Tizway earned his
first graded stakes victory and a trip to the Breeders’ Cup Sunday afternoon at
Belmont Park, coming on through the stretch to take the 30th
of the Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Handicap by five lengths over Cool Coal Man.
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Tizway
broke alertly and settled in second, next to heavily favored Regal Ransom, as
longshot Jersey Town led through an opening half-mile in
46.03. Moving up willingly on the turn as the favorite began to fade, Tizway
collared the pacesetter at the top of the stretch and began edging away inside
the final furlong, hitting the wire in 1:34.42 for the mile.
“He did everything the way he was
supposed to,” said trainer Jim Bond of the 5-year-old son of Tiznow, the second
choice in the field of seven. “If everything goes well, we’ll look at the
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile [at Churchill Downs on November 6]. That’s Plan A. We’ll
keep our fingers crossed.”
Regal Ransom, the even-money
favorite, was in position to challenge on the turn but weakened to finish sixth,
beating only Mythical Power.
“You certainly wouldn’t go to the
Breeders’ Cup off a race like that,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to Godolphin
trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “[Jockey Alan Garcia] said he was traveling great
until about midway on the turn, and that he was empty as soon as Alan asked him.
That is so unlike him.”
Tizway, most recently third to
Quality Road in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day, earned
$150,000 for the victory, his second in three starts this year, having taken an
optional claimer at Aqueduct in April. Sidelined briefly with a foot injury
early in the summer, he returned to training in late July, and his last few
breezes gave his connections every indication he was ready for a big effort.
“His last two works at Saratoga were brilliant,”
said Bond, who trains Tizway for William Clifton, Jr. “The way he’s been
galloping out has been amazing.”
Sent off at 5-2 by the crowd of
3,925, Tizway returned $7.50 as he extended his lifetime record to 5-1-3 from 14
starts and his bankroll to $453,274.
“It was definitely a
well-deserved win for him,” said Maragh, Tizway’s regular rider. “He’s always
been running against some of the best older horses and to finally win like this
was very good for him.”
Runner-up Cool Coal Man had
another length on Jersey Town, who was followed under the wire by
Caixa Eletronica, Le Grand Cru, Regal Ransom, and Mythical Power. Convocation