Tiznow's Son Wins Californian Stakes
Monday, June 15, 2009
Lightly-regarded Informed (by Tiznow), ridden vigorously by Tyler Baze from before the quarter pole, gradually wore down favored Rail Trip in deep stretch to win the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at odds of 14-1 at Hollywood Park June 13.

The Californian was the first stakes win for the 5-year-old son of Tiznow who was claimed a year ago for $25,000 at Hollywood by trainer Doug O'Neill. WestsideRentals.com, Russ Sarno, and W.C. Racing are the owners of Informed, who must be considered one of the top candidates for the $700,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 11.

Sporting bright red silks with a "For Rent" logo emblazoned in a white circle on the back, Baze threaded his way around traffic on the final turn with Informed to emerge on the outside in position to challenge the leaders Rail Tripand Ball Fourin the 1 1/8-mile Cushion Track test. Baze, who said afterward he was instructed to ride the bay horse hard to get him to respond, scrubbed for all he was worth down the lane while just showing his charge the whip. His effort paid off with a three-quarters-of-a-length win over Rail Trip, who was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10.

"This is a horse with a big heart," said Baze after riding Informed for the first time. "He has got that one three-eighths-mile run. I knew if I could time it right, not move him too early or too late, I could get him there. I watched his replays several times and I finally got the opportunity to ride him today. I never even worked him before today. It was like a puzzle. We put the pieces together and it all worked out."

Rail Trip, ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. along the inside, nipped the late-charging Dakota Phone and Rafael Bejarano by a head for second. The final time was 1:48.37.

Informed, whose only previous black type came in a nose loss to Cowboy Calin the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) in January, paid a whopping $30.20, $11.40, and $6.40. He topped a $128.60 exacta with Rail Trip, who returned $4.20 and $2.60. Dakota Phone paid $3.60 to show.

"He’s an extremely talented horse but he has been a little bit inconsistent," O'Neill said of the winner. "This race was definitely something we were trying out and shooting for the stars type of thing. I thought this was a wide-open race.

"Rail Trip we knew was a brilliant horse but I, like some people, questioned if a mile and an eighth was his ideal distance. I thought he was maybe a little bit vulnerable. It was a wide-open race, and we’ve seen Informed run good enough to make sense to give him a chance. We’ll be back (for the Gold Cup).”

Valdivia, who had been outmaneuvered on Rail Trip by the front-running Ball Four for an upset in the 1 1/16-mile Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) one month ago, seemed determined to not let that one dictate the pace this time. Rail Trip bounced to the lead out of the gate, but Ball Four and Joe Talamo came after them, with Ball Four eventually taking over. Though they were moving quickly early, leaving the stalkers in the field several lengths behind, the fractions -- :23.51, :47.61, and 1:11.45 -- weren't ridiculously quick.

Informed , along with Song of Navaroneand a couple of others, were in the next grouping, content to let the front-runners duke it out. Rounding the far turn, though, Baze went to work on Informed, and Song of Navarone was also charging into position to challenge in the homestretch.

Ball Four weakened past mid-stretch while Rail Trip continued to fight on down the lane, determined to hold off Informed. But Informed, in the middle of the track, closed relentlessly and eventually inched away late for an improbable victory.

"From the get-go, I was going to make Ball Four work a little more today," Valdivia said. "That other kid (Joe Talamo on Ball Four) was riding on a loose rein, so I just eased him back out of there. No sense going head and head. He ran his race. You just can't beat Doug O'Neill right now."

"Without Ball Four in the race I think we’re an easy winner," trainer Ron Ellis said of Rail Trip. "We’ll see about the Gold Cup. I want to see how he comes out of this. I’m not sure if farther is better for him.”

Song of Navarone wound up fourth, a neck behind Dakota Phone, who rallied from eighth in the stretch. Then came Awesome Gem, Ball Four, Ukiah, Unusual Smoke, Mr Napper Tandy, and Aitcho. Mast Trackand Limestone Edgescratched.

The victory, Informed's fifth in 20 lifetime starts, was worth $150,000 and bumped his career earnings to $356,339. His last win came in an optional claiming allowance race at Hollywood Park last December, the race that preceded his surprising effort in the San Pasqual.

Informed, who ran seventh in the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) at Nad al Sheba on Dubai World Cup night March 28, won for the first time in five starts this year. He was coming off a fourth-place finish, 1 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Bullsbay, in the Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs May 1.

Ernest C. Frohboese bred Informed, who is out of the Tabasco Catmare Cajun Two Step, in Kentucky.
American Pharoah dominates Haskell Inv. (G1) title=
Pioneerof the Nile

American Pharoah dominates Haskell Inv. (G1)

Making his first start since his historic Triple Crown, Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah kept rolling right along with a deceptively dominating victory in the $1.75 million Haskell Inv. (G1)...

[read more]

Rock Fall in thrilling Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) finish title=
Speightstown

Rock Fall in thrilling Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) finish

Speightstown’s sensational 4-year-old emerged victorious in a nail-biting finish in Saturday’s $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1)...

[read more]

Bellamy Road filly Land Over Sea takes to Del Mar turf title=
Bellamy Road

Bellamy Road filly Land Over Sea takes to Del Mar turf

Land Over Sea scampered across the Del Mar turf course to score a 3 ¾-length maiden special weight victory in the second lifetime start for the 2-year-old...

[read more]

Shore Runner comes out on top in $100K Lucky Coin S. title=
More Than Ready

Shore Runner comes out on top in $100K Lucky Coin S.

Many of More Than Ready’s offspring have found a home on the turf, and Shore Runner looks like that type following his gutsy victory in the $100,000 Lucky Coin S...

[read more]

Hold the Giant still perfect after Edmonton Juvenile win title=
Hold Me Back

Hold the Giant still perfect after Edmonton Juvenile win

Hold the Giant, a 2-year-old son of Hold Me Back, is undefeated in two starts following his two-length victory in the $50,000 Edmonton Juvenile S...

[read more]

Sidney’s Candy filly romps in Del Mar unveiling title=
Sidney's Candy

Sidney’s Candy filly romps in Del Mar unveiling

As her sire Sidney's Candy did some six years ago, Sooner Time broke her maiden at Del Mar on July 23...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer filly debuts a 6 ½-length winner title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer filly debuts a 6 ½-length winner

Heartbreaker Girl made short work of a field of 2-year-old fillies as the daughter of first-crop...

[read more]

Carpe Diem, G1 winner at two and three, retires to WinStar title=

Carpe Diem, G1 winner at two and three, retires to WinStar

Stonestreet Stables’ & WinStar Farm’s Carpe Diem, Giant’s Causeway’s Grade 1-winning son at two and three, has been retired from racing due to a knee chip, and will stand stud in 2016 at WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY...

[read more]

Hold for More scores second stakes win of 2015 title=
Hold Me Back

Hold for More scores second stakes win of 2015

Hold for More chalked up yet another stakes win on July 19 when the 3-year-old son of Hold me Back rolled to a 7 ¼-length victory...

[read more]

Tiz Shea D scampers to rousing victory in $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) title=
Tiznow

Tiz Shea D scampers to rousing victory in $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2)

Tiz Shea D’s young career reached new heights on Saturday evening when the 3-year-old Tiznow colt scored a 1 ¼-length triumph in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2)...

[read more]