INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 24, 2013)—After chasing Flashback and Goldencents in his final two starts of Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring meet, Tiz a Minister will drop in class for the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 1 1/8 mile race over Cushion Track for 3-year-olds is the richest event of the 14th California Gold Rush program.
The eight stakes – including a pair of $60,000 maiden races – are restricted to horses bred or sired in the state. The Gold Rush purses total over $1 million.
The Snow Chief is the ninth of 10 races. Post time is 1 p.m. Track gates open at 9:55 a.m. There will be a Fans’ Choice giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last – featuring a variety of past giveaway items.
This will also be the first of nine Saturdays offering a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000.
If the Pick Six pool exceeds $200,000 on the selected Saturdays – which also include May 11, May 25, June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13 – there will be $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials offered at Whittingham’s Pub and the Betfair Players’ Lounge.
Additionally, a single winning ticket – purchased either at Betfair Hollywood Park or through Television Games Network (TVG)- will earn a bonus – a 2013 Toyota Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
The $150,000 guaranteed Pick Six – Presented by TVG – was a success when it debuted during the 2012 Autumn meet. The average pool size for the half-dozen Saturdays during the season was $243,754.
Owned by S.A.Y. Racing LLC and trained by Paul Aguirre, Tiz a Minister finished third in the Grade II San Felipe – one length behind winner Flashback – March 9, then was a distant fourth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby taken by Goldencents April 6.
Claimed for $40,000 by his current connections last Aug. 2 at Del Mar, Tiz a Minister has won two of 11 and earned $327,780. The son of Ministers Wild Cat and the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tiz a Mistress was a winner the last time he faced Cal breds, taking the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes with a last-to-first rally Jan. 26 at Santa Anita.
Omega Star will stretch out again in the Snow Chief after a nose win in the Echo Eddie Stakes March 30 at Santa Anita.
Trained by John Shirreffs for owner-breeders Herman Sarkowsky and Marty Wygod, Omega Star has won two of five. The Candy Ride gelding out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pride of Pegasus has banked $213,250. This will be the first start Betfair Hollywood Park for Omega Star, but he’s trained here regularly since arriving in California late last year.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Snow Chief in 2003 with Chief Planner and Da Stoops in 2006, will send out Surfcup for owner-breeder Donald Dizney.
A son of Unusual Heat and the Runaway Groom mare Omi Princess, Surfcup has won two of five and earned $110,800. He broke his maiden over the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park in his debut last Nov. 23 before finishing sixth of 11 in the King Glorious.
Fighting Hussar, who finished second at nearly 24-1 in the Echo Eddie, will be making only his second start around two turns for trainer Hector Palma, who co-owns the gray with B G Stable. He was fifth in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at one mile, beaten a bit more than nine lengths by Tiz a Minister.
A son of Rockport Harbor and the Regal Classic mare Lightning Pace, Fighting Hussar has won two of nine and earned $177,724. He won an optional claimer over Cushion Track last Nov. 15 prior to finishing second to longshot Weewinnin in the inaugural King Glorious Stakes Dec. 16.
Bobo will be making his synthetic track debut after defeating maidens on turf March 10 at Santa Anita.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher, who is seeking his third Snow Chief victory, for owner-breeder Rick Fontana, the Council Member gelding out of the Olympio mare Bella Queen is 1-for-3 with a bankroll of $34,440. Gallagher’s earlier wins came with Leesider (2007) and Nahem (2011).
Nina’s Dragon returns to California after finishing 12th of 14 in the Grade II Louisiana Derby March 30 at the Fair Grounds.
Trained by Lloyd Mason, who won this race in 1996 with Far Easter, for Nina Bai Yuhong and breeder Dave Currie, Nina’s Dragon has won once in five starts. The Tizbud colt out of the Synastry mare Just Lookn has earned $69,690.
Alydidit will try two turns again for a partnership that includes Patsy London, John Winters and Templeton Horses Horses LLC and trainer Walther Solis after finishing sixth in the Echo Eddie.
The Awesome Gambler gelding out of the Alydeed mare Braver Deed has one win in eight starts and earnings of $50,200.
Heat Streaker ships south for owner-breeder Nick Alexander and trainer Steve Miyadi after winning once in three starts at Golden Gate. The Heatseeker colt out of the Rubiano mare Hazen has banked $32,292. He defeated maidens by a head as the 11-10 favorite over a yielding turf April 6.
From inside out, the field for the Snow Chief Stakes: Alydidit, Orlando Mojica rides, 116 pounds; Fighting Hussar, Victor Espinoza, 116; Nina’s Dragon, Julien Couton, 116; Omega Star, Joe Talamo, 120; Heat Streaker, Julien Leparoux, 116; Surfcup, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Bobo, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 116 and Tiz a Minister, Corey Nakatani, 124.
Doinghardtimeagain, an easy winner of the Evening Jewel last month at Santa Anita, returns to the scene of her first stakes victory in the $250,000 Melair. The race – the fourth on the program – is for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for owner-breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, Doinghardtimeagain won the inaugural Soviet Problem by 2 ¼ lengths, improving to 2-for-2 over Cushion Track.
A Ministers Wild Cat filly out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady, Doinghardtimeagain is 3-for-7 with earnings of $336,270.
Qiaona will be stretching out once more for trainer Ed Moger, Jr. after finishing a distant fourth in the Evening Jewel.
Owned by Curt and Lila Lanning, the Wilko filly out of the Skywalker mare Starlet Sky has won two of 10 and earned $244,534. Her signature victory came in the female division of the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes Jan. 26 at Santa Anita. She rallied from far back to prevail a half-length at 23-1.
Winner of the Melair in 1998 with Censored and Yearly Report in 2004, Baffert will send out Sweet Marini.
A 5 ¼ length winner in her lone start of 2012, Sweet Marini bombed in her first for Baffert, finishing last at 3-5 in the Evening Jewel.
Owned by Kaleem Shah Inc., the daughter of Marino Marini and the In Excess mare Excessing has banked $40,660.
Unusual Way returns from New Mexico after finishing a distant second behind the Baffert-trained Midnight Lucky in the Sunland Park Oaks.
Trained by Jeff Bonde for Edward Brown, Jr. and Phil Lebherz, the Unusual Heat filly out of the Great Above mare Way Up has won three of eight and earned $284,610. She broke her maiden by 2 ¼ lengths in her debut over Cushion Track last May 5 and was runner-up in the Soviet Problem.
Solis will try to join Barry Abrams as the only trainer to win the Melair in consecutive years as he saddles outsider Awe Golly Molly.
The daughter of Awesome Gambler and the All Gone mare has lost 11 in a row since winning her local debut April 26, 2012. She’s earned $98,490 in 12 outings for a partnership that includes Daniels, London and breeder Terry Lovingier.
Abrams went back-to-back in the Melair with Bel Air Sizzle (2008) and Pretty Unusual (2009).
Akiss Forarose has lost 10 consecutive races since she broke into the game with a nose victory at 24-1 last June 2 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Owned by Craig Warren, Templeton Horses and breeder Lovingier, Akiss Forarose has earned $96,652. Gary Sherlock trains the daughter of Rio Verde and the Kissin Kris mare Bold Kiss.
Jade With Envy switches surfaces after defeating maidens over the Santa Anita grass March 17. Richard Baltas trains the Ten Most Wanted filly out of the Clever Trick mare Aclevershadeofjade for Anthony O’Boyle Trust and breeders Bernie Fleming and Milt Policzer. She’s banked $68,800 while winning one of five starts.
From inside out, the field for the Melair Stakes: Qiaona, Julien Leparoux rides, 124; Sweet Marini, Joe Talamo, 116; Doinghardtimeagain, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Unusual Way, Edwin Maldonado, 120; Awe Golly Molly, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 116; Jade With Envy, Tyler Baze, 116 and Akiss Forarose, Orlando Mojica, 116.
Grade I winner Teddy’s Promise will be seeking her fifth win over Cushion Track when she takes on opponents in the $125,000-guaranteed B. Thoughtful Stakes, which is for older fillies and mares and run at 7 ½ furlongs. It goes as the eighth race.
Owned by breeders Ted and Judy Nichols and trained by Ron Ellis, the 5-year-old daughter of Salt Lake and the Capote mare Braids and Beads will be making her first appearance in California bred company at Betfair Hollywood Park since she won an optional claimer by 5 ¼ lengths Dec. 2, 2010.
A winner of eight of 22 with a bankroll of $654,981, Teddy’s Promise went 1-for-3 over Cushion Track during the 2012 Spring/Summer meet. Her victory came in the Time To Leave Stakes last May 6.
Sugarinthemorning, who finished behind Teddy’s Promise in a pair of graded stakes earlier in the year at Santa Anita, will be trying to end an 11-race losing streak in the B. Thoughtful.
Trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally for owner-breeder Stephen B. Weissman, Sugarinthemorning hasn’t won since taking the Fleet Treat Stakes July 30, 2011 at Del Mar.
A 5-year-old Candy Ride mare out of the In Excess mare Social Belle, Sugarinthemorning has won five of 20 and earned $512,684.
Ismene will be making her initial Cushion Track start for owner-breeder Stephen Ferraro and trainer Bill Spawr. The 4-year-old Tribal Rule filly out of the In Excess mare Never to Excess has won three of five and earned $172,190.
A two-time Gold Rush winner – the 2011 Alphabet Kisses and the Warren’s Thoroughbred last year – Sparkling Style returns to her favorite venue for Baffert, who won this race in 1999 (Censored) and 2002 (Favorite Funtime) and owner Arnold Zetcher LLC.
The 5-year-old daughter of Badge of Silver and the A.P. Indy mare Decades of Style has won three of 10 and earned $156,452. All of her wins have come over Cushion Track.
Hollendorfer- who has won the B. Thoughtful thrice previously with Fleet Lady (1998), Somethinaboutlaura (2007) and U R All That I Am (2010) – will be represented by Curvy Cat.
Owned by breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, who also campaigned U R All That I Am, Curvy Cat has won six of 14. The Ministers Wild Cat filly out of the Distorted Humor mare Curvy Girl has banked $170,123. She has not been worse than third in eight starts over synthetic surfaces, primarily Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields.
After three consecutive races over turf, Dancingtothestars returns to the main track for owner-breeder Ren-Mar Thoroughbreds and trainer Doug O’Neill. The 5-year-old daughter of Good Journey and the In Excess mare A Lil Excess has won four of 12 and earned $235,056. She is 2-for-4 over Cushion Track.
Trained by Vladimir Cerin for a partnership that includes Richard Jones and breeder Tom Capeheart, Lookin for Jonesy has won two of eight and earned $76,412. The 4-year-old Purge filly out of the Fabulous Champ mare Champ’s Rocket mare has been idle since finishing last in an optional claimer Feb. 17 at Golden Gate.
Owner-breeder Benjamin C. Warren and trainer Jorge Gutierrez, who teamed for three victories in the 2012 Gold Rush, have three entrants – Warren’s Amber, Warren’s Blossom and Warren’s Internet – in the B. Thoughtful.
A 4-year-old daughter of Broadway Moon and the Mud Route mare I’m a Cat’s Meow, Warren’s Amber has won two of 13 and earned $223,900. She has been away since finishing ninth of 10 in an allowance at Santa Anita last Nov. 2.
Warren’s Blossom has been away since July 14, 2011, but the 6-year-old daughter of Extra out of the Present Value mare Past ‘n Present has had success at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The dark bay won twice over Cushion Track in 2010 and over the local turf during the 2011 Spring/Summer season. Overall, Warren’s Blossom has won five of nine and earned $175,240.
Warren’s Internet won the Alphabet Kisses Stakes by a nose on Gold Rush Day last year. The 4-year-old Excess Danger filly out of the Elusive Quality mare Go for Quality has won twice in five outings and banked $85,164. She has been idle since finishing fourth in a Santa Anita allowance Feb. 23.
Melanistic will be seeking her third win of 2013 and ninth of her career for owner-trainer Baltas.
Re-claimed by Baltas for $16,000 Feb. 16 at Santa Anita, the Ministers Wild Cat filly out of the Charismatic mare Back Door Girl comes off a 4 ½ length victory in a state bred allowance March 17 at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old has banked $92,698 in 18 starts.
From inside out, the field for the B. Thoughtful Stakes: Warren’s Amber, Joe Talamo rides, 124 pounds; Sparkling Style, Julien Leparoux, 120; Teddy’s Promise, Victor Espinoza, 124; Warren’s Internet, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Curvy Cat, Corey Nakatani, 120; Sugarinthemorning, Martin Garcia, 120; Melanistic, Sal Gonzalez, Jr., 120; Ismene, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Lookin for Jonesy, Tyler Baze, 118; Dancingtothestars, Mario Gutierrez, 120 and Warren’s Blossom, Martin Pedroza, 120.
Streaker Mel’s Game headlines the field for the $125,000 Tiznow Stakes, which is for older males at 7 ½ furlongs. It goes as the fifth race, making it the kickoff leg in the $150,000-guaranteed Pick Six.
Trained by Mitchell for owner-breeder Alexander, Mel’s Game is undefeated in three races with blinkers in 2013.
A 4-year-old Game Plan colt out of the Malek mare Melinda Rose, he has started five times and earned $121,070. Mel’s Game finished seventh and third in two Betfair Hollywood Park appearances as a 3-year-old.
John Scott, who is 2-for-2 over Cushion Track, shortens up after a nose win in the grassy Crystal Water Stakes Jan. 26 at Santa Anita.
Trained by Carla Gaines for owner-breeder Harris Farms, Inc., the 6-year-old Bertrando gelding out of the Deputy Minister mare Henlopen has won half of his 12 races and banked $460,304. Gaines and Harris won this race in 2006 with Lucky J.H.
Holladay Road will be making his first start of 2013 for owners Gary and Wendy Broad and trainer Julio Canani.
Inactive since finishing sixth in the California Cup Classic last Oct. 13, the 8-year-old Street Cry gelding will be seeking his eighth win in his 20th start. Out of the Great Commotion mare Blending Element, Holladay Road has earned $355,252. He has yet to compete over Cushion Track.
Late runner Kate’s Event will try for his second consecutive win for owner-breeder William Ziering and Hollendorfer. A come-from-behind winner over a wet fast track April 7 at Santa Anita, the son of Event of the Year and the Mane Minister mare Nordidid has won five of 15 and earned $245,940.
He Be Fire N Ice goes turf to synthetic for trainer John Sadler after an 8-1 upset in a miler April 5 at Santa Anita.
Owned by Cicero Farms, the 5-year-old gray son of Unusual Heat and the Deputy Commander mare Deputy Tombe has won two of eight while earning $90,000.
Like Holladay Road, Planet Sunshine will be making his first start since last fall for owner-breeder Thomas Shapiro and trainer Art Sherman.
A 5-year-old gelded son of Benchmark and the Lucky North mare Sunshine Dreamer, Planet Sunshine is 4-for-13 with a bankroll of $122,612.
Rock Me Baby, who has won three of four for West Point Thoroughbreds and trainer Craig Dollase, returns to the scene of his debut win. The 4-year-old Rock Hard Ten gelding out of the Tale of the Cat mare Barbara Orr, won a $50,000 maiden claimer versus state breds last Dec. 13 over Cushion Track. Rock Me Baby has earned $82,400.
Bailouttheminister ships from Golden Gate for owners Theresa and Edward DeNike and trainer Keith Nations after an allowance win March 15 at Golden Gate.
The son of Ministers Wild Cat and the Smokester mare T.G.’s Girl has won seven of 19. The 5-year-old gelding has earnings of $239,654.
From inside out, the field for the Tiznow Stakes: Mel’s Game, Julien Leparoux rides, 120 pounds; Kate’s Event, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Holladay Road, Joe Talamo, 122; Planet Sunshine, Victor Espinoza, 118; He Be Fire N Ice, Tyler Baze, 118; John Scott, Martin Garcia, 124; Rock Me Baby, Edwin Maldonado, 118 and Bailouttheminister, Martin Pedroza, 120.
The remaining Gold Rush Stakes are the $60,000 Alphabet Kisses for maiden fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs, the $60,000 NTRA for maiden colts & geldings at 6 ½ furlongs, the $70,000 Warren’s Thoroughbreds for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs and the $70,000 Grey Memo for older horses at seven furlongs.
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