch before getting caught at the wire.
Rounding out the field is Cash is King's Hashtag Alex, a son of 2008 Preakness and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Afleet Alex , most recently sixth in the Private Terms. Prior to that race, he was a front-running winner of a one-mile, optional-claiming allowance Feb. 28 at Parx Racing, where he made his first three starts.
Laurel Park, Saturday, April 22, 2017, Race 7
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Hashtag Alex (KY) Carol Cedeno 118 John C. Servis 15/1 2 2Action Everyday (KY) Trevor McCarthy 116 Todd A. Pletcher 5/2 3 3Twisted Tom (NY) Feargal Lynch 122 Chad C. Brown 7/2 4 4O Dionysus (MD) Jevian Toledo 122 Gary Capuano 5/2 5 5Carradine (NY) Cornelio H. Velasquez 118 Linda Rice 8/5
Laurel Park, Saturday, April 22, 2017, Race 7