INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 28, 2010)-Trying two turns for the first time, Golden Itiz verified himself a 3-year-old to watch with a runaway victory on Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Trained by Ron Ellis for Mace and Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable, the son of Tiznow out of the Dixieland Band mare Golden Tiy, Golden Itiz has won two of three. After finishing third in his debut on Feb. 11 at Santa Anita, the $240,000 yearling purchase had defeated maidens by two lengths on March 20 prior to his Wednesday romp.
Able to slow the pace (24.65, 49.36 and 1:13.44 for six furlongs) after breaking from the rail under jockey Tyler Baze, Golden Itiz, the 8-5 favorite, kicked away from Tiz A Knight, his closest pursuer throughout and also trained by Ellis, entering the stretch.
At the finish, he had 11 ¼ lengths on his stablemate. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.50.
The win in the $44,000 optional claimer pushed Golden Itiz’s earnings to $58,080. He paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.40. Tiz A Knight paid $6.20 and $2.60 while finishing a nose in front of Hawaiian Springs, the 2-1 second choice. In his first race since Jan. 6, Hawaiian Springs returned $2.20 to show. Mindblower and Close To The Edge completed a field reduced to five after the scratch of Mr. Saturdaynight.
Tiz A Knight could be a major player in two significant races for his age group later in the meet – the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap, a Grade III at 1 1/16 miles, on June 19, then the $200,000 Swaps Stakes, a Grade II, at 1 1/8 miles on July 17.
Months prior to the first of his unprecedented two Breeders’ Cup Classic victories, Tiznow won the Affirmed Handicap in 2000, then finished second to Captain Steve in the Swaps.
The win with Golden Itiz was the second of four on Wednesday for Baze, the early leader in the jockey race. Through five days, he has nine victories. Baze was the leading rider at the 2004 spring-summer meet.
Martin Garcia added three winners, including a pair for trainer Bob Baffert – Bonnie Blue Flag in the second and Mother Ruth in the seventh. Baffert and A C Avila top the trainer standings. Both have four wins.
There will be no live racing on Thursday, but Hollywood Park will be open for simulcasts beginning at 10:15 a.m.
Racing resumes on Friday. Post time is 1 p.m. because of the Kentucky Oaks. Gates will open at 7 a.m. for simulcasts. Post time for the opener from Churchill Downs is 7:30 a.m..
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