(Edited Churchill Downs report)
Tizdejavu swept Churchill Downs’ spring graded stakes races for 3-year-olds on turf with a convincing gate-to-wire romp June 14 in the $222,600 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) (VIDEO).
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Tizdejavu ran 1 1/8 miles over “good” turf in 1:49.15 en route to a four-length victory over Golden Yank. On Kentucky Oaks Day, Gomez and Tizdejavu also teamed to win the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) by a neck.
Tizdejavu joined Senor Tomas (1992), King Cugat (2000), and Senor Swinger (2003) as the only four horses to win both races.
Tizdejavu asserted himself from the start Saturday, leading the field of eight 3-year-olds through comfortable fractions of :24.48, :48.06, 1:12.31 and 1:36.35. The Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow was never challenged as the winner strode out gamely through the stretch.
Tizdejavu, trained by Dr. Greg Fox, paid $8, $4.20 and $3.20. Golden Yank, ridden by Jamie Theriot, paid $7.60 and $5. Old Man Buck, the 2-1 favorite with Robby Albarado in the irons, finished another half-length back in third and paid $3.20.
Halo Najib, Wicked Style, Budge Man, Go West Bert, and Bobby Blue Eyes completed the order of finish.
The $133,872 first-place check nearly doubled Tizdejavu’s earnings to $271,187 for owners and breeders Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth. It was his third win in six career starts.
“There did not seem to be a lot of speed in there looking at the race,” Gomez said of his winning strategy. “Julien (Leparoux on Wicked Style) and I broke about two lengths ahead of the field and then he took back. This colt has nice, huge stride and he just went on from there.”
“I think his performance speaks for itself,” said Fox. “We are going to enjoy this victory now (before committing to the next race). He has plenty of options. We decided to put him on the grass after he ran in the allowance race at Keeneland (on April 12). Garrett felt that the Polytrack may be not his best surface and that he would like the grass. He is a very happy horse.”