Federico Tesio, Weber City Miss Top Laurel Spring Stakes

March 10, 2024

2023 Tesio winner Perform in a pre-Preakness work at Pimlico. (Jim McCue/MJC)

+ Nine Stakes Worth $950,000 in Purses During 15-Day Stand 
+ Tesio ‘Win and In’ for 149th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18
+ Weber City Miss ‘Win and In’ for Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17
+ Winter Heritage Meet Resumes with Nine-Race Card Friday

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – A total of nine stakes worth $950,000 in purses, led by the $125,000 Federico Tesio for 3-year-olds and $125,000 Weber City Miss for 3-year-old fillies doubleheader April 20, will be offered during Laurel Park’s 2024 spring meet.

The 15-day spring meet is set to open Friday, April 5 and host live racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, May 5. Post time will be 12:25 p.m. with the exception of a noon start on Kentucky Derby (G1) day, May 4.

Named for the noted Italian breeder, owner and trainer whose homebreds Nearco and Ribot dominate Thoroughbred bloodlines around the world, the 1 1/8-mile Tesio for a ninth straight year serves as a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-olds to the Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Preakness 149 is set for Saturday, May 18 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The 43rd running of the Tesio headlines a program featuring five stakes worth $550,000 in purses, including the first three of the season scheduled for the turf, on the second of back-to-back Spring Stakes Spectacular Saturdays. Spring Stakes Spectacular kicks off April 13 with four $100,000 stakes.

A total of 22 Tesio winners have gone on to run in the Preakness, the last being Alwaysmining in 2019 with Maryland-bred Deputed Testamony (1983) the only horse to sweep both races. Last year’s winner, Perform, was supplemented for $150,000 to the Preakness, where he finished fifth for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.

Happy Saver won the Tesio in 2020 for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher as a prelude to his next-out victory over older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Runners-up Ruler On Ice (2011) and Monday Morning Qb (2020) respectively went on to capture the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Maryland Million Classic.

Guanare victorious in the Spectacular Bid Jan. 27 at Laurel Park (Jeff Snyder/Maryland Jockey Club)

Maryland has already run two prep races for 3-year-olds this year, with Guanare taking the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid Jan. 27 and Speedyness winning the one-mile Miracle Wood Feb. 24. The 1 1/16-mile Private Terms is scheduled for March 16.

Following the six-furlong Xtra Heat, seven-furlong Wide Country and one-mile Beyond the Wire as Maryland’s 3-year-old filly prep races, the Weber City Miss provides the winner with an automatic berth to the 100th Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 17. Roanan Goddess captured the Jan. 27 Xtra Heat and was third behind Miss Harriett in the Feb. 24 Wide Country. The Beyond the Wire will be run March 16.

Also on the April 20 program are the $100,000 Henry S. Clark for 3-year-olds and up and $100,000 Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and older, both going one mile, and the 5 ½-furlong King T. Leatherbury, also for 3-year-olds and up – the first 2024 stakes scheduled for Laurel’s world-class turf course.

Spring stakes action begins Saturday, April 13 with four $100,000 events on the main track – the seven-furlong Frank Y. Whiteley and 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer for 3-year-olds and up, and six-furlong Primonetta and one-mile Heavenly Cause for fillies and mares 3 and older.

Laurel’s 38-day winter Heritage Meet that began Jan. 1 continues with a live nine-race program Friday and runs through Saturday, March 30.

Friday’s feature comes in Race 8, six-furlong allowance for Maryland-bred/sired fillies and mares 4 and up that includes 4-year-olds Devil Pays in Gold, riding a two-race win streak including her season debut Feb. 25 at Laurel, and Angelofcanterbury, a last-out winner in front-running fashion Feb. 6 at Parx for Heritage Meet-leading trainer Jamie Ness.

Positive ROI for Jan WITHOUT @Tracking_Trips horses (yay me!). AMAZING ROI with TT horses (yay @jonathanstettin)! Continues heater from Q4!

Kevin West @KFWest003 View testimonials