Weekend Recap: Tiz Now or Next Year?

Despite some brilliant performances this past weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, it is unlikely that any of the top races will have much of an impact on the Breeders' Cup. The big question will be whether the owners of Tiznow will cough up $480,000 to run in the Classic following the colt's powerful race in the Super Derby. That is a lot of money to put up to run a lightly raced 3-year-old against a tough group of older horses, not to mention 3-year-olds such as Fusaichi Pegasus, Captain Steve, and Giant's Causeway. Tiznow has a big future ahead of him, and defeating Commendable, albeit by 6 1/12 lengths and in track-record time, is not quite the same as tackling Lemon Drop Kid, Behrens, Golden Missile, and classy 3-year-olds from the U.S. and Europe.

But, if Tiznow's owners do decide to put up the money, at least they know they have a big, powerful, long-striding colt who is improving rapidly. He demonstrated how quickly he is coming around by defeating eventual Haskell winner Dixie Union coming off a maiden victory, then finishing second to the top-class older horse Skimming in the Pacific Classic. So, on paper, it sure looks like this full brother to Budroyale can handle himself against just about anyone. But, as we said, $480,000 is a lot of money to take it to the next step at this time in the colt's career.

All that's really left to do now regarding the Classic is to sit back and wait to see if Fusaichi Pegasus and Giant's Causeway show up in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. A spokesman for Coolmore said no decision has been regarding Giant's Causeway, who will stand at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, rather than Ashford Stud in the U.S. as first indicated.

European forces gathering

With Arc winner Sinndar likely through for the year, runner-up Egyptband only a slight possibility to race again this year, third-place finisher Volvoreta probably headed for the Japan Cup, and fourth-place finisher Montjeu being evaluated, it looks as if the Arc will have no effect on the Breeders' Cup. Montjeu's connections are trying to find out the reason for the colt's defeat, but the truth is, all three of his losses have come on fast ground. So, although it might make sense to try to erase this defeat in the BC Turf, the possibility of very firm going likely will dissuade the colt's connections from doing so. But we'll stay tuned on their decision.

As of now, this is what the European contingent looks like: Giant's Causeway, Running Stag, and Pine Dance are headed for the Classic, although the last two are really no longer considered European invaders. Running Stag has been stabled at Belmont and looks absolutely terrific. His coat is shining and he seems to be relishing his vacation. Pine Dance passed on the Super Derby due to the possible hot weather and is being pointed for the Pegasus at the Meadowlands.

The Turf is looking pretty thin, with Fantastic Light, who runs in Saturday's Turf Classic, and Cumberland Lodge winner Mutamam the only definites at this point. The Canadian International could produce another runner if Yavana's Pace comes over and runs a big race.

The Filly & Mare Turf actually could have the biggest star other than Giant's Causeway, as dual Oaks winner Petrushka looks to be a definite starter after her victory in Sunday's Prix de l'Opera. Love Devine, who was scratched from the Opera due to the firm going, is another possibility.

Crimplene, winner of three Group I's this year, will try the dirt in the Distaff, giving that race a rare European threat. The Mile will be headed by Arkadian Hero, who ran such a huge race in the Atto Mile, as well as Bernstein, winner of the recent group III Concorde Stakes in Ireland. Bertolini, who finished seventh in Sunday's group I Prix de l'Abbaye, is still a possibility. The Sprint should draw the speedy Nuclear Debate, while the Juvenile may lure Endless Summer, second in the Middle Park Stakes. A definite starter is Arazi's half-brother Noverre.

Bits and pieces

The highly touted Saint Verre threw his hat in the Juvenile ring after destroying a top-class allowance field by 7 1/2 lengths at Belmont last Thursday. There is no doubt this colt, now trained by Shug McGaughey, is a runner with a ton of speed and class.

In other races this past weekend, Walkslikeaduck, who equaled the course record winning the Del Mar Derby in his last start, broke the course record at Bay Meadows Saturday, winning the Bay Meadows Derby by two lengths, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:46 3/5. At Arlington Saturday, Thunder Bertie, trained by Bernie Flint, wired her field in the Arlington-Washington Lassie, winning by 2 3/4 lengths. The favored Zahawah, owned by Godolphin, finished third, beaten a neck for second. The Elliot Walden-trained Gino's Spirits drew off to a 2 3/4-length victory in the Noble Damsel Stakes at Belmont, covering the mile on turf in 1:36 3/5. The 6-5 favorite Storm Dream finished last.

Left Bank looked like a monster winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Belmont by 13 lengths in a sharp 1:41 1/5. The question now is where does he go from here? With no Breeders' Cup race that seems to fit him, he would look like a candidate for the Cigar Mile.

At Louisiana Downs Sunday, Sudden Storm just held on to win a blanket finish in the 1 1/16-mile Louisiana Downs Handicap on the turf, in which the first seven finishers were separated by only 2 1/4 lengths.