The longest shot on the board, Slew's Tizzy combined with Starbase, the second-longest entrant at 36-1, for a $2 exacta worth $1,002.20. In spite of the victory, Slew's Tizzy's trainer Gregory Fox said it was unlikely that the Joseph LaCombe homebred son of Tiznow would go on to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in two weeks.
“Our philosophy is that we don’t run horses back in two weeks,” said Fox when asked if Slew’s Tizzy will run in the Derby on May 5. "This horse took a big step forward today. You generally don't see a horse take two big steps forward in two weeks."
Robby Albarado, Slew's Tizzy's fourth jockey in as many starts, popped from the gate and was quickly in front. He kept going as Starbase and Soaring By tracked in second and third. Soaring By, ridden by Edgar Prado for trainer Todd Pletcher, made his bid on the final turn but did not respond in the stretch. Forty Grams, in tight while racing on the inside, shifted off the rail for jockey Garrett Gomez and made a strong advance at the leaders but appeared to shy from the whip mid-stretch and lost his momentum, settling for third.
Slew's Tizzy, meanwhile, opened up a clear advantage in the stretch and there were no other dangers with the D. Wayne Lukas-trainer Starbase, ridden by Corey Lanerie, holding second, some 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner at the wire. It was three-quarters of a length to Forty Grams, who edged Trust Your Luck by one-half length for third.
“He was content being up there on the lead,” said Albarado, who rode Slew's Tizzy for the first time. “I just tried to keep him as quiet as possible. Ideally, we didn’t want to be on the lead, but we found ourselves there. He exploded when I called on him.”
Belgravia, the $3 million Mr. Greeley colt who was sent off as the 9-5 favorite, apparently bled in the race, tiring after six furlongs and finishing last.
“I had a good trip but when I asked him at the three-eighths, he had nothing, no juice or anything,” said jockey Julien Leparoux. “He stopped right there and I just rode him easy, no whip or anything. When he came back, we saw that he bled. I think that’s the excuse for today.”
The final time for the 1 1/16-mile event was 1:43 1/5. Fractions were :23 4/5, :48 1/5 and 1:12 2/5.
Fox took blinkers off Slew's Tizzy for Saturday's race after dark bay colt faded while pressing the pace in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds March 10, finishing seventh, 11 1/2 lengths behind the winning Circular Quay. In his start prior to that, the Risen Star (gr. III) a month earlier, Slew's Tizzy was moving well while racing in fourth place in upper stretch, clipped heels along the inside and lost jockey James Graham. Immediately before transferring to Louisiana, Slew's Tizzy broke his maiden by three lengths on the Polytrack at Turfway Park Jan. 13. Slew's Tizzy has now won two of six lifetime starts with earnings of $220,252, all but $18,752 won Saturday.
“I was concerned when the horse was on the lead but then I started to get excited when I saw Robby sitting there on a tremendous amount of horse," said Fox, who recorded his first stakes win. "Todd’s horse (Soaring By) was struggling and I knew if we could get loose then we had a shot. I never knew until the very end that he would win. This horse has never put it all together until this race.”
Slew's Tizzy paid $83, $29.60 and $13.60. Starbase returned $29.60 and $13. Forty Grams was $5 to show. A $2 trifecta returned $14,726.20. The $2 superfecta was worth $97,128.
“We had to overcome the outside post, but we got away from there pretty good and we just got a good position outside the winner’s hip," Lanerie said of the runner-up. "Turning for home, he came on strong for me and ran steady.”
Trust Your Luck was followed by Joe Got Even, Sacrifice Bunt, Soaring By, Boogiemanball and Belgravia. Moyer's Pond scratched.
Slew's Tizzy is out of Hepatica, by Slewpy.