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Tizway Makes Grade in Kelso

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 running 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 was scratched.

 

 

 

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