Tour's Big Red surprises Tesio field 9-1 shot from Florida wins by 2 1/4 lengths

April 21, 1996|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

On one of Maryland's premier racing days, the Maryland Spring Challenge, a Florida colt named Tour's Big Red roared down the stretch yesterday at Pimlico to capture the $163,000 Federico Tesio Stakes.

The Grade III Tesio is the state's major Kentucky Derby prep. Although no Derby contenders competed in the 1 1/8 -mile race, Tour's Big Red may return to Pimlico May 18 for the Preakness and then race three weeks later in the Belmont Stakes.

"This horse can run all day," said Enrique Alonso, the trainer stabled at Calder Race Course in South Florida. "He should have won five more races than he has. He always gets in trouble."

Tour's Big Red avoided trouble in the Tesio. Sent off by bettors at 9-to-1, he raced tightly in the pack of horses, tracking early leaders Viv and Connecting Terms, moved wide in the final turn and then galloped to a convincing 2 1/4 -length victory.

Maryland-bred Connecting Terms, also 9-to-1, held on for second. Mixed Count, another Maryland-bred, rushed up for third.

The Bud Delp-trained Viv, favored at 2-to-1, faded to fifth. The bettors' second choice, Devil's Honor, finished seventh, and the third choice, Thundering Storm, finished last in the nine-horse race.

Tour's Big Red paid $21.20 to win. The exacta paid $229.40 and the trifecta $1,681.60. The winning time was 1 minute, 50 seconds.

Although the Tesio was the highlight of the 11-race card, the Maryland Spring Challenge also featured four races for Maryland-breds.

Urbane, one of the country's fastest fillies, won the $100,000 1 1/16-mile Geisha Handicap handily by 3 1/4 lengths and paid $3.60. She has finished in the top three in all but one of her 13 races.

Born three years ago at Country Life Farm in Harford County, Urbane has won six races, including last year's Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. She lost four times to last year's top filly, Serena's Song, trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

"She was the only filly last year that gave Serena's Song her toughest races," said Samantha Siegel, one of Urbane's owners.

Siegel said Urbane probably would race next in the $200,000 Pimlico Distaff on Preakness Day. Pimlico's stakes coordinator, David Rollinson, said he would try to recruit Serena's Song for the Distaff and the two fillies' first clash as 4-year-olds.

In the $100,000 1 1/8 -mile Jennings Handicap, Say Capp beat Bay Capp after a stewards' ruling on a jockey's objection reversed the order of finish. The reversal cost Bay Capp his seventh straight victory.

Bay Capp finished a head in front of Say Capp after Bay Capp, ridden by Edgar Prado, bumped Say Capp, ridden by Larry C. Reynolds, four or five strides from the wire.

The horses have similar names because they're related. Turn Capp is Say Capp's mother and Bay Capp's grandmother. They were both bred by C. Oliver Goldsmith, who lives in Howard County.

Marfa's Finale led every step in winning the $75,000 1 1/16-mile Caesar's Wish Stakes. Donna Donovan, one of the owners of the 3-year-old filly, said the speedster probably would run in Pimlico's Black-Eyed Susan the day before the Preakness.

Fort Dodge won the $60,000, six-furlong Star De Naskra Stakes for 86-year-old owner Milton Ritzenberg, who lives in Virginia.

Pub Date: 4/21/96

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