04/26/2012 3:29PM

Hollywood Park: Mobilized back for third shot at Tiznow Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
M One Rifle will wear blinkers for the first time in the Tiznow Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The $125,000 Tiznow Stakes might have been a showcase for the country’s top sprinter. Instead, the 7 1/2-furlong race is a wide-open scramble.

“I’m obviously grateful Amazombie is not in there, he beat us pretty handily last year,” said Gary Mandella, trainer of Tiznow starter Mobilized.

The decision to ship 2011 winner Amazombie to Churchill Downs for a $400,000 stakes has turned the Tiznow (race 9) into one of the most perplexing races on the 10-race Gold Rush card.

Nine older horses entered the Tiznow, and though Mobilized drew the rail, the Tiznow is a race he can win, finally. Mobilized finished third in each of the last two Tiznow runnings.

Is the third time the charm?

“He’s coming in better than last year,” Mandella said, admitting a concern about pace for his closer. Mobilized, who was off nearly a year after the removal of an ankle chip, has two good races under his belt, including a last-out allowance win. But the 5-for-21 pro can only win if he can catch the speed.

“I hope it’s not Italian Rules out by himself,” Mandella said, referring to the 7-year-old who has won three of four since being claimed by John Sadler for $40,000.

Sadler also entered Red Defense, and said early this week “I might run one, or the other.”

The most recognizable Tiznow entrant is M One Rifle. He won the Grade 1 Malibu in 2010 at Santa Anita, but his best recent races have been at Hollywood. M One Rifle, who recently has not produced his customary speed, is being outfitted with blinkers by trainer Bruce Headley for the first time in his 5-for-20 career.

Italian Rules has won three of four for Sadler and enters with a series of high-speed figures. The question is whether Sadler will test the veteran’s stamina at 7 1/2 furlongs or wait for $70,000 Cool Frenchy at five furlongs May 5.

Sadler claimed him in early 2011 for $40,000.

“He’s a horse that has been a little injury prone, he stops and starts a lot,” Sadler said. “But he was a hard-knocker that was running good [sheets] numbers.”

Italian Rules has won 7 of 23.

Other starters in the Tiznow including Sammy’s a Runnin,’ Spud Spivens, Kingpin Ryno, and Joy Boy.