06/04/2013 3:30PM

Hollywood Park: Swaps likely next for Tiz a Minister

Benoit & Associates
After winning the Affirmed Handicap, the 3-year-old Tiz a Minister will be pointed to the July 4 Swaps.

There was hesitation by owner Stephen Young and trainer Paul Aguirre whether to start Tiz a Minister in Sunday’s Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap or skip the race in favor of the $100,000 Silky Sullivan Stakes for California-breds at Golden Gate Fields this Sunday.

Tiz a Minister stayed home, ran in the Affirmed over 1 1/16 miles, and won the most prestigious race of his career. There is little doubt where he will make his next start – in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on July 4.

“I’ve always had the opinion that he’s a middle-distance horse,” Aguirre said after the race. “We’ll absolutely consider the Swaps, if everything goes right.”

Tiz a Minister was a Kentucky Derby candidate as late as the end of April. He finished third in the Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds at Hollywood Park on April 27, but emerged from the race with a bruised foot, which ended any discussion about a one-week turnaround.

“This is a nice little horse,” Young said. “If he hadn’t had a bruised foot, we might have gone in the Derby. He’s back to normal.”

In the Affirmed, Tiz a Minister rallied from last in a field of eight to win by a length over Den’s Legacy. Jockey Corey Nakatani guided Tiz a Minister along the rail in deep stretch to reach the front.

“Corey did a wonderful job of getting him through,” Young said.

Tiz a Minister was somewhat overlooked in the betting for the Affirmed, paying $12.40 to win. Young did not seem to mind.

“That was very nice,” he said.