Tiz a Minister Gets Class Relief in Snow Chief

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After chasing Flashback and Goldencents in his final two starts of Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring meet, Tiz a Minister will drop in class for the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.


The 1 1/8 mile race over Cushion Track for 3-year-olds is the richest event of the 14th California Gold Rush program.


The eight stakes – including a pair of $60,000 maiden races – are restricted to horses bred or sired in the state. The Gold Rush purses total over $1 million.


The Snow Chief is the ninth of 10 races. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates open at 9:55 a.m. There will be a Fans’ Choice giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last – featuring a variety of past giveaway items.


This will also be the first of nine Saturdays offering a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000.


If the Pick Six pool exceeds $200,000 on the selected Saturdays – which also include May 11, May 25, June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13 – there will be $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials offered at Whittingham’s Pub and the Betfair Players’ Lounge.


Additionally, a single winning ticket – purchased either at Betfair Hollywood Park or through Television Games Network (TVG)- will earn a bonus – a 2013 Toyota Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.


The $150,000 guaranteed Pick Six – Presented by TVG – was a success when it debuted during the 2012 Autumn meet. The average pool size for the half-dozen Saturdays during the season was $243,754.


Owned by S.A.Y. Racing LLC and trained by Paul Aguirre, Tiz a Minister finished third in the Grade II San Felipe – one length behind winner Flashback – March 9, then was a distant fourth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby taken by Goldencents April 6.


Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections last Aug. 2 at Del Mar, Tiz a Minister has won two of 11 and earned $327,780. The son of Ministers Wild Cat and the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz a Mistress was a winner the last time he faced Cal breds, taking the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes with a last-to-first rally Jan. 26 at Santa Anita.


Omega Star will stretch out again in the Snow Chief after a nose win in the Echo Eddie Stakes March 30 at Santa Anita.


Trained by John Shirreffs for owner-breeders Herman Sarkowsky and Marty Wygod, Omega Star has won two of five. The Candy Ride gelding out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pride of Pegasus has banked $213,250. This will be the first start Betfair Hollywood Park for Omega Star, but he’s  trained here regularly since arriving in California late last year.


Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Snow Chief in 2003 with Chief Planner and Da Stoops in 2006, will send out Surfcup for owner-breeder Donald Dizney.


A son of Unusual Heat and the Runaway Groom mare Omi Princess, Surfcup has won two of five and earned $110,800. He broke his maiden over the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park in his debut last Nov. 23 before finishing sixth of 11 in the King Glorious.


Fighting Hussar, who finished second at nearly 24-1 in the Echo Eddie, will be making only his second start around two turns for trainer Hector Palma, who co-owns the gray with B G Stable. He was fifth in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at one mile, beaten a bit more than nine lengths by Tiz a Minister.


A son of Rockport Harbor and the Regal Classic mare Lightning Pace, Fighting Hussar has won two of nine and earned $177,724. He won an optional claimer over Cushion Track last Nov. 15 prior to finishing second to longshot Weewinnin in the inaugural King Glorious Stakes Dec. 16.


Bobo will be making his synthetic track debut after defeating maidens on turf March 10 at Santa Anita.


Trained by Paddy Gallagher, who is seeking his third Snow Chief victory, for owner-breeder Rick Fontana, the Council Member gelding out of the Olympio mare Bella Queen is 1-for-3 with a bankroll of $34,440. Gallagher’s earlier wins came with Leesider (2007) and Nahem (2011).


Nina’s Dragon returns to California after finishing 12th of 14 in the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 30 at the Fair Grounds.


Trained by Lloyd Mason, who won this race in 1996 with Far Easter, for Nina Bai Yuhong and breeder Dave Currie, Nina’s Dragon has won once in five starts. The Tizbud colt out of the Synastry mare Just Lookn has earned $69,690.


Alydidit will try two turns again for a partnership that includes Patsy London, John Winters and Templeton Horses Horses LLC and trainer Walther Solis after finishing sixth in the Echo Eddie.


The Awesome Gambler gelding out of the Alydeed mare Braver Deed has one win in eight starts and earnings of $50,200.


Heat Streaker ships south for owner-breeder Nick Alexander and trainer Steve Miyadi after winning once in three starts at Golden Gate. The Heatseeker colt out of the Rubiano mare Hazen has banked $32,292. He defeated maidens by a head as the 11-10 favorite over a yielding turf April 6.


From inside out, the field for the Snow Chief Stakes: Alydidit, Orlando Mojica rides, 116 pounds; Fighting Hussar, Victor Espinoza, 116; Nina’s Dragon, Julien Couton, 116; Omega Star, Joe Talamo, 120; Heat Streaker, Julien Leparoux, 116; Surfcup, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Bobo, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 116 and Tiz a Minister, Corey Nakatani, 124.


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