Cresran Stable's homebred Tiz Miz Sue took advantage of a speed duel between Joyful Victory and Authenticity to post an impressive victory in the $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) (VIDEO) at Belmont Park May 27.
The win was the eighth in 32 lifetime starts for the daughter of Tiznow trained by Steve Hobby who has now earned $1,129,709.
Authenticity, winner of the La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs last out, got a quick jump out of the gate under jockey Mike Smith before she was overtaken by even-money favorite Joyful Victory and Rosie Naparavnik down the backside in the one-turn 1 1/16-mile race. Those two battled through fractions of :22.82 and :45.41, with Authenticity on top rounding the turn and the six furlongs completed in 1:09.57.
In upper stretch, Joe Rocco, Jr., moved Tiz Miz Sue to the oustide and the pair steadily made up ground as Joyful Victory faded. The winner, who finished second in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park in her previous start, held a slight advantage at the eighth-pole and then battled Authenticity gamely to the wire for a half-length victory. Final time was 1:40.81
Tiz Miz Sue returned $10.80, $5.30, and $3.80. Authenticity was worth $7.00 and $4.00, and Centring, who closed in the stretch to finish a length behind the runner-up, paid $6.20. Disposablepleasure was 10 lengths back in fourth, followed by Santa Margarita Stakes (gr. I) winner Joyful Victory and Believe You Can, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
“It’s wonderful when it works,” Hobby said of the tactic of sitting just off a fast pace. “I was loving the fractions and Joe (Rocco, Jr.) looked like he had an armful of horse all the way sitting back there. He just waited. He knows her very well. She was within range; that was the big thing. Sometimes she gets too far behind and can’t quite make up the distance, but she was within range and they were cooking. She deserved (a grade I) so bad and I was really going to be upset if she didn’t get one before she retired.”
“When I saw Rosie have to lean forward (aboard Joyful Victory) on the turn and I was following Mike (Smith), I got pretty confident, but this mare has fooled me a couple of times where I thought I was going to get past them," Rocco said. "Once she ran by them, then I was confident. (This win) means a lot to everyone.”
Tiz Miz Sue came into the Phipps off a second-place finish in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, where she won the Azeri Stakes (gr. I) and finished third in the Bayakoa to start the season.
Last year, the mare's sole victory came in the Azeri, but she was also competitive in graded stakes company, finishing third in the Apple Blossom before posting consecutive seconds in the Obeah Stakes (gr. III) and Delaware Handicap (gr. II), both at Delaware Park.