Preakness Stakes Profile: Tone It Down
by Trevor Whenham - 05/12/2009
Tone It Down
Last race: Tone It Down finished third in the Federico Tesio at Pimlico on Derby day. He was forced to the lead early where he wasn't comfortable, failed to settle in the unfamiliar position, and faded to third down the stretch. The winner of that race, Nick Zito trained Miner's Escape, was briefly considered for the Preakness. The whole field in that race lacked experience and jaw-dropping class.
Career highlights: Almost every year in the Preakness there is a local horse to represent Maryland racing. They are almost always outclassed, and virtually never have a real impact on the race, but it's still a nice tradition, and part of what makes the Preakness such a unique spectacle. Tone It Down is that horse this year. It's hard to find a highlight on his record. He has two wins in six career races, and has been in the money four times in five races, but the Tesio is his only stakes showing.
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux. Mario Pino rode the horse in the Tesio, but the connections have made an upgrade for the Preakness. Desormeaux has won the Preakness twice - on Big Brown last year, and on Real Quiet in 1998. He won the Derby on both of those horses as well, and also claimed that race on Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000. The hall-of-famer has won riding titles in California and Japan as well as in Maryland where he started his career. He won 599 races in 1989 - an incredible record that still stands. He's new to this horse, but he'll get everything out of him that he has to give.
Trainer: William Komlo. Komlo, who is based out of Laurel Park in Maryland, will be making his Triple Crown debut with Tone It Down. He's mostly a local trainer, and he has been at it since the 1960s. He took several years off to coach high school football, but he has been back in this sport for more than a decade. On paper, Komlo is outclassed in this group, but so was Chip Woolley in the Derby this year and he wound up winning it.
Breeding: Tone It Down's sire, Medaglia d'Oro, competed in all three legs of the Triple Crown in 2002. He was fourth in the Derby, eighth in the Preakness, and finished it up with a second in the Belmont. That's the sum total of the Triple Crown experience on the first three generations of Tone It Down's pedigree.
Running style: Though he tried to run on the lead last time out that clearly didn't suit him. He seems to be on his best when he can sit well off the pace for the body of the race and then unleash a move late. This will be by far the best field he has faced in his career so far, so it remains to be seen if he has enough run in him to catch what should be an impressive early pace.
Preakness prognosis: Bleak. Sometimes you get a victory just for showing up. That's the only win this horse stands a chance of getting. It's been a year for longshots, but this is far too much of a longshot. I won't have this horse anywhere in the exotics, and I won't lose any sleep over that.