Tiz Flirtatious faces 4 in the John C. Mabee Stakes.

Tiz Flirtatious faces 4 in the John C. Mabee Stakes.

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Tiz Flirtatious Has 4 to Beat in John Mabee

In her Del Mar debut for Marty Jones, California homebred battles Lady of Shamrock.

Tiz Flirtatious, who gave multiple grade I winner Marketing Mix quite a tussle in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) last time out,  is the one to beat in the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 11 on the Del Mar turf.

Marketing Mix, the undisputed leader of the female grass ranks in Southern California, is being pointed to the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 17 at Arlington Park by trainer Tom Proctor. That makes it difficult to see past Tiz Flirtatious in the 1 1/8-mile Mabee, which attracted just five older fillies and mares.

Tiz Flirtatious finished just a head behind Marketing Mix in the Gamely May 27 at Betfair Hollywood Park after taking the lead in the stretch with a big wide move under Julien Leparoux. The dark bay mare has not raced since then but has been working regularly at Hollywood. Set to make her race debut over the course, she has had one work on the Del Mar lawn as well, clocking six furlongs July 25 in 1:16 handily.

Leparoux will be aboard the 5-year-old California-bred mare again for trainer Marty Jones and owner/breeder Pamela Ziebarth of Tiznow  fame. Tiz Fliratious is by Tizbud , a full brother to Tiznow, out of the unraced Victory Gallop mare Masquerade Belle. Both Tiznow and Tizbud were bred and raced by Cecila Straub Rubens, Ziebarth's mother, as Cees Stable.

Prior to the Gamely, Tiz Flirtatious began the year with back-to-back stakes scores in the state-restricted Valentine's Dancer and the Santa Ana (gr. IIT), both over the Santa Anita Park turf. She has six wins, three seconds and a third from 10 lifetime starts while earning $474,800.

The 123-pound highweight will break from post 2 in the short field.

Hronis Racing's Lady of Shamrock won the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) in her only previous start over the course last summer. The 4-year-old Scat Daddy filly returns to Southern California after running second to Starformer in the New York Stakes (gr. IIT) June 29 on the inner turf course at Belmont Park.

After she finished third in the Gamely, trainer John Sadler said prior to the New York that he felt Lady of Shamrock needed the 1 1/4-mile distance to get back on top of her game. She showed her customary late kick, rallying from last in the field of eight with a six-wide move in the upper stretch at Belmont to finish strongly while defeated by 1 3/4 lengths.

A two-time grade I winner last year, her only victory this season from four starts came via disqualification after finishing second in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) April 20 at Santa Anita. She has two victories from five tries at the nine-furlong distance. That includes her win in the Del Mar Oaks, which she claimed by a half-length as the even-money favorite.

A seven-time winner from 15 starts with earnings of $895,400, Lady of Shamrock drew post 3 and will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano. She gets two pounds from Tiz Flirtatious while donning blinkers for the first time.

Sadler also entered the 5-year-old Argentine mare Journaliste for Hrnois Racing. The daughter of Sky Mesa  has beaten three horses in three U.S. starts so far and will need to step it up to be a factor here.

Proctor and Glen Hill Farm entered Customer Base, winner of the 1 1/4-mile Lucie Manet overnight stakes at Hollywood July 5. Mike Smith has the return call on the 4-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid , second in the Autumn Miss (gr. IIIT) last fall at Santa Anita.

My Gi Gi comes off a third in the Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) July 6 at Hollywood. She was fifth in the Gamely prior to that for trainer Peter Eurton and owners Dennis Conner, Lloyd DeBruycker, and Wade Jacobsen. The 4-year-old E Dubai filly won Hollywood's Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) in 2012 prior to running second to Lady of Shamrock in the American Oaks (gr. IT) and fourth in the Del Mar Oaks.

The Mabee goes as the eighth race on Sunday's Del Mar card with a scheduled post time of 5:40 p.m. PDT.

$250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:40 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. My Gi Gi (KY), C S Nakatani, 119, P Eurton
2. Tiz Flirtatious (CA), J R Leparoux, 123, M F Jones
3. Lady of Shamrock (KY), R Bejarano, 121, J W Sadler
4. Customer Base (KY), M E Smith, 119, T F Proctor
5. Journaliste (ARG), M A Pedroza, 119, J W Sadler
Blinkers On: Lady of Shamrock