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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Twisted Tom Turns Back O Dionysus in Tesio


Twisted Tom raced in contention from the start, took command on the far turn and got away from a challenge by O Dionysus in mid-stretch before pulling away to a 2 1/4-length win in the Xpressbet.com Federico Tesio Saturday at Laurel Park.

For the second straight year, the Tesio was a ‘Win and You’re In’ race for the Preakness Stakes -- but only if the winner is nominated to the Triple Crown, which Twisted Tom isn't.

Twisted Tom, who was sent off at 5-1 odds, ran his win streak to three and two straight stakes races. He was last seen capturing the 1 1/16-mile Private Terms on March 18 at Laurel.

Twisted Tom, a New York-bred son of Creative Cause trained by Chad Brown, was settled by Feargal Lynch in the clear, racing three wide. He stalked 23-1 longshot pacesetter Hashtag Alex through a quarter-mile in 24.39 seconds and a half in 48.08.

Twisted Tom wrested the lead from Action Everyday after running six furlongs in 1:13.27 as O Dionysus rolled up on the far outside to launch his bid under Jevian Toledo. The two raced on even terms to the eighth pole until Twisted Tom dug in and edged away to win in 1:53.60 for the 1 1/8-mile over a sloppy and sealed track.

O Dionysus was a clear second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Action Everyday. They were followed under the line by Carradine, the 4-5 favorite who failed to threaten, and Hashtag Alex.

Since Twisted Tom is not Triple Crown-nominated, Brown and owner Cobra Farm Inc. are unsure whether the Preakness lies in his future. The fee to supplement to the Triple Crown ahead of the Preakness is $150,000. Twisted Tom won $75,000 in the Tesio.

The Tesio was the second straight runner-up finish and fifth from 10 career starts for O Dionysus.

Equibase chart


Winning trainer Chad Brown: “He ran terrific and Feargal really rode him well once again. They’re a great team, those two. The horse showed a lot of heart again. He’s a long-winded, hard-trying horse that obviously showed he has a tremendous amount of stamina and will to win. He’s a horse that continually is improving, which we love to see. We’re just really proud of his effort today.

"He showed a new dimension today, and dealing with an off track he handled it fine. Feargal deserves a lot of credit for using good judgment in keeping him out of trouble. He’s a big horse, and although he was losing some ground he picked a good spot to let him relax and find his rhythm. When that horse came to him on the outside, he showed his heart.

“Because he’s not nominated, it certainly complicates things, so I’ll speak to the ownership group. Right now we’ll just enjoy this win. We’ll see how the horse comes out of the race physically, and then we’ll all probably speak about it next week sometime and come up with a plan.”

Feargal Lynch, aboard Twisted Tom, 1st: “He broke sharper today. I just got into a nice rhythm all the way. I thought O Dionysus might struggle to stay and I knew from my horse’s gallop-out last time that he would like the distance. Today he had no kickback and a small field. He’s a turfer and a mudder and a very adaptable, huge horse who should get better.”

Trainer Gary Capuano, O Dionysus, 2nd: “I’m not sure whether he’s just hanging or waiting on horses. I guess I’m going to  have to change some things around. He runs, but when he gets to them and he gets his head in front it’s like he either waits for horses or he’s hanging. I’m not sure. He runs, but he’s not winning. He cruised up there and turning for home it looks like he’s got horse and he’s  just going to go on, and he either hangs or flattens out. But, he tries. He’s running.”

By Dick Downey
With content from Maryland Jockey Club


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