Tiz Elemental Gives Honest Effort

Tiz Elemental Gives Honest Effort
Photo: Benoit
Tiz Elemental returned from a 10 month layoff to capture the Honest Lady Stakes Feb. 24 at Santa Anita.
Tiz Elemental, a promising filly whose 3-year-old campaign ended abruptly last spring, returned in style with a late-running victory in the $109,300 Honest Lady Stakes on the Santa Anita main track Feb. 24.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, the Warren B. Williamson California homebred rallied six wide straightening for home in the six-furlong contest for older fillies and mares, collaring Selvatica in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length. Glorified, widest of all in the home stretch, arrived at the wire just in time to nose Selvatica for second.

Tiz Elemental, a 4-year-old filly by Cee's Tizzy—Blending Element (by Great Commotion), earned her fourth win in six lifetime starts for trainer Carla Gaines. The bay made it back-to-back stakes victories as the co-highweight carrying 123 pounds. She won Hollywood Park's 1 1/16-mile Melair Stakes, her first try on a synthetic track, on April 29 but had been sidelined since. Gaines scratched Tiz Elemental from the Sunshine Millions Jan. 26.

"I’m proud of her," said Gaines, who also conditions Nashoba's Key for Williamson. "(Tiz Elemental) was supposed to run earlier in the meet when the track was suspect, so we scratched and now the track’s good. We entered in an allowance race several times, and we kind of ended up here, so it all worked out for the best.”

The pace was not as strong as expected. Overly Tempting, chased by Coco Belle and Unspoken Word, set out quickest from the gate to lead by one length after a :22.03 opening quarter. Overly Tempting, ridden by David Flores, slowed things down to :46.05 for the half. But leaving the quarter pole she had plenty to deal with on her outside. Unspoken Word led briefly turning into the stretch before the 7-year-old veteran mare Selvatica, with Joe Talamo aboard, emerged from the pack with the narrow lead. Selvatica was racing in the middle of the track but menacing on her outside was Tiz Elemental.

Rallying from seventh at the half-mile mark, Tiz Elemental prevailed in the final furlong as Selvatica kept battling. Glorified and Jose Valdivia Jr., last of eight for most of the journey, closed willingly to get the runner-up spot. The final time was 1:11.09 on the synthetic surface. Fleetheart, Unspoken Word, Coco Belle, Overly Tempting and Sekira completed the order.

"I'm very excited," Espinoza said afterward. "I worked very hard to get this filly ready for this race. I was very happy with the way she ran."

Espinoza said the inside of Santa Anita's reconditioned track was dead all day.

"I didn't want to go inside," he said. "Even if I wasted a lot of ground, it was better for her (to go wide). After this race, she's ready to go the distance."

Espinoza, who has ridden Tiz Elemental in all but one of her starts, has four wins and a runner-up finish with her. Tiz Elemental earned $65,580 for the victory, boosting her bankroll to $303,260.

Sent off as the third choice, Tiz Elemental paid $10, $4.60 and $3.80 for her comeback victory. Glorified, who had been pointed for this race by trainer Ron Ellis after she finished third in the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) last time out, returned $4.20 and $2.60, completing a $2 exacta worth $32.80. Selvatica was $7 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

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