12/06/2008 12:00AM

Highland Games, Tizfiz prove best


Highland Games rallied to defend his title successfully in the $50,000 Hanks Mills Sr. Handicap at Turf Paradise on Saturday, while Tizfiz used her speed to capture the $50,000 Queen of the Green Handicap later on the card.

Highland Games, owned by the Sandra Hall Trust and trained by Lyman Rollins, sat midpack in the Hanks Mills - a one-mile main-track event - and finished doggedly to outduel the pacesetting Bingham in the final yards to win by a half-length under Miguel Hernandez.

Bingham, who dueled on the from the outset, gave way late only grudgingly to be second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Nosir in third in the field of seven. Kalgoorlie, the 6-5 favorite, was never a factor, finishing sixth.

Highland Games, a 5-year-old, ran the mile in 1:35.02. He paid $15.40, and the winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career earnings to $129,546 from 7 wins in 23 starts.

Tizfiz, owned by the Richard O'Neill Trust and trained by Rafael DeLeon, spurted right to the lead in the Queen of the Green Handicap at a mile on the turf, opened up a big into the the lane, and doggedly fought to the wire to beat the even-money favorite, Ransom Captive, by a half-length under Agapito Delgadillo. It was a neck back to defending champ Star of Whitney in third in the field of eight.

Tizfiz ran finished in 1:36.01 and paid $6.20 as the second choice. The winner's check of $30,000 pushes her career bankroll to $143,160 from 4 wins in 11 starts.