TIZ PLUS, GRANDSON OF SMARTY JONES, PULLS OFF UPSET OVER TURBO STREET ON TURF WITH JOCKEY STEWART ELLIOTT ABOARD
Jockey Stewart Elliott stayed red hot with three wins on the nine-race card Thursday at Remington Park, including an upset in the featured sixth race aboard a grandson of Smarty Jones. Elliott won the Kentucky Derby in 2004 in the saddle of Smarty Jones.
Elliott had the mount aboard Tiz Plus, going a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, but his task was a tall one, beating the heavy wagering favorite at 2-5 odds in Turbo Street, a Steve Asmussen-trained stakes winner greensward at Remington Park. Turbo Street, winner of the past two Remington Greens, the top turf stakes of the season, took the lead at the top of the stretch, but was run down by Elliott’s patient style on the turf. Tiz Plus, trained by Mindy Willis, and owned by Bronte Marshall of Reno, Nev., sat fourth most of the way but fired like a cannon when asked to run by Elliott. Tiz Plus, the 2-1 second choice in the race, drew off to win by 1-1/2 lengths with Turbo Street settling for the runner-up spot. Hallelujah Hit was another 1-1/2 lengths back in third.
“Grass or dirt, it doesn’t matter,” Elliott said about his success on the turf (five turf wins now in eight days of racing). “You have to have something to work with, too. You gotta be on the horses; that’s what it takes.”
Willis said she has great respect for Elliott’s touch on the lawn.
“He is so patient and I love that,” she said. “And he saves so much ground, staying on the rail. It takes a heady rider to do that. You gotta love someone who is patient on the grass. If you punch your button too soon, you’re not going to finish.”
Tiz Plus paid $6.80 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Turbo Street paid $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Hallelujah Hit paid $2.10 to show.
The win was Elliott’s third of the night and he overtook Richard Eramia for the riding lead in a close battle, 11 wins to 10. Eramia, who had a two-win lead going into the night, was shut out Thursday.
Tiz Plus, a 3-year-old colt by Tizway, out of the Smarty Jones mare A Plus. In retrospect, it may not have been that huge an upset. Tiz Plus has now won four races in a row, including $50,000 Robert Dupret Derby at Santa Rosa in northern California on Aug. 19. He also won two races at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, under allowance conditions, both of those on the grass.
For his win at Remington Park on Thursday night, Tiz Plus earned $23,100 and now has a career running line of nine starts, five wins, no seconds and one third for a bankroll of $97,396. It was also the third time this meet Elliott and Willis have combined for wins on the grass. Another of Elliott’s three wins on Thursday was on the grass, with Easilyunbridled bouncing home by two lengths as the 8-5 favorite in a maiden claiming event in the second race of the night. He also won with Diamonds N Spurs (1-2 odds) in the fourth race.
Tiz Plus covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1 minute, 43.03 second over the firm turf. The early fractions that set up his late kick were :24.60 for the first quarter-mile, :49.01 for a half-mile, 1:13.57 for three-quarters of a mile and 1:37.28 for the mile. Tiz Plus was bred in Kentucky by Paul Knapper.
The live schedule returns Friday at 7 p.m. with a nine-race card on tap. There were no unique tickets in the Sooner 6ix on Thursday night and the carryover moved up to $6,017.51 for Friday’s card and the pick six (races 4-9). There were tickets that correctly selected six-of-six Thursday and they paid $812.48 each.
Tracked by more than 158,000 fans on Facebook and more than 10,000 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $228 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is the home of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby and the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks, to be contested on Sept. 29. For more information, reservations and group bookings please call 405-424-1000, 866-456-9880 or visit remingtonpark.com.