04/16/2004 11:00PM

Water Cannon wears down Pawyne Princess in Tesio

Jim McCue
Water Cannon (left) chases Pawyne Princess for more than a mile to win Saturday's Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.

After chasing the speedy filly Pawyne Princess for more than a mile, Water Cannon looked like a beaten horse with less than a furlong remaining in Saturday's $100,000 for 3-year-olds at Pimlico. But as Pawyne Princess, a slight favorite at 6-5, grew leg weary inside the sixteenth pole, Water Cannon erased a two-length deficit and got up by a neck to record his fifth consecutive victory.

Ridden for the first time by Ryan Fogelsonger, Water Cannon ($7.60) has not been beaten since trainer Linda Albert added blinkers last December. He is now a likely candidate for the May 15 Preakness.

Water Cannon covered the nine furlongs on a fast track in 1:50.50.

Paddington, the 7-5 second choice, finished fourth in his first start since last November.

* The Lady's Groom ($13) rode the rail to outduel 2-5 favorite Unforgettable Max in the co-featured $150,000 Jim McKay Breeders' Cup Handicap for older horses.

The Lady's Groom, ridden by Horacio Karamanos, and Unforgettable Max, making his first start for new trainer Bruce Levine, dueled from the first turn until the final sixteenth of the 1 1/8-mile McKay. In deep stretch, The Lady's Groom finally pulled clear to hit the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front, covering the distance in 1:45.23.

Earlier this month, The Lady's Groom tried similar tactics in an attempt to lead wire to wire in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, but surrendered a 2 1/2-length lead in the final furlong of the 1 1/4-mile race.

It was the first stakes victory for the 4-year-old The Lady's Groom, trained by Mike Gorham.