04/17/2008 12:00AM

Is Icabad Crane a Preakness prospect?


Trainer Graham Motion already has a Kentucky Derby horse in Adriano. Come sunset Saturday, he may have a horse for the Preakness too.

Motion sends out Icabad Crane in Saturday's $150,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico and though the $1 million Preakness is not foremost in Motion's mind, the Tesio winner has typically run back in the middle leg of racing's Triple Crown, to be run on May 17. The Tesio is one of four stakes on a 10-race card that begins at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

Icabad Crane, a New York-bred son of Jump Start, is 2 for 3 for Motion and owner Earle Mack. He won a pair of New York-bred races at Aqueduct before finishing third behind Big Glen and Miner's Claim in the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes over Turfway Park's synthetic surface.

"I thought it was a pretty good effort," Motion said. "I think the winner is a nice horse, I think the second horse is a nice horse. Maybe we were lacking in seasoning a little bit."

He noted that when jockey Edgar Prado asked the horse to make his move Icabad Crane "got to looking around a little bit."

Motion said he felt Turfway Park's track favored horses that lay close to the pace. Icabad Crane likes to settle and make one run, and Motion is hopeful that jockey Jeremy Rose will be able to do that with the horse on Saturday. With Fast Talking, Mint Lane, and Indian Jump in the field there appears to be ample speed.

Cave's Valley is still trying to recapture the form he displayed at 2 when he won his first three starts, including a pair of stakes at Delaware. He has lost four straight races, but was beaten less than a length when fourth in the Private Terms, a one-turn mile race on March 22. Though Cave's Valley is drawn on the outside in this eight-horse field, trainer Michael Trombetta doesn't see that as a problem.

"There's speed in the race, we got a huge run up to the first turn, I'm sure we'll be okay," Trombetta said. "It's such a fine line between a good 3-year-old and a really good 3-year-old. That's a horse that paired 93 Beyer numbers and hasn't been able to get across the finish line first.''

Deputyville, fifth in the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park, makes his first start for trainer Gary Contessa and Steve Sigler's Winning Move Stable. Regal Solo, a late-running second in the Private Terms, and Wonder Mon complete the field.