In a near wire-to-wire effort, Tenpins rolled to victory in the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico on the race before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Owned by Joseph Vitello, Tenpins held off a stretch threat by Bowman's Band to win by 1 1/4 lengths.
Tenpins, under 114 pounds and breaking sharply from post 2, was outrun in the opening yards by Lightning Paces, breaking from post 3, but quickly found the front heading into the first turn. Skimming the rail, Tenpins set quick splits of :22.81 and :46.40 for the 1 1/8-mile race on the main track. Under Robbie Albarado, Tenpins had the inside path down the backstretch while being pressured by Lightning Paces. First Amendment, ridden by Ramon Dominquez, sat in third, but was a few lengths off the top two. Bowman's Band held good position while inside. After six furlongs in 1:11.07, Grundlefoot made a wide bid from off the pace to join contention on the turn while Bowman's Band began to make headway from the rail.
In the stretch, Tenpins had plenty left to hold off the bid by Edgar Prado and Bowman's Band. Grundlefoot gave way while wide, tiring to finish fourth. Tactical Side, stablemate of First Amendment, rallied for third, 6 ¼ lengths behind Bowman's Band. Final time was 1:50.20, three seconds off Private Term's track standard set in 1989.
Tenpins paid $10.20, $5, and $3.80. Bowman's Band returned $4.20 to place and $3.40 to show. Tactical Side paid $2.80 to show. The exacta combination, 2 and 4, returned $37.
Tenpins, trained by Donald Winfree, was winning for the sixth consecutive time. After failing in his maiden voyage, the son of Smart Strike, out of the Deputy Minister mare Maid's Broom, has rattled off wins at Arlington, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds, and Keeneland again. The William Donald Schaefer was his first stakes start. (Chart, Equibase