Tiznow isn't the only grade I-winning or millionaire offspring by Cee's Tizzy. Gourmet Girl, one of only two older females to win two grade I races on dirt in 2001, is also by the California sire. Gourmet Girl and two of her top divisional rivals, Lazy Slusan and Tranquility Lake, were 6-year-olds in 2001. All three were based in California, but Gourmet Girl and Lazy Slusan appeared to be gunning for each other, meeting four times during the first half of the year.
The two mares started out the year in Northern California in the Work the Crowd Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 6. The race, restricted to California-breds, came two weeks after Gourmet Girl finished second in Hollywood Park's Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II), a length ahead of Lazy Slusan.
Lazy Slusan got the upper hand at Golden Gate, drawing off on a yielding turf course to win by 2 1/2 lengths, with Gourmet Girl a well-beaten fifth.
Gourmet Girl did not race again until the March 3 Sacramento Handicap on the Golden Gate main track, where she rolled to a two-length win over eight rivals. She ran into Lazy Slusan again, seven days later, in the Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. Lazy Slusan won the race by a half-length, followed by Spain and Critikola. Gourmet Girl was fifth, 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Score two for Lazy Slusan.
The next start for Gourmet Girl was her only race outside California last year. She and Lazy Slusan traveled to Arkansas to compete in one of the year's deepest fields for fillies and mares, the April 8 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. Gourmet Girl rolled to an impressive 4 1/2-length win over 10 rivals. Lu Ravi was second, followed by Lazy Slusan.
Back in the Golden State, Lazy Slusan captured the June 3 Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) while Gourmet Girl rested up for their next meeting, the June 30 Vanity Handicap (gr. I). The R&R was worth it--Gourmet Girl defeated Lazy Slusan by five lengths. That was their last meeting of the year and brought their tally to an even score at two each.
Gourmet Girl ended her 2001 campaign with a second-place finish in the Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar. She finished three lengths behind the winner, Tranquility Lake, who was an Eclipse Award finalist.
Owner Gary Tanaka entered Gourmet Girl in the 2001 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, but she was withdrawn. Tanaka, who typically owns high-class mares but sells them before they become broodmares, has Gourmet Girl boarded in Kentucky. Her plans for 2002 are uncertain.
Trainer Pico Perdomo purchased Gourmet Girl for $3,500 at the California Thoroughbred Sales August yearling sale in 1996. Initially he trained her for a partnership of Sledge Stable and Joe and Michael Massengale. When Tanaka purchased Gourmet Girl privately early in 1999, she stayed with Perdomo, who is the trainer of record for all 33 of her starts. Gourmet Girl ended 2001 with $554,950 in earnings. She has a lifetime record of 33 starts, nine wins, and earnings of $1,255,373.
Carl and Olivia Cannata bred Gourmet Girl in California. Rhondaling, the dam of Gourmet Girl, was sold at the 2000 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, while in foal to Wild Again. She was purchased by Lakland Farm for $150,000 from Three Chimneys Farm, agent. Rhondaling is at Lakland near Versailles, Ky., where she is expected to produce a foal by Yankee Victor in mid-April. Long before Fantastic Light ever stepped on a racetrack, the employees of Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky knew that the son of Rahy was going to be special. Watching him romp in the pasture with other yearlings, they were impressed by his fiery spirit and desire to dominate.