When it comes to the Sentient Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the Oak Tree Racing Association board members can be forgiven a little partisanship. The hosts of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Oct. 24-25 should be impartial, but fellow board member Warren Williamson bred and owns Filly & Mare Sprint contender Tiz Elemental.
Williamson, wife Alyce, and trainer Carla Gaines are due a little luck this time around. Last year their brilliant filly Nashoba’s Key finished fourth in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) after having to ship across country and compete in the Monmouth Park downpour. Then in a freak accident at Hollywood Park May 8, Nashoba’s Key suffered a leg fracture and had to be euthanized.
For Gaines, Tiz Elemental earned her way into the Filly & Mare Sprint when she just failed to catch Dearest Trickski in the Aug. 24 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar.
“She convinced me she was worthy if she could get in,” the trainer said. “There are so many speed horses—Indian Blessing, Indyanne, Dearest Trickski, Lady Sprinter. Tiz Elemental is a horse who, if she has a pace to run at, it’s much better for her. She seems to love the synthetics, and another thing is, she’s at home. I like seven furlongs for her too.”
Like Nashoba’s Key, Tiz Elemental is a homebred. Williamson raced Tiz Elemental’s dam, Blending Element, to victory in the Yerba Buena Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) and two other California stakes. He first bred the mare to Kris S., getting winner Element K., before coming up with full sisters Tiz a Blend and Tiz Elemental to the cover of Cee’s Tizzy.
“Cee’s Tizzy looked like it would be a good match with that bloodline,” Williamson said.
It was such a good match that 5-year-old Tiz a Blend and 4-year-old Tiz Elemental have both won stakes, once on the same day. This past April 6 at Santa Anita, Tiz Elemental captured the Las Flores Handicap (gr. III), and a half-hour later, Tiz a Blend won the Valentine Dancer Handicap.
Gaines says that Tiz a Blend is back working after taking time off for “a little bit of a knee issue.” Her younger sister will carry the barn’s hopes Oct. 24 in the Breeders’ Cup, and Blending Element has continued to send promising youngsters to Gaines’ barn.
“We have a 2-year-old filly by In Excesswho is stunning,” the trainer said. “Her 3-year-old is a Street Crycolt, Holladay Road.”
With the Breeders’ Cup scheduled to return to Oak Tree in 2009, the board of directors may have another Williamson runner to root for next year.