04/28/2010 11:00PM

Tesio field a modest five-pack


The Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico frequently produces a starter for the Preakness Stakes several weeks later. The most notable recent example was Icabad Crane, who used a win in the Tesio as a springboard to a third-place finish in the 2008 Preakness.

Saturday's 30th running of the $70,000 Tesio, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, has come up slim in total numbers and Preakness prospects.

Just five horses were entered and only one, Noah's Dream, is a Triple Crown nominee. The connections of the other four horses would have to pay a $100,000 fee to run in the Preakness two weeks from Saturday.

One Tesio starter owns only a win over maiden claimers, and the other four are still eligible for a second-level allowance.

Regal Warrior owns the most stakes experience of the group. On the bright side, his two best Beyer Speed Figures have come in his last two starts, both in stakes at Laurel Park. He rallied from off the pace to finish second in the seven-furlong Miracle Wood and third in the one-mile Private Terms.

In Regal Warrior's lone start around two turns, he won a 1o1/16-mile optional claimer at Laurel in January.

Bank the Eight, based at Philadelphia Park with trainer Tony Dutrow, responded well when he tried two turns for the first time last time out. Racing over a sloppy surface, Bank the Eight drew off to win by 7 1/2 lengths in a first-level allowance.

Noah's Dream failed to threaten when he was ambitiously spotted in the Grade 3 Bay Shore a month ago following a daylight win going a mile in a first-level optional claimer. He now stretches out around two turns for the first time.

The Peloton is the lone three-time winner in the field, but two of those victories came while he was running for a claiming price. On the positive side, he ran the fastest race of his eight-race career winning a first-level allowance around two turns at Philly Park three weeks ago.