04/19/2006 11:00PM

This Tesio doesn't have look of Preakness prep

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Gary I. Rothstein / EQUI-PHOTOS
Roamin Murphy, winning an allowance at Gulfstream on April 1, runs in Saturday's Tesio.

In most years, the Federico Tesio Stakes allows the best 3-year-old based in Maryland a chance to show off one more time before being thrown to the wolves in the Preakness Stakes one month later.

This year, however, the best 3-year-old based in Maryland, Sweetnorthernsaint, has done enough to earn his way to the Kentucky Derby. Thus, Saturday's $150,000 Federico Tesio is a compilation of locally based horses and a few shippers seeking a nice payday, but not necessarily a Preakness berth.

Only five of the 11 horses entered in the Tesio are nominated to the Triple Crown, and that doesn't include two of the three stakes winners in the field. The Tesio, run at 1 1/8 miles, is the highlight of an 11-race Pimlico card that includes a trio of $125,000 stakes restricted to Maryland-breds or progeny of Maryland-based stallions. First post is 1:10 p.m.

, a gelded son of Malibu Moon, leads the local contingent. He has won two of his last three starts, including a 4 1/2-length victory in a seven-furlong allowance race April 12. Three weeks before that, Ah Day blew a 3 1/2-length lead in the stretch when he lost the one-mile Private Terms by a neck to 73-1 shot Our Peak.

Ah Day's trainer, King Leatherbury, won this race last year with Malibu Moonshine, another son of Malibu Moon. Leatherbury said he isn't sure how far Ah Day wants to run.

"He's a different kind of horse from Malibu Moonshine," Leatherbury said. "He's bigger, faster, and he may be a better horse. What I'm waiting to see on Saturday is if he can go a mile and an eighth. That's what's keeping me from getting too high on him right now."

, a gelded son of Peaks and Valleys, is a stone-cold closer who may actually appreciate the added distance.

beat Victory Lake in an entry-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park on April 1. In between his maiden and first-level allowance wins, Roamin Murphy had the misfortune of running into Strong Contender and Showing Up in separate allowance races.

"They were like running in stakes races," said trainer Tim Ritchey. Against Strong Contender, Ritchey said, "We were trying to rate him a little bit, and it isn't the way he wants to run. We'll let him run his race and I think he has a shot in there."

After running poorly in a pair of one-turn races, Victory Lake has run well twice in a pair of nine-furlong races.

Scanlon's Song ships down from New York seeking to revert to the form he showed when he won his maiden from well off the pace. He adds blinkers for this.