04/18/2008 11:00PM

Icabad Crane camp talking Preakness


Icabad Crane bounced back from his first career defeat with a gritty head victory over a stubborn Mint Lane in Saturday's $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. It was three lengths back to Deputyville.

The Tesio is Pimlico's prep for the May 17 Preakness Stakes, but it remains to be seen if Icabad Crane, a New York-bred son of Jump Start, will point to the $1 million second leg of the Triple Crown, also run at Pimlico.

"We hadn't really discussed it at all, it's definitely something we will discuss now," Graham Motion, who trains Icabad Crane for owner Earle Macke, said from Kentucky where he is preparing Adriano for a Kentucky Derby start.

"He's 3 for 3 on dirt, and I thought ran a courageous race, the kind of race you have to run in the big races. You got to be game and he was very game, I thought."

The Tesio victory capped a huge day for jockey Jeremy Rose, who won two other stakes on the program and finished second in another.

Icabad Crane won his first two starts at Aqueduct before finishing third in the Rushaway Stakes, run over Turfway Park's Polytrack. Motion felt his horse was too close to the pace in the Rushaway and was hoping Rose would be able to get him back in the Tesio.

While Rose accomplished that objective, Icabad Crane did not have the easiest of trips. He got bumped by Wonder Mon coming out of the gate and again entering the first turn. After racing in sixth position outside of Deputyville down the backside, Icabad Crane found himself between horses entering the far turn. Meanwhile, New York shipper Mint Lane was loose on the lead through fractions of 23.91 seconds, 48.49, and 1:13.32.

Turning for home, Icabad Crane brushed with Fast Talking then set sail after Mint Lane. The two hooked up inside the eighth pole and were head and head through the lane before Icabad Crane edged clear late. Icabad Crane covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.83 and returned $5.80 as the favorite.

"I was impressed how game he was," Rose said. "We were in a couple of tight spots."

Ravalo rolls in Allen's Prospect

A good break by Ravalo and a poor start by Cognac Kisses might have made all the difference as Ravalo won the $53,500 Allen's Prospect Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over Cognac Kisses. It was three-quarters of a length back to Grand Champion.

Ravalo, under Rose, set fractions of 23.24 seconds, 45.52, 57.41 and covered six furlongs in 1:09.82 in winning for the sixth time in his last eight starts. Overall, Ravalo is 7 for 14 for owner Lindy Redding and trainer Donald Barr. Ravalo is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred gelded son of Mutakddim.

The victory may have earned Ravalo a start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap on Preakness Day, May 17.

Lexi Star kicks in late in Geisha

Lexi Star began her 6-year-old season the same way she ended her 5-year-old campaign - with a victory in the Geisha Stakes. While her victory in last December's Geisha at Laurel was a cakewalk, Saturday's win was not.

Hung wide throughout, Lexi Star appeared to be backing up as the field approached the stretch. But once in the lane, Lexi Star, with Rose up, kicked in and was able to run down pacesetting Spectacular Moon to win the $60,000 Geisha by a head. It was the 10th victory from 22 career starts for Lexi Star, owned by Stephen Quick and trained by Christopher Grove.

"Her heart kicked in," Rose said. "She kind of stalled a little bit. She hit her right lead and she took off again. She just wanted it more than anybody else. She overcomes, good horses do, she did today, and her next race will be twice as impressive."

Lexi Star covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.76 and returned $3.60.

Powerful Touch rallies to win McKay

Powerful Touch ($8.80) rallied three wide in the stretch under Mario Pino to run down Eddie C. and Rose to win the $72,250 Jim McKay Stakes by a length. Eddie C. held second by a nose over Kong the King.

Powerful Touch, an 8-year-old gelded son of Touch Gold owned by Frank Stronach and trained by Justin Nixon, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.13.