06/18/2010 11:00PM

Golden Itiz takes Affirmed in stakes debut


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In recent months, trainer Ron Ellis has boasted that his untested 3-year-old Golden Itiz was a sharp 3-year-old, in ability and mindset.

Golden Itiz's win in his stakes debut in Saturday's at Hollywood Park reinforced that perspective. "I think he's got an even better mind," Ellis said.

Sent off favored, Golden Itiz ($3.80) stalked a quick pace of 23.18 and 46.28 seconds set by Ranger Heartley despite going wide on the first turn. Jockey Tyler Baze had Golden Itiz in fourth down the backstretch and had moved into third with a furlong remaining.

Golden Itiz ran down Skipshot in the final furlong to win by a half-length. Alphie's Bet, who won the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for statebreds here in April, finished third in the field of eight 3-year-olds.

Golden Itiz ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.84, extending a winning streak to three races. Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Golden Itiz, by Tiznow, won a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on March 20 and an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles by 11 1/4 lengths on April 28. Golden Itiz has won 3 of 4 starts and $118,080.

"The plan has worked," Ellis said. "You like to think they'll be good enough to run in certain stakes. I don't think he got a whole lot out of his last race, but he got something out of this."

Golden Itiz will be pointed for the $200,000 Swaps Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on July 17, which is considered the championship of the meeting for 3-year-olds.