Golden Itiz makes his first start in two months in Saturday’s Grade I
Stakes. Trainer Ron Ellis might have considered a less-challenging race
for the winner of the Grade III Affirmed Handicap last June, but his
options were limited. He worked the son of Tiznow five furlongs from the
gate in :59 1/5 at Hollywood Park on Sept. 25.
Golden Itiz hasn’t run since finishing seventh in the Grade II San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 30.
“I wanted to wake him up,” Ellis said in explaining the gate
move. “He didn’t really like Del Mar, and we just don’t have any options
here in California for a horse out of his conditions. This is the only
spot there is to run the horse, so we’re just running him to see how he
likes the dirt. It’s his first start on dirt.
“He’s capable of some good races, but it’s basically a lack of options.”
Of eight career starts, one has been on grass and seven on
synthetic surfaces. The 4-year-old colt owned by the Jay Em Ess Stable
has won four races and earned $160,480.
The field for the Goodwood, which goes as race seven:
Acclamation, Patrick Valenzuela, 124, 2-1; Coil, Martin Garcia, 121,
4-1; Tres Borrachos, Joel Rosario, 119, 10-1; Preamble, Victor Espinoza,
119, 8-1; Golden Itiz, Joe Talamo, 119, 15-1; Miss Match, Garrett
Gomez, 118, 20-1; Awesome Gem, David Flores, 119, 3-1; Game on Dude,
Chantal Sutherland, 121, 5-2; and Nijinsky’s Song, Jose Valdivia Jr.,