Ruler On Ice, J W Blue among field of 7 in Tesio Stakes
Seven promising 3-year-olds with possible Preakness dreams will duel in today's $75,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Ruler On Ice and J W Blue are the one-two program selections in the 11/16-mile race. Ruler On Ice is a front-runner, and J W Blue has started off slowly in his past four races. Ruler On Ice (2-1) reaches Baltimore after starts at Aqueduct, Parx Racing and Sunland Park this year, including an allowance victory and a closing third in the Sunland Derby (Grade III). Jose Valdivia, who was aboard for all three starts, keeps the ride for trainer Kelly Breen. Breen entered Ruler on Ice in the Kentucky Derby, but the son of Roman Ruler ranked 22nd on the graded earnings list and did not make the field. J W Blue (5-2) wintered at Oaklawn Park, where he finished fifth and sixth in the Grade II Rebel and the Grade I Arkansas Derby, respectively. Joe Rocco Jr. has ridden the Tony Dutrow trainee in his past four starts. Dutrow won last year's Tesio with Bank the Eight. Iscar (5-1) comes into the Tesio on a two-race winning streak, breaking his maiden at Aqueduct and then taking an allowance race at Parx Racing. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is a son of Bernardini, the 2006 Preakness winner. Erick Rodriguez has the riding assignment. Speedy Moonlite Grinder (5-1) rides a three-race win streak into Saturday's feature, two at Parx and one at Penn National. Angel Rodriguez rides for trainer Bernie Houghton, a former racing official with the Maryland Jockey Club. Concealed Identity (6-1) won the Maryland Juvenile Championship in December and broke a three-race off the board streak with an allowance score here April 15 at the Tesio distance. Eddie Gaudet trains the Smarty Jones gelding. Sheldon Russell rides him again. The infield will be open for the Preakness Prep Infield Party from noon to 6p.m. with concerts by The Plain White T's and Sons of the Radio in the beer garden. Tickets for the concert are $30, including a bottomless mug for those 21 and over. Unlimited soda and water will be available for all ages.