Tiz West twice jumped shadows on the far turn while in a good position to win the Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) last time out May 17. Fitted with the new equipment, the Diamond A Racing homebred was able to overcome tight quarters and a jockey's claim of foul to prove victorious in the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds.
Mandella downplayed the shadow roll addition afterward, saying, “(That) He’s getting a little more professional is the fact of the matter. He has run enough times now he’s learning how to start and stop and do things you usually have to do running on the turf."
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Tiz West went for an early run behind a quick pace on the backstretch to challenge for the lead. Tiz West, racing on the outside of front-running Polonius and Liberian Freighter but in tight, appeared to carry the rallying Ez Dreamer and jockey Corey Nakatani wide on the far turn.
Though there were only five horses in the Cinema, four of them were across the track in upper stretch. Approaching the eighth pole, Tiz West on the inside, and Ez Dreamer had separated from the others and finished in a stiff drive for the wire, appearing to bump in the final stages. Tiz West was adjudged the winner in a time of 1:47.24 on firm going.
Stewards disallowed the claim of foul for the backstretch incident, ruling that the altercation took place at a point in the race that did not alter the outcome.
"I told the stewards it's whatever it looks like," Espinoza said. "On the backstretch, Ez Dreamer outside of me really wanted to go, he was so aggressive. I was right on top of heels. I didn't want to choke (Tiz West) down and take him out of the race. I was in a dangerous spot and didn't want to get dropped myself. So I moved him a little to the outside. I don't think it cost the other horse anything."
"I took a pretty good whack down the backstretch," he said. "If it happened in the lane, they would have taken him down. It definitely cost me a placing. My horse got knocked completely off stride."
Will Rogers winner Polonius, breaking well from the rail, set a hard pace under Jon Court as Liberian Freighter and Rafael Bejarano moved up quickly to challenge. The two dueled through fast early fractions of :23.23 of :46.88 and were unable to last through the final furlong.
Tiz West is by Gone West out of the Cees Tizzy mare Tizso, a full sister to 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow. The bay colt earned his first graded win while improving to 3-1-2 in seven lifetime starts. His fourth place showing in the Will Rogers, two lengths behind Polonius, is his only out-of-the-money finish. Tiz West has won three of his four tries on grass. His overall earnings now stand at $219,348 after collecting the Cinema's winning share of $93,720.
Sent off as the third choice, Tiz West paid $8, $3.80 and $2.60. Ez Dreamer, third in the Will Rogers for trainer Dan McFarlane, returned $5.40 and $2.80 while completing a $2 exacta worth $35.80. Liberian Freighter, making his stakes debut for Neil Drysdale, finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind, and was $2.40 to show. Robscarvic and Polonius trailed.