Tiz Miz Sue, making her third start of the Oaklawn Park meet, finally broke through with Joe Rocco Jr. aboard, posting an 8-1 upset in the $147,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. III) March 17 (VIDEO).
Owned and bred by Cresran, Tiz Miz Sue registered her first graded stakes win for trainer Steve Hobby. Rallying wide off the final turn, Tiz Miz Sue swept past 9-10 choice Absinthe Minded and second choice Joyful Victory in the lane and rolled to a three-length win. She completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.58 on a fast track.
She's All In finished second by one length over Joyful Victory, with Absinthe Minded fourth. Ravi's Song trailed in the field of five older fillies and mares.
Tiz Miz Sue, a 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow out of the Woodman mare Sue's Good News, finished second to Absinthe Minded in both the Pippin and Bayakoa stakes at Oaklawn this meet. The dark bay/brown mare snapped a six-race losing streak and won for the first time in nine tries on the Oaklawn main track.
“It was overdue for that girl," Hobby said of the winner. "I was confident the whole trip. I liked that she tucked in behind horses. They hooked up in front, they weren’t going crazy, but they were nodding back and forth and taking turns and that had me liking it the whole way.
"Joe was able to wait and wait. He is great with her, just so patient. He knows her real well."
She's All In, ridden by Luis Quinonez, and Absinthe Minded, with Terry Thompson aboard, dueled for the lead into the stretch while carving quarter-mile fractions of :24.09, :47.66, and 1:11.91. Joyful Victory and Robby Albarado stalked in third while Tiz Miz Sue saved some ground in fourth.
Handled patiently into the turn by Rocco, Tiz Miz Sue angled four-wide turning for home and charged home, kicking away leaving the furlong mark.
“She gave me so much confidence," Rocco said. "I just had so much horse. All I had to do was bide my time and she just exploded."
Tiz Miz Sue, four lengths behind Absinthe Minded in the Bayakoa, won for the first time since last May's Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park. Tiz Miz Sue won for the sixth time in 23 starts and extended her lifetime earnings to $414,709.
“It’s a huge victory for her today," said Ran Leonard, owner of Cresran. "She is now a graded stakes winner, which is huge for a small breeding operation. This is a great victory for the whole family. The field we ran against today was a classy group. To get lucky and win is a huge accomplishment for us."
The winner carried 116 pounds and paid $19.60, $6, and $3.20 as the second-longest shot on the board. She's All In, who was third in both the Pippin and the Bayakoa for trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel, returned $9.20 and $3.40. The exacta was worth $97. Joyful Victory paid $2.40 to show.
Joyful Victory's finish was a disappointment for Fox Hill Farm and trainer Larry Jones, who were hoping for a strong showing to propel her into next month's $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). Havre de Grace could defend her title for those connections instead.
“I was where I wanted to be behind a couple of speed horses early on," Albarado said of Joyful Victory's trip. "She gave me a little kick, but was no match for the winner today."
Hobby said the April 13 Apple Blossom is a likely spot for Tiz Miz Sue's next try.
"We will see what (Havre de Grace) does,” he added.