Slew's Tizzy
-photo by Reed Palmer Photography

Stretch Run
-photo by Reed Palmer Photography

Slew's Tizzy Wins Lone Star Derby; Belmont Stakes Next?

(May 12, 2007) - Slew's Tizzy could be bound for the June 9 Belmont Stakes following his 1 ¾-length victory over Moyer's Pond in Saturday's Grade III, $300,000 Lone Star Derby at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The 3-year-old Tiznow colt, who won the Grade II Lexington Stakes at Keeneland three weeks earlier, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.49 over "sloppy" going after an unexpected thunderstorm drenched the Dallas-Fort Worth area racetrack two hours earlier.

"I wasn't too worried about the mud because he trained over that kind of surface on a regular basis this winter in Kentucky," said Lexington, Kentucky-based Greg Fox, who trains Slew's Tizzy for Brooklyn native owner/breeder Joseph LaCombe. "He's got a huge stride and tremendous endurance. I would love to go to New York and be very competitive, and win. I think this horse is suited to longer distances. The Belmont Stakes is a real possibility . . . but you have to stay flexible in this game. Another option may be the Ohio Derby."

In the early stages of Saturday's race, Slew's Tizzy, ridden by Robby Albarado, had clear running from third while tracking pacesetters Mr. Nightlinger and Taksent, who clicked off quarter-mile fractions of :22.59 (second fastest in 11 runnings of the race), :46.77 and 1:12.30. With a sweeping four-wide move on the turn for home, Slew's Tizzy engaged 28-1 longshot Mr. Nightlinger, who battled gamely, and edged clear in the stretch for the comfortable victory.

"As quick as they went out of the gate, circumstances dictated that I needed to be as patient as possible," Albarado said. "Nearing the half-mile pole, I edged him a bit and I wanted to be in command turning for home - and he was. I was a little concerned when the rain came and how he would handle the surface, but he handled it just fine and showed that he was the best one today. The Fox team did an exceptional job getting him ready for today; I was just a pilot."

Moyer's Pond, who "ran awesome" according to jockey Justin Shepherd, rallied for second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Forty Grams and Mr. Nightlinger, who finished in a dead-heat for third. "We scared 'em a little, huh?," said Bret Calhoun, Lone Star Park's leading trainer who conditions Mr. Nightlinger.

Forty Grams' rider Luis Quinonez dropped his whip at the eighth pole after a troubled trip along the inside rail. Illinois Derby runner-up Reporting for Duty was fifth, followed by Takedown, Reata's Rocket, Slew by Slew, Taksent and Harrow Land, who was eased by walked back to the barn. Reporting for Duty and Reata's Rocket were both sent postward as the public's co-second choice at odds of 4.20-1.

Slew's Tizzy, who bypassed next Saturday's Preakness Stakes in favor of the Lone Star Derby, earned $165,000 for the win and improved his record to three wins and $385,252 from seven starts.

Earlier on the card, there were two $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes for eligible 3-year-old progeny of nominated Texas-based stallions. Both races were contested at 1 1/16 miles.

Adam Richey and Jim Strode's Lilly Ladue held off favored Stage Stop by a half-length in the Got Koko (Fillies) Division. The daughter of Chief Three Sox was clocked in 1:48.06 under jockey Larry Taylor and paid $9 to win.

"The weather threw us a curveball," Calhoun said. "We had planned on stalking today but the rain hit and we changed tactics. I knew we had to be close and Larry did a great job getting her to relax on the lead. She's very game."

Spoonerism rallied to be beat Austin Lights by three lengths in 1:47.00 to take the Stymie (colts and geldings) division. Owned by Ralls& Foster LLC and Smith Ridge Stables, the Gold Legend gelding, trained by Danny Pish, returned $17.40 for a $2 win ticket.

"We wanted to be mid-pack and make one late run and he was real relaxed early on," said Shepherd, who rode Spoonerism. "The horses on the lead were tiring and when he went by those horses at the eighth-pole, we were really the only one running late."

Beautiful weather with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 80s turned in an instant shortly after 4 p.m. CT and following the sixth of 11 live races as a severe thunderstorm drenched Lone Star Park for almost 45 minutes.

"The storm popped up over Irving, which is the neighboring city to our north, and instantly hit us without much warning," said Lone Star Park President and General Manager Drew Shubeck. "The center of the storm was right on top of us. Right now, the radar looks alright and the worst may be behind us."

Director of Track Maintenance George McDermott and his crew attempted to seal the racetrack as quickly as possible, but the deluge left the main surface a muddy bog, officially labeled as "sloppy."

The seventh race, a 7 ½-furlong allowance over the turf course, was run as scheduled over "yielding" going with a just a slight delay. Thundering booms from the storm could be heard during the running of the race and lightning strikes were visible nearby. As a result, officials delayed the start of the first division of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

When the storm hit, the crowd gathered on the Grandstand apron scattered for cover into the first floor of the Grandstand. Total attendance was 9,841.

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