04/27/2013 5:36PM

Pimlico: Abstraction passes first stakes test in Federico Tesio

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Abstraction, with Leandro Goncalves aboard, improves to 2 for 3 lifetime by winning his stakes debut in the Federico Tesio.

Lightly raced 3-year-old colt Abstraction made the leap from maiden to stakes company and easily handled the assignment as a convincing winner in Saturday’s $75,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.

Abstraction isn’t nominated to the Triple Crown series, so it’s unlikely he will return to Pimlico for the Preakness in three weeks. But he could become a factor within the division later this season.

Trainer David Carroll said he would take Abstraction ($3.60) back to Churchill Downs and wait before discussing next-race plans with Leonard Riggio, whose My Meadowbrook Farm owns and bred the son of Pulpit.

"We are not making any commitments to the Preakness," Carroll said. "Where his next race will be, I have no idea.”

Abstraction did not make his career debut until Feb. 2 at Fair Grounds and improved dramatically in his second start when he stretched out from six furlongs to a mile and 70 yards to win by 9 3/4 lengths, earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

Leandro Goncalves, who had been riding at the Keeneland meet that ended Friday, came in from Kentucky to retain the mount on Abstraction and liked Abstraction's performance in the Tesio, a 1 1/16-mile race that occasionally produces a Preakness starter.

“I was trapped the whole way and he gave me everything he had,” said Goncalves, who was making his first trip to Pimlico. “He helped me push horses out of my way and get out. When I got him outside at the three-sixteenths pole, I asked him. That’s the key. You get him outside and he has that big kick and he switched leads and it was pretty much over. He keeps getting better and better as he has matured. He has a lot of talent.”

Carroll was impressed too, especially with the way Abstraction handled being pinned to the rail for the first six furlongs.

“Today was a big step forward with the ship and a paceless race," Carroll said. "But he showed today he has a big heart. He’s always a horse who trains with talent. He has to go out there and do it. It was a great learning experience for him. He was trapped down inside. He got a lot of dirt. He had to make room and once he did he picked it up nicely and galloped out strong. He’s got talent and hopefully he’ll keep improving.”

The 4-5 favorite in a field reduced to six by four scratches, Abstraction was fourth in the early going and had little room to manuever while trapped inside.  In the stretch, Abstraction was steered to the outside for a clear path and joined pacesetter Rienzi and Heat Press across the track as the three raced on nearly equal terms with a furlong remaining. Abstraction took command inside the sixteenth pole and finished strongly,winning by 2 1/4 lengths while completing the distance in 1:46.16. Heat Press nosed out Rienzi for second.

Daydreamin Grace romps in Shine Again

Daydreamin Gracie, making her first start on the main track since last August following six straight races on turf, cruised to an eight-length victory in the $50,000 Shine Again for Maryland-bred fillies and mares who had never won a stakes.

A 5-year-old mare trained by Dane Kobiskie for PTK LLC, Daydreamin Gracie ($7) has now won three straight races and is 9 for 25 lifetime. Garry Cruise picked up the mount when Darydreamin Gracie’s regular jockey, Joshua Navarrro, went to ride the all-turf mini-meet at Atlantic City. Cruise, 34, relocated to Maryland last fall after riding for seven years at Woodbine and Fort Erie in Ontario, Canada. He is relatively new to the Mid-Atlantic region, but is no stranger to Kobiskie, a former rider.

“Dane and I have been friends for 12 years.” Cruise said. “We used to gallop horses for Dallas Stewart and this was an opportunity to ride for my friend.”

Daydreamin Gracie covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.30. Touch the Birds finished second as the 8-5 favorite. Her rider, Forest Boyce, lodged an objection against the winner for interference on the first turn, but the claim of foul was disallowed. Franstein finished third.