Since his performance during the breeze show before this year’s Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Tiznowforamerica has been under consideration for Saturday’s $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
“He worked really well over the Polytrack (in the breeze show), and
we knew the Champagne (the Grade 1 race on Saturday at Belmont Park) was
going to come up pretty tough,” said Erin Finley, director of
communications for co-owner West Point Thoroughbreds. “It was a pretty
In partnership with Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable, West Point
bought Tiznowforamerica for $150,000 at the Keeneland April Sale. Viola,
a New York businessman who recently purchased the Florida Panthers of
the NHL, and Erin’s father, Terry, West Point’s founder and president,
both attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They named
Tiznowforamerica for a memorable line from Tom Durkin’s call of the 2001
Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in which the colt’s sire, Tiznow, nosed out
Sakhee to win the race (“Tiznow for America,” Durkin proclaimed). That
year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships were run on Oct. 27, marking
the first major sporting event in New York after 9/11.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Tiznowforamerica made his previous two
starts in 5½-furlong sprints on dirt at Saratoga. The colt was third in
the first outing then led from the start to win his most recent race on
Sept. 2. He drew post 14 for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity and will be
ridden by Julien Leparoux.
“We brought a horse here last year who drew the 14, too, so we’re kinda used to that,” Finley said, referring to 10th-place finisher Tree of Life. “I think we’ll be on or near the lead, so it probably won’t matter too much. (He’ll) get out of there and be close.”
West Point has a second starter in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, School On a Hill,
owned in partnership with James Covello and Millennium Farms. Wayne
Catalano trains the Student Council colt, a maiden winner over the
Polytrack at Arlington Park who was seventh in the TVG Summer (G2) at
Woodbine. School On a Hill was cross-entered in Sunday’s Bourbon (G3).
On Saturday, Leparoux rides another Albertrani trainee, Better Lucky,
a Grade 1 winner who has returned to Keeneland for the First Lady (G1).
The race will mark the third Keeneland start for the 4-year-old
Ghostzapper filly, who was third a year ago in the Queen Elizabeth II
Challenge Cup (G1) and was third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) in April.
At Belmont Park, Better Lucky next was second to Stephanie’s Kitten
in the one-mile Just a Game (G1) on June 18 and third in the one-mile
Noble Damsel (G3) on Sept. 14.
“Seems like she needs a race to get fit then she comes back and
usually runs big for us,” said Albertrani’s assistant, Josh Flores.
“We’re hoping she does that here.”
In the First Lady, Better Lucky will meet several familiar foes, including 2012 Jenny Wiley winner Daisy Devine
, 2012 QE II winner and Dayatthespa
and Grade 2 winner Hungry Island