Outdueling Kentucky Derby alternate My Adonis, Kidwells Petite Stable’s Pretension won Saturday’s feature at Pimlico Race Course, the $75,000 Canonero II Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds previously known as the Federico Tesio Stakes. The connections of the talented son of New York sire Bluegrass Cat are taking a Preakness start under consideration.
Pretension, who finished in the exacta in his first five starts, was looking to rebound from a pair of unproductive tries in the Grade 3 Gotham on March 3 and Grade 3 Illinois Derby on April 7. Ridden by Javier Santiago for trainer Chris Grove, the chestnut colt was sent to the post as fourth choice of six at odds of 8-1, with My Adonis, who failed to drawn in to the Kentucky Derby as the field’s also-eligible, sitting at .30-1 favoritism.
Breaking alertly from post two, Pretension hooked up early with My Adonis, who had the rail. He ceded the lead to the favorite, but stayed glued to his flank through the clubhouse turn and the length of the backstretch through a half-mile in 49.92 and three quarters in 1:14.54.
In upper stretch Pretension drew even with My Adonis, who came under a ride at the quarter pole, and the pair dueled to within the furlong grounds, when Pretension finally opened up on his rival. Second choice Brimstone Island rallied past My Adonis late, but Pretension still had a neck advantage at the wire. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:45.70.
Winning trainer Christopher Grove addressed the possibility of running Pretension back in two weeks for the Preakness. “We are going to be conservative and see how Mr. [Irving] Kidwell sleeps on it, but if he gets excited we could be Preakness bound,” said Grove. “I don’t have a problem taking that route. If we were ever going to come back in two weeks, this would be it. He won over the track and looked good doing it.”
Grove added, “Other than those two [Gotham and Illinois Derby], he has never run a bad race. “Edgar Prado said he would have finished third in the Gotham but he was riding to win.”
The Canonero II victory is Pretension’s first open stakes score. In state-bred company he won the Sweet Envoy at Aqueduct in February and finished second to Swag Daddy in the Damon Runyon last December. His record now stands at 3-3-0 from eight starts with earnings of $128,620.
Bred by a partnership of Sequel Thoroughbreds, LLC and A. Lakin and Sons and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, Pretension is the first foal out of the placed Street Cry (IRE) mare Main Streetin’, purchased in foal by Becky Thomas for $60,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. Kidwell purchased the colt from Sequel Bloodstock (agent) for $75,000 at the 2011 OBS Select Two-Year-Old sale.
Main Streetin’ currently has a 2-year-old filly by Freud named Bamboo Stick, a yearling colt by the same sire named Freud Street and a colt by Hard Spun this year.
Pretension’s sire, Bluegrass Cat, A Vinery/WinStar Venture, stands at Vinery New York at Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag.