Tiznow's newest stakes winner Big Kick drew off early to an insurmountable lead in Sunday's $200,000 San Juan Capistrano (G2) at Santa Anita Park, opening up by some 10 lengths before holding on gamely to win the 1 3/4-mile turf marathon (VIDEO
Big Kick is Tiznow's fifth stakes winner, with four of them coming in graded races, in 2014. His progeny have earned in excess of $4.3 million this year, good for fourth on the General Sire list.
Making his stakes debut, the Canadian-bred 5-year-old sped out of the gate to open up by four lengths after a half-mile in :48.97. With none of his foes able to keep pace, Victor Espinoza let Big Kick roll out to a double-digit lead down the backstretch and through the final turn.
Though the margin diminished in the stretch, Big Kick had plenty of steam left to win handily by 2 3/4-lengths.
“I wanted to let him run out of there. I didn’t want to rate him too much,” said Espinoza. “I wanted to let him do it and he was doing it comfortably. I wanted to open up two or three lengths and it was so easy so I let him stretch his legs even more. We got to the three-eighths and it was time to open it up as much as I could. I thought that if I could open up from there they were all going to have a hard time catching me. It worked out.”
Trainer Mike Machowsky echoed the strategy.
“I just told Victor to be aggressive away from there and try to get him to relax and it all worked out,” Machowsky affirmed. “He’s just a high-loping horse, he gets the lead and he kind of relaxes. He’ll go fast if you need him to, or you can slow him down like he did today.
“When he came by the wire the first time, I couldn’t have been happier. His ears were flicking back and forth and Victor was sitting on him.I knew he’d kick clear.”
Machowsky, who is also part-owner of Big Kick, has trained him for his past six starts, with three wins in the span. His overall record is 5-2-1 in 19 starts, earning $254,631.
“I’ll probably look at the Del Mar H. (G2) on Aug. 23 (at a mile and three-eighths on turf), a race with distance. Distance is his thing,” said Machowsky.