05/02/2009 12:00AM

Zito's second horse romps in Tesio


Miner's Escape needed six starts to finally win his maiden at Gulfstream Park last month. But he put himself in consideration for a berth in the Preakness by dominating Saturday's $75,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.

Part of a coupled entry for trainer Nick Zito that was bet down to 7-2 in a field of eight 3-year-olds, Miner's Escape ($9.60), who pressed a modest pace of 48.93 and 1:13.18 set by eventual third-place finisher Tone It Down, drew off in the stretch of the 1 1/8-mile Tesio to defeat 9-1 Hehasnosay by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:51.23.

Luis Garcia picked up the mount on Miner's Escape when Julien Pimentel elected to ride Zito's other horse, Toby the Coal Man, who was coming out of the Florida Derby and appeared to be the stronger part of the coupled entry. Toby the Coal Man delayed the start of the race when he unseated Pimentel in the gate, broke slowly, and never was in contention while finishing sixth.

The Prince was a non-threatening seventh as the even-money favorite.

Miner's Escape, a son of Mineshaft owned by Robert LaPenta, has now won back-to-back starts going 1 1/8 miles by a combined margin of nine lengths. He is nominated to the Triple Crown.