Tough Tiz's Sis Holds On in Harry Henson

Worn down by chasing a fast pace, odds-on choice Tough Tiz's Sis was all out to hold off Nice Inheritance in winning the $112,950 Harry W. Henson Handicap for fillies and mares at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.

The grade I winning daughter of Tiznow   ended a four-race losing streak for trainer Bob Baffert, winning by three-quarters of a length with Aaron Gryder aboard. The 4-year-old Tough Tiz's Sis had posted three consecutive runner-up finishes in Southern California in the Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II), El Encino Stakes (gr. II) and Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) and held a distinct class advantage over her eight rivals. The victory was her first since winning Oak Tree's Lady's Secret (gr. I) in October.

Tough Tiz's Sis stumbled at the start but recovered to race in third down the backstretch on the outside as Goodbye Norma Jean and Joe Martinez set out on a fast pace of :21.97, :45,32 and 1:10.50 for the one-mile journey. Tough Tiz's Sis rallied up on the outside while three wide on the second turn to eventually get the lead from the pacesetter. She was clear with a sixteenth of a mile to go but was hard-ridden to the wire to hold off the closing Nice Inheritance, who rallied four wide under Garrett Gomez. Goodbye Norma Jean was 2 1/4 lengths farther behind in third.

The final time was 1:37.14 on fast main track.

Owned by Watson and Weitman Performances, Tough Tiz's Sis won for the sixth time in 16 starts. The bay filly increased her earnings to $562,692. Gary Tussey bred the winner, who is out of the Taylor's Falls mare Leaseholder, in Kentucky.

She carried high weight of 123 pounds to victory and paid $3.80, $2.40 and $2.10. Nice Inheritance returned $3.80 and $3.40 as the 4-1 second choice. Goodbye Norma Jean was $8.80 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

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