Updated on 09/15/2011 2:17PM

Classic: A long morning for Tiznow


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Jay Robbins says Tiznow is being stabled at Belmont Park to run in Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

But judging by the regimen Robbins put Tiznow through on Sunday morning, one wonders if Robbins is actually pointing the 2000 Horse of the Year toward the New York City Marathon.

While most World Thoroughbred Championships contenders usually walk or jog about 1 1/2 miles to limber their legs, Robbins had the suddenly quirky Tiznow walk not once, but twice around the outside perimeter of Belmont's 1 1/2-mile main track. Toss in the hour Tiznow walked under shedrow before his trip to the track as well as the ground lost on a couple of occasions when Tiznow lost interest in moving forward and decided to stop and back-peddle, and you have a day of work that a fitness guru like Richard Simmons would love.

But Robbins, who wants a razor-sharp thoroughbred, was merely bemused. If the intent was to sharpen his horse's focus on running by giving him a heavier workload, it was an exercise in futility.

"All he did was get a little more exercise out of this. He was a little tougher today than usual," Robbins said "[So we went around twice]. He hadn't really done anything since his workout on Thursday, so hopefully he'll go smoother tomorrow."

For Robbins, days like Sunday are his latest attempt to quell the rambunctiousness that has befallen the 2000 Classic winner since the Del Mar meet. Robbins says he has no idea of why Tiznow turned into a problem child in the summer of his 4-year-old season. Nor can he say for certain that his horse's new-found habit of balking and wheeling like a ballerina in the AM has been responsible for third place finishes in Tiznow's last two races, the Goodwood at Santa Anita and Woodward at Belmont Park.

"It's been rough, but the one good thing is that he's very sound and that can take a horse a long way," Robbins said. "Other than that we came into race last year off two wins and now we're coming in off two thirds, I don't think we're too far off from last year. With the exception of his demeanor in the morning, I think he's pretty much the same horse."

As much as Robbins has been unable to find a remedy for Tiznow's antic, it's not because of a lack of help from outside sources.

"Oh, we get letters about him," Robbins said. "The best one came from a guy who talked about the way Bertrando ran after coming back from the breeding shed and said Tiznow needs to (-)."

You shouldn't need much of an imagination to fill in that blank.

Orientate works in 1:13

Longshot Orientate was the only Classic starter to put in a serious drill Sunday, working six furlongs in 1:13.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, winner of a record 16 Breeders' Cup races, Orientate is currently second on the also-eligible list for the Classic, but should make it into the race due to the likely defection of several horses for either the Turf or Mile.

Whether Orientate, a 50-1 shot on the Daily Racing Form advance line, has any kind of impact on the race is a much more debatable point.

Orientate's biggest accomplishment is a victory in the ungraded Indiana Derby, but an undaunted Lukas says his inexperienced horse is coming up to an imposing challenge the right way.

"He floated over the track today," Lukas said. "We had him coming home in 35.60. He's a smallish colt and we just wanted to see how he'd get over the track. He did great. I think he's a fresh horse who's on top of his game and that's all you ask. Whether he can beat horses like this, I don't know. We'll find out Saturday."