05/27/2013 4:48PM

Belmont Park: Tiz Miz Sue gets her Grade 1 with Phipps victory

Michael Amoruso
Tiz Miz Sue, with Joe Rocco Jr. up, gets a half-length victory in the Ogden Phipps Handicap.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The primary purpose for bringing Tiz Miz Sue back to the races as a 6-year-old was to try to and get her a Grade 1 victory.

Mission accomplished.

Under a confident Joe Rocco Jr., Tiz Miz Sue engaged Authenticity outside the eighth pole then outfinished that rival to the wire to win Monday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap by a half-length at Belmont Park.

Authenticity, who took over from the pacesetting favorite, Joyful Victory, just before the three-furlong pole, finished second by one length over longshot Centring. It was 10 lengths back to Disposablepleasure, who was followed by Joyful Victory and Believe You Can.

It was the eighth win from 32 career starts for Tiz Miz Sue, a daughter of Tiznow owned and bred by Cresran LLC, and pushed her career earnings to $1,129,709. She had won the Grade 3 Azeri at Oaklawn twice, was beaten a neck by Royal Delta in last year’s Delaware Handicap, and had three thirds and a second from six prior Grade 1 tries.

“She deserved [a Grade 1] so bad, I was really going to be upset if she didn’t get one before she retired,” trainer Steve Hobby said. “This lightened the load.”

There appeared to be ample pace on paper to set things up for Tiz Miz Sue, and it certainly played out that way on the track.

After breaking a step slowly from the rail, Joyful Victory, under Rosie Napravnik, assumed the lead, pressed by Authenticity, ridden by Mike Smith, through a quarter-mile in 22.82 seconds, a half-mile in 45.41. Authenticity took over after six furlongs run in 1:09.57.

Rocco, meanwhile, kept Tiz Miz Sue, within about four lengths of the lead and saving ground.

“I was loving the fractions, and Joe looked like he had an armful of horse all the way sitting back there,” Hobby said. “He just waited.”

Rocco tipped Tiz Miz Sue out inside the three-sixteenths pole, shook the reins at his 6-year-old mare, and she outfinished Authenticity.

Tiz Miz Sue covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.81, and returned $10.80 as the second choice in a field of six.

“When I saw Rosie have to lean forward on the turn and I was following Mike, I got pretty confident,” Rocco said. “But this mare has fooled me a couple of times when I thought I was going to get past them. Once she ran by them, then I was confident.”