She didn’t exactly get dirt, but she delivered.
Ignoring the torrential rain that was the last hurrah of Tropical Storm Hanna, the 4-year-old Tiznow filly took the lead after a half mile on the sloppy/sealed main track and waltzed home to a 12 ¼-length victory, covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.46. She returned $10.60 for her eighth win in 20 career starts and she will now point to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Santa Anita on October 24.
“I scratched Indian Blessing because she doesn’t need to run that long,” Baffert said by phone from California. “We talked it over and we decided to keep her in the short game. That’s what she does best. Of course, I would have felt bad if this one didn’t win because I scratched Indian Blessing.”
Baffert gave the riding assignment on Tough Tiz’s Sis to jockey Edgar Prado, who was given one basic bit of instruction.
“She has been training very well, and all I told Edgar was to be sure to keep this filly’s face clean,” Baffert said. “She doesn’t like dirt in her face. Last year at the Breeders’ Cup (in the slop at Monmouth Park), she got caught in behind horses and had dirt in her face and it was a complete disaster.”
Prado followed his direction. Tough Tiz’s Sis broke second, and Prado managed to get her out in the three-path to track longshot pacesetter Rite Moment through a first quarter of a mile in 22.69 and the half in 45.03. Running comfortably, she passed Rite Moment and kept on going
“Dancing in the rain, right?,” Prado said. “Coming out of the gate, I put her in a good spot. She was handling it very well. No problem. I was very impressed.”
The only thing that went wrong was that Baffert’s secretary forgot to send the silks of owners Karl Watson and Weitman Peformances.
“Karl Watson was watching the race and wanted to know whose silks those were,” Baffert said. “I told them, `Those are NYRA’s silks.’ He said he wanted to switch to those silks.”
Copper State was second, followed by Stage Luck, Miraculous Miss, Rite Moment, favored Spring Waltz, Little Belle and Boca Grande.