ARCADIA , Calif. (March 24, 2013)—California-bred Tiz Flirtatious became a graded stakes winner at Santa Anita on Sunday, as she flew home under Julien Leparoux to take the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ana Stakes by one length over heavily favored Lady of Shamrock, getting 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.62.
Leparoux, who was aboard the 5-year-old mare by Tizbud for the first time, broke from the outside post position in the six-horse field and had Tiz Flirtatious placed fourth, 3 ¼ lengths off pacesetting Quiet Oasis into the Club House turn and was a close fifth with a quarter mile to run.
“She’s a fighter, every jock likes those kind,” said Leparoux. “She won big today, so it was good. She was a little keen today, but she dropped the bit and relaxed on the backside, and after that, she got up on them.
“They were not really going anywhere so I just waited and waited and then she gave me a nice kick.”
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano (who rode at Sunland Park in New Mexico today) in her last three starts, Tiz Flirtatious beat statebreds in the $100,000 Valentine Dancer Stakes going one mile on turf Jan. 26, and was second in both the Grade I Matriarch Stakes on Nov. 25 and in the Grade III Robert J. Frank el Stakes Dec. 30.
“Julien rode a great race,” said winning trainer Marty Jones. “She looked like she wanted to get a little keen and Julien’s just got a great way of getting a horse to relax. I think he fit her real well.
“…She’s been close in graded stakes, and finally things went her way. We’ll have to talk with Pam (owner, Ziebarth) and see what she wants to do, but I think the Gamely (Grade I, on May 27 at Betfair Hollywood Park ) might be a race we’re looking at if everything goes well.”
With Quiet Oasis setting fractions of 23.92, 48.36, 1:12.09 and 1:35.34, Leparoux had the leader measured as he swung three-wide at the top of the lane and collared her a sixteenth of a mile out.
Dispatched as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Tiz Flirtatious paid $6.00, $2.80 and $2.20. She now has an enviable record of 9-6-2-1, and with the winner’s share of $90,000, earnings of $424,800.
Even money favorite Lady of Shamrock broke awkwardly from the rail, was last throughout and rallied boldly turning for home to out finish Quiet Oasis by a head for the place under Mike Smith, but never got by the winner on the gallop-out.
“She ran a great race, her first race back,” said Smith. “If (we) had a race under (our) belt, I probably would have ridden her a little differently myself, but I didn’t. It’s a long year and we just wanted a good race and that’s what we got.”
Lady of Shamrock paid $2.40 and $2.10.
Quiet Oasis, off at 5-1 with Mario Gutierrez, had a length and a half advantage on Long Face and Gary Stevens at the top of the stretch and ran a big third, finishing 3 ¼ lengths in front of Long Face and paid $3.00 to show.
Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America ’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida , and is one of North America ‘s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.