04/25/2010 11:00PM

Ellis confident he has 1-2 punch


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Ron Ellis did not predict which of his colts - Golden Itiz or Tiz a Knight - was most likely to win race 5 Wednesday at Hollywood Park.

But he did release the exacta box.

"I'll be disappointed if they don't run one-two," Ellis said. "I don't know which one is better, and they're both doing so good."

Beyond high expectations, Golden Itiz and Tiz a Knight have a lot in common. Both were sired by Tiznow, are fresh from a solid maiden win, racing for only the third time, and with bigger goals than the first-level level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"It's too bad I have to run them together, but with the Affirmed and Swaps I need to keep them on the same program," Ellis said. He was referring to the biggest 3-year-old races of the meet - the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap June 20, and Grade 2 Swaps Stakes July 18.

Bettors may prefer Golden Itiz, who should improve at longer distances.

"I was surprised he was able to win sprinting," Ellis said. Golden Itiz won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race March 20 at Santa Anita by two lengths in 1:15.09 and earned a beyer Speed Figure of 84. Tyler Baze rides Golden Itiz.

Tiz a Knight already has raced two turns. In his second start, March 5, he won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Santa Anita by a nose in a tepid 1:43.58 and earned a 71 Beyer.

"He'll improve a lot," Ellis said. "He didn't get anything out of his first race, and probably was a little short second time out." Victor Espinoza rides Tiz a Knight.

Hawaiian Springs has been working super for his first start since Jan. 6. Kathy Walsh trains the colt, considered a Derby prospect in winter after a good runner-up finish in a fast allowance race.

Mr. Saturdaynight, entered for the $80,000 claiming price, will be making his first start since being gelded. Mindblower won his April 3 debut around two turns. Close to the Edge won a seven-furlong maiden race last out.

In race 7, a second-level allowance for filly-mare sprinters, Ellis-trained Heartless Vixen will make her second start on the comeback trail. She had a troubled trip Feb. 24.

In race 2, a first-level allowance route for 3-year-old fillies, highly regarded Pure Class makes her first start since Oct. 4. She faces stretch-out sprinter Folk Dancer.