Copper Tax Among 26 Nominees to $125,000 Federico Tesio

‘Win & In’ for Triple Crown Nominees to 149th Preakness (G1)
Tops Five Stakes Worth $550,000 in Purses Saturday, April 20
Weber City Miss Qualifier for $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2)
Henry S. Clark, Dahlia, King Leatherbury First Turf Stakes
Live Racing for Laurel Spring Meet Resumes Friday, April 12

LAUREL, MD – Stakes winners Copper Tax, Circle P, Otello, Speedyness and Trikari and Grade 2-placed stablemates Common Defense and Real Men Violin top 26 3-year-olds nominated to the $125,000 Federico Tesio Saturday, April 20 at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Tesio headlines five stakes worth $550,000 in purses on the second of back-to-back Spring Stakes Spectacular programs that includes the $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies and the first three scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course – the $100,000 Henry S. Clark and $100,000 Dahlia going one mile and $100,000 King T. Leatherbury sprinting 5 ½ furlongs.

For the ninth straight year, the Tesio will serve as a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated horses to the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course. The 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss earns the winner an automatic berth in Pimlico’s 100th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17.

Rose Petal Stable’s Copper Tax is among 17 Tesio nominees also nominated to the Triple Crown. The Copper Bullet colt snapped a two-race losing streak with a popular neck triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms March 23, his third stakes win and second at Laurel following the 2023 James F. Lewis III.

The next four finishers from the Private Terms – Inveigled, Speedyness, Circle P and Startswithadream – are also nominated to the Tesio. Mark Grier’s Inveigled has yet to win a stakes in four tries but has run second twice, both a neck behind Copper Tax at Laurel, the first coming in the Nov. 11 Lewis.

Speedyness, bred, co-owned and trained by Jamie Ness, set the pace in the Private Terms and got caught late and wound up third, beaten a neck. The Great Notion gelding began his sophomore season with back-to-back wins, a 14 ¼-length optional claiming allowance triumph Jan. 7 and a 1 ½-length score in the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 24. DeSales 85’s Circle P sprung an 8-1 upset of the Maryland Juvenile, a race where Speedyness ran third, then was third in the Miracle Wood in his first race in three months.

Norman Stables’ Startswithadream was a debut winner sprinting six furlongs Jan. 28 at Laurel and was fourth in the Miracle Wood before being encountering a troubled trip in the Private Terms. Amerman Racing’s Trikari has won two of four starts, most recently taking the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway March 23 over Turfway Park’s all-weather surface.

Trainer Ken McPeek, who won the 2023 Private Terms with Hayes Strike, nominated Common Defense and Real Men Violin. David Bernsen, Tony Holmes, Michael Holmes and Norevale Farm’s Common Defense was second at 27-1 in the Feb. 24 Rebel (G2) and fifth in the March 23 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, while Tilted Shamrock Stables’ Real Men Violin has been well-beaten in both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby after ending 2023 as runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2).

Also prominent among nominees are Siena Farm and WinStar Farm’s Otello, half-length winner of the one-mile Mucho Macho Man Jan. 1 at Gulfstream Park; Fulmineo, runner-up in the 2023 Pilgrim (G2) on turf; Doc Sullivan, second in the one-mile Gander Feb. 25 at Aqueduct; Malinois, riding a three-race win streak at Laurel; and Quint’s Brew, a front-running winner of his two career starts by 6 ¼ combined lengths.

D Hatman Thoroughbreds’ Determined Driver, an eye-catching 12 ½-length winner of the one-mile Beyond the Wire March 23 at Laurel, heads 23 nominees to the Weber City Miss. The Maryland-bred filly has raced five times with three wins and seconds in the 2023 Timonium Juvenile and Feb. 24 Wide Country.

Other nominees include 2023 Miss Behaviour winner Aoife’s Magic, third in the Beyond the Wire; McPeek-trained Band of Gold, winner of the Feb. 3 Martha Washington; Jeanne Marie, winner of the one-mile, 70-yard Main Line March 5 at Parx; Wide Country and 2023 Maryland Million Lassie winner Miss Harriett; and Roanan Goddess, winner of Laurel’s seven-furlong Xtra Heat Jan. 27.

The Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up attracted 33 nominations led by Graham Motion-trained stablemates Dataman, winner of Laurel’s 2023 Bald Eagle Derby, and 2019 Virginia Derby (G3) winner English Bee; Eons, back-to-back winner of Laurels Prince George’s County in 2022-23; Forever Souper, a winner of two turf stakes this winter in Florida; and Santorini, third in the 2023 Bryan Station (G3) at Keeneland.

The Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and older has 34 nominees including Dana’s Beauty, front-running winner of the March 23 Latonia at Turfway; Gold Digging Broad, promoted winner of Laurel’s 2023 All Brandy; Heavenly Appointed, a winner of three straight yet to face stakes company; Parx turf stakes winner Neecie Marie, beaten a neck when second in the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational (G3) last fall; 2023 Maryland Million Ladies winner Precious Avary; and New York-bred stakes winer Silver Skillet.

Most popular among horsemen with 42 nominees is the King T. Leatherbury for 3-year-olds and up headed by Elizabeth Merryman-bred, owned and trained Witty, a stakes winner on grass and dirt including the Maryland Million Turf Sprint at Laurel and Ben’s Cat at Pimlico. Also prominent are Fore Harp, who beat Witty in the 2023 Laurel Dash; 2023 Wolf Hill winner Alogon; Laurel’s 2023 Stormy Blues winner Bosserati; Eamonn, third in Saturday’s Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland; 2021 Maryland Million Turf Sprint winner Grateful Bred; and Aqueduct’s 2023 Turf Sprint Championship winner Nothing Better.

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn Sunday, April 14 for all five stakes.

Notes: Five-pound apprentice J.G. Torrealba won twice Sunday aboard Marley’s Ghost ($2.80) in Race 1 and Stormy Midnight ($6) in Race 3 … Jaime Rodriguez also doubled with Catahoula Moon ($6.20) in Race 4 and Gambling Tzar ($17.40) in Race 6 … Both Catahoula Moon and I Had Enough ($4.20) in Race 9 are trained by Jerry Robb … The Elkstone Group’s My Flicker ($9.20), racing second off the claim for trainer Brittany Russell, got up late to win Sunday’s Race 8 feature in 1:05 for 5 ½ furlongs on a fast main track. Funny How, ridden by Katie Davis in her first race at Laurel since April 11, 2021, finished sixth … There will be a carryover of $694.05 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6) when live racing returns to Laurel Friday, April 12. Post time is 12:25 p.m.

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