Tiz Elemental, a 4-year-old daughter of Cee's Tizzy--Blending Element (by Great Commotion) was bred in California by owner Warren B. Williamson, who has teamed with trainer Carla Gaines for much success with Nashoba's Key. The red-hot Gaines has won with 11 of the past 15 horses she has saddled, including her last six. She has five stakes wins at the meet.
It marked the first time full siblings had won stakes races on the same Santa Anita card since Pirate’s Revenge and Echo of Yesterday teamed for the oddity on March 26, 1994.
The two sisters look nothing alike.Tiz Elemental is a bay; Tiz a Blend, a gray/roan mare.
“I can’t recall having a run like this, but I’d like to keep it up," Gaines said after Tiz Elemental's victory. "(Espinoza) was after her from the three-eighths pole, and I was wondering why he was riding her so hard ... 1:07 and three. Holy guacamole!”
Later, Gaines added, "I honestly did think I could win both. I don’t want to sound like I knew it, but both fillies have been training very, very well, so we were looking for a big performance with both of them, but I kept thinking, ‘You can’t win two more.’”
Williamson, of Pasadena, has been in the racing and breeding business for more than 40 years.
The finish to the Las Flores, with Tiz Elemental and Victor Espinoza holding off a big late charge from Glorified in the 6 1/2-furlong test for older fillies and mares, was nearly a carbon copy of the way the 4-year-old fillies finished the Honest Lady Stakes over the same synthetic track Feb. 24. Rafael Bejarano rode Glorified this time, replacing Jose Valdivia Jr., but the result was the same.
On a tight hold from Espinoza, Tiz Elemental tracked a blistering pace established by Overly Tempting (:21, :43 2/5), who squirted a way from the field to a 3 1/2-length advantage down the backstretch. Overly Tempting couldn't maintain the pace, ultimately, and gave way in the stretch. The winner moved to challenge for the lead from the middle of the track while Intangaroo and Alonso Quinonez rallied along the rail. Tiz Elemental inched away from a game Intangaroo in the final strides and had just enough to hold off Glorified, closing from the extreme outside under strong urging. Intangaroo was a neck back in third in the blanket finish. The final time was an excellent 1:14.12.
“There was a pretty good pace," Espinoza said. "The filly on the lead was going fast and we were up close, but it felt like she was just galloping along. She’s not a great worker, but she loves to win. On race day, she’s unbelievable. She’s all about winning.”
Tiz Elemental, who returned from a 10-month layoff to win the six-furlong Honest Lady, has been nearly invincible sprinting, winning four of five, her only loss coming by a nose to Mistical Plan in last year's Sunshine Millions Oaks. Overall, she owns a 5-1-0 mark in seven starts with earnings of $393,260.
The winner carried high weight of 120 pounds and paid $5.20, $2.60, and $2.20. Glorified, running for Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Ron Ellis, returned $2.80 and $2.20. Intangaroo, 26-1 winner of the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in her last start Feb. 2, was $2.60 to show. Overly Tempting, Butters, and Acinonyx followed.
Unlike her remarkably consistent sister, Tiz a Blend had won only twice in nine starts entering the Valentine Dancer.
Espinoza rode Tiz a Blend similarly to her favored sister. They tracked in fourth early before rallying wide around the final turn. Tiz a Blend drew off to win by a decisive 2 1/2 lengths over Lightmyfirebaby with favored Rockella another 2 1/2 lengths back in third. The winning time was 1:33.83.
“It doesn’t get much better than this,” Gaines said during her second trip to the winner’s circle.
Tiz a Blend paid $13.40, $5.80 and $4. Lightmyfirebaby, ridden by Chantal Sutherland, paid $4.80 and $3.40. The show mutuel on Rockella was $3.20. The winner earned $66,180 to bring her career total to $172,854.