Spring in Maryland means the return of live racing at Pimlico Race Course, which opens March 28 for an 11-week meet highlighted by the May 19 Preakness Stakes, second leg of the Triple Crown.
In what came as no surprise, North America's Horse of the Year also is California's Horse of the Year.
The great ones find a way to get past it all. Enough commotion had swirled around Tiznow and his preparation for the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) that by the time the actual race rolled around, some were wondering why he was even there to begin with. As if his drab effort in last month's Strub Stakes (gr. II) wasn't reminder enough, Tiznow's days leading up to the Big 'Cap were like a roll call of mishaps, evil vibes, and plain bad karma. Lest we forget, this is the same horse who was a no-name last spring and Horse of the Year five months later, and the same animal whose grueling fall campaign left fans and hardboots alike in awe. No, he's not impervious to pain or the elements, but there may just be nothing that can stop him
Breeders' Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year Tiznow drew post position No. 5 Thursday for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap this weekend. The 4-year-old colt is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by the Bob Baffert-trained Wooden Phone, who upset Tiznow in the Strub Stakes, at 5-1. Wooden Phone drew the No. 2 hole. Thirteen horses have been entered in the prestigious race, including turf champion Bienamado and grade II winner Guided Tour.
While much ado has been made about Bienamado making his first start on the dirt in Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap, Neil Drysdale has a Kentucky-bred, Beat All, that will also be making his main track debut. "He works on the dirt over here and seems to handle it well," said Drysdale assistant John O'Donahue about Drysdale's decision to go in the Big 'Cap.
Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year who was upset in his last start, is questionable for Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Handicap. According to the Los Angeles Times, the colt is still being plagued by foot problems. "It's better than even money that he'll be able to run," trainer Jay Robbins said Monday night. "A lot will depend on how he comes out of a gallop [today]."
European import Jorrocks cleared quarantine and arrived at trainer Bob Hess Jr.'s barn Wednesday ready to roll in the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3. "We bought him specifically to run in this race," said Hess. In other Big 'Cap developments, Horse of the Year Tiznow was among those working Thursday in preparation for the grade I test.
With the $1-million Santa Anita Handicap only 11 days away, a star-studded field is rounding into shape, with Horse of the Year Tiznow, Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes runner-up Aptitude and turf star Bienamado all likely to make the starting gate for the 64th running of the 1 1/4-mile event. Also scheduled for Big 'Cap day is the $400,000 Kilroe Mile on the Camino Real turf course for older horses while Santa Anita Derby hopefuls will traverse two turns in the one-mile, $200,000 San Rafael Stakes.
Bits and pieces from around the industry
Horse of the Year Tiznow worked five furlongs in :59.60 under regular rider Chris Mc Carron on Friday at Santa Anita. Both McCarron and trainer Jay Robbins were pleased with the drill after the 4-year-old Cee's Tizzy colt lost as the odds-on favorite to Wooden Phone in the Strub Stakes.
Horse of the Year Tiznow was enjoying another walk day today at Barn 37 at Santa Anita, his second in-a-row following his loss as the odds-on favorite to Wooden Phone in Saturday's Strub Stakes. Trainer Jay Robbins was at a loss to explain the colt's dull performance in the Strub but said the Breeders' Cup Classic champ will continue to train into the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap March 3.
So much being horse of the year. Tiznow found out the Eclipse Award he received Tuesday for last year's exploits didn't mean much in Saturday's Strub Stakes at Santa Anita. Wooden Phone led most of the way in upsetting Tiznow by two lengths, giving trainer Bob Baffert a coast-to-coast sweep of the day's $500,000 races.
Tiznow will face a similar cast of characters as he did while winning the Jan. 13 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) in Saturday's grade II Strub Stakes at Santa Anita. The nine-furlong Strub will be Tiznow's first start since adding the Horse of the Year title to his 2000 resume. The Strub will be televised on the ESPN2 network at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
On a night of comedic one-liners, most of them from the hilarious emcee, Kenny Mayne, National Thoroughbred Racing Association commissioner Tim Smith said the single phrase most of the 500 people attending Tuesday's 30th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, La., were waiting to hear. When he opened the envelope containing the name of the Horse of the Year for 2000, Smith said simply: "Congratulations California, it's Tiznow."
Sometimes, it is a fine line that separates a championship season from merely a good, solid campaign. Sometimes, it comes down to a simple "yes" or "no" decision. In the case of Tiznow, that simple "yes" from owners Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Rubens changed the course of racing history.
Horse of the Year titles come in all sizes, from a year's worth of heroics to a single moment of glory. In 2000, it came in the size of Tiznow's neck. That's all it took to turn the name of Tiznow from a faint whisper before the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) to a deafening roar after it.
HORSE OF THE YEAR: Tiznow
Two-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Macho Uno
Two-Year-Old Filly: Caressing
Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding: Tiznow
Three-Year-Old Filly: Surfside
Older Colt, Horse or Gelding: Lemon Drop Kid
Older Filly or Mare: Riboletta (BRZ)
Sprinter: Kona Gold
Male Turf Horse: Kalanisi (IRE)
Female Turf Horse: Perfect Sting
Steeplechase: All Gong (GB)
Owner: Frank Stronach/Stronach Stable
Breeder: Frank Stronach/Adena Springs
Jockey: Jerry Bailey
Apprentice Jockey: Tyler Baze
Trainer: Robert Frankel
Regular rider Chris McCarron was up as Tiznow breezed six furlongs over a muddy Santa Anita track Saturday morning for trainer Jay Robbins. Officially Tiznow covered the six furlongs in 1:12.20 and, according to McCarron, galloped out strong, completing one mile in 1:40 as he prepped for Saturday's Strub Stakes.
A full sister to Eclipse Award finalist Tiznow was foaled at John C. Harris' Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif., at 12:20 a.m. on Jan. 23.
Making his seasonal debut in the Jan. 13 San Fernando, 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic winnerTiznow beat Walkslikeaduck by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:42.05 as Wooden Phone held on for third. It was not the blowout most expected a potential Horse of the Year to serve up in his 4-year-old debut. For those clutching tickets at 3-10, the final margin was way too close for comfort. But considering the recent interruptions and the chore of sating a high-maintenance competitor, Robbins was satisfied--and thoroughly relieved.
With the torrential rains which fell overnight Wednesday and the prospect that Breeders' Cup Classic champion Tiznow might opt to stay in the barn, 11 four-year-olds passed the entry box Thursday morning for Saturday's 49th running of the grade II, $250,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes.
Cee's Tizzy, sire of Horse of the Year finalist Tiznow, will undergo a stud fee change in which a 2001 season will cost $15,000.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow worked seven furlongs under jockey Chris McCarron at Santa Anita Saturday morning in 1:26 3/5, as the 4-year-old prepares for a possible start in the Jan. 13 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
The votes are in and the major players are in New Orleans for tonight's Eclipse Awards dinner. In addition to Horse of the Year, Eclipse Awards will also be presented for other equine and human achievements during 2000. Complete results and profiles of the winners will be posted on Bloodhorse.com at 10:30 p.m. (ET). An Eclipse Awards Special will air on ESPN2 on February 4 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET).
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Super Derby (gr. I) winner Tiznow worked seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5, handily, under regular rider Chris McCarron Friday at Santa Anita.
Brief items on racing and breeding.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow worked six furlongs Friday in preparation for a possible start in the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 13. The work, however, left trainer Jay Robbins uncertain if the colt's left front foot is completely healed.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow is getting new owners following the death of majority owner Cecilia Straub-Rubens. Her daughter, Pamela Ziebarth, and son, trainer Kevin Cochran, will be the new partners of co-owner Michael Cooper in Tiznow.
Both horses had been here before. At first, it seemed like just another brawl, in another alley, in another town. Tiznow and Giant's Causeway thrived on bare-knuckle street fights, and because of this lust for battle, their reputations preceded them as they strutted into Louisville, Ky., for the 17th Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Sneak up from behind and hit them on the head if you have to, but do not under any circumstances look them in the eye. In this skirmish, however, things were different. When Tiznow and Giant's Causeway looked into each other's eyes, they saw something they'd never seen before: a fire that matched their own.
California breeder-owner Cecilia Straub-Rubens, whose colt Tiznow took a major step toward Horse of the Year honors with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), died the night of Nov. 7 at a Newport Beach hospital.
Cecilia Straub-Rubens, who was at Churchill Downs for Saturday's victory by Tiznow in the Breeders' Cup Classic, died Tuesday night at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif. Straub-Rubens, who owned Tiznow with Michael Cooper, would have been 84 years old next month. According to the Los Angeles Times, she suffered from cancer
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Tiznow may become the first California-bred Horse of the Year since Swaps in 1956.
Headed by Classic winner Tiznow, six of the eight Breeders' Cup Championship Day winners were among the top 10 vote-getters in the final weekly poll conducted by the Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Tiznow will be pointed toward the two legs of the Strub series that are run at Santa Anita, with the Dubai World Cup also possible for the Breeders' Cup Classic winner. Meanwhile, trainer Joe Orseno said Golden Missile will run one more time this year, in the Nov. 25 Cigar Mile.
Continued from previous page
Tiznow worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Thursday under regular rider Chris McCarron in his final major work prior to the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Honest Lady continued preparations for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) with a bullet five-furlong work Thursday at Hollywood Park.
The owners of grade I winners Riboletta and Tiznow have decided to ante up the funds necessary to supplement the horses to the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup championship day races.
Michael Cooper and Cecilia Straub-Ruben's Tiznow led from the start and held off a determined Captain Steve and possibly a ticket to the Breeders' Cup.
Tiznow led at every call en route to winning the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. I) by six lengths, breaking the existing course- and stakes-record time in the process. The full brother of Budroyale, who beat last year's Super Derby winner Ecton Park when finishing second in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) last time out, completed the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.84 over a fast track Saturday at Louisiana Downs.
The last time trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled a Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner in the Super Derby (gr. I) was 1996, when Editor's Note completed a sweep of both events by winning the Louisiana Downs feature by 1 1/2 lengths over the Barking Shark. In Saturday's Super Derby, Belmont winner Commendable, a Lukas trainee, has been installed as the morning-line third wagering choice in the six-horse for the 1 1/4-mile race.
Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) winner Tiznow and Love That Red, winner of the Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II), each posted bullet works at Santa Anita Thursday morning.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Commendable and Tiznow, second against older horses in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I), head the list of possible starters for the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. I) at Louisiana Downs. D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Commendable, won both the Belmont Stakes and Super Derby with Editor's Note in 1996.
Skimming made all the pace before kicking clear of Tiznow and General Challenge at the top of the stretch to win the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) by two lengths Saturday at Del Mar.
Three-year-old Tiznow drilled four furlongs at Del Mar Wednesday morning and then drew post position four for Saturday's $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Trainer Vladimir Cerin declared Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Early Pioneer out of the Aug. 26 Pacific Classic (gr. I).
A total of nine horses, headed by defending champion General Challenge, have been nominated to the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) to be run at Del Mar Aug. 26.
Michael Pegram's 3-year-old colt Captain Steve employed similar racing tactics to those used in his Iowa Derby victory earlier this month to win the $300,000 winner's share of the $500,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. I) Sunday at Hollywood Park. After Tiznow angled out for racing room, the full brother of Budroyale rallied for second place, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
Tiznow, a full brother to Budroyale, followed up his May maiden win by upsetting the field in the $134,250 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park Saturday.
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