06/02/2013 7:23PM

Hollywood Park: Tiz a Minister rides rail to win Affirmed

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Benoit & Associates
Tiz a Minister, ridden by Corey Nakatani, wins the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap by a length Sunday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jockey Corey Nakatani spent the month getting to know the 3-year-old Tiz a Minister in morning workouts. He put that information to good use in Sunday’s $100,750 Affirmed Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park.

When Tiz a Minister turned into the stretch at the back of the field of eight 3-year-olds, Nakatani thought he still had a chance.

“I felt I had a ton of horse,” Nakatani said.

With a furlong remaining, Tiz a Minister was fifth as Nakatani guided the colt toward the inside with confidence.

“I’ve figured out he’s a lot better if you have him in a battle with a horse,” he said. “That’s why I stayed inside.”

Tiz a Minister ($12.40) rallied past early stretch leader Manando and deep stretch contender Den’s Legacy to win the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap by a length. Owned by Stephen Young and trained by Paul Aguirre, Tiz a Minister ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.79.

“Paul had him going in the right direction,” Nakatani said.

In the stretch, it appeared that trainer Bob Baffert would have a 1-2 finish with Manando and Den’s Legacy. Manando set a pace of 23.36 and 46.74 seconds and led by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole. But Den’s Legacy, sixth in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in April, was closing well and led in the final sixteenth before being passed by Tiz a Minister.

Den’s Legacy held second, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Manando, who was followed by Dice Flavor, Just Win Baby, Broadway Empire, Dirty Swagg, and Counting Days.

Tiz a Minister, by Ministers Wild Cat, has won 3 of 13 starts and $450,780. The Affirmed was his second stakes win and first in a graded stakes. He was claimed for $40,000 when second in a maiden race at Del Mar last summer.

Tiz a Minister won the $300,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at Santa Anita in January. He was later third in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes and fourth in the Santa Anita Derby before finishing third as the even-money favorite in the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes for California-breds here April 27.

Tiz a Minister emerged from that race with a bruised foot that ended any chance of a quick turnaround for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs a week later.

As recently as Friday, Aguirre considered scratching Tiz a Minister from the Affirmed Handicap in favor of the $100,000 Silky Sullivan Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds on turf at Golden Gate Fields on June 9.

PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Why is everyone concerned about the jockey's this horse shows up with anyone onboard he has won with Gomez and Nak and every run decent with Mr whipomatic Talamo. The bigger story here is that a cal bred that cost pennies on the dollar compared to Bafferts expensive steeds that to me to is the story!!! If you know horse racing tell me he don't remind you of Grey Memo...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Garret Gomez couldn't shine Corey's boots! Corey rode with the top jockey colony in SoCal years ago and did very well. Around the same time Gomez struggled in SoCal. Then he went on a bender & did drugs, got arrested, did jail time, and whatever else. Corey will always be better than Gomez.
Nathan Ohana More than 1 year ago
The winner of this race was Tiz A Minister NOT Corey Nakatani. He is a hack who has pushed other jockeys off thier horse, beaten horses to near death, and been suspended multiple times for dirty riding......and he is a disgrace to this sport. He should be banned from riding permanently.
PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Word around the backstretch is that he's getting divorced!!
PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Oh wait Gomez is not Nak
kwtalk More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! O_O
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
Great ride by Corey Nakatani, keeping his horse straight so he wouldn't lose momentum.
aaronrayk More than 1 year ago
This horse is a beast when you give him a fast pace to run into, otherwise, not so much.
Dave More than 1 year ago
This looks like his optimal distance too. Made a huge run in the San Felipe at 1 1/16 as well.
James Espinoza More than 1 year ago
You would have like to seen Gomez get hurt because of a horse race ? Anonymous is a good name for you because are mean and evil . Straighten Up .
Gene More than 1 year ago
Another hack job by Steve Andersen...Never, at any point, did Den's Legacy hit the front...Manado set the pace, was collared late by Tiz A Minister, who outfinished Den's Legacy the final 1/16th, Den's Legacy caught his barnmate late for second. There is no worse DRF writer in the country than this guy...
cbrook03 More than 1 year ago
I was hoping that I wasn't the only person who caught that. I don't see how you could miss that. As if he was watching two races and combined it into one article.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gomez is a hack, he had the lead and lost it. Too bad Vic Stauffer was incorrect n his race call yesterday, it should've been Gomez who fell off instead of Gary! Get well Gary!
ECarlos727 More than 1 year ago
Are you serious??? The race was handed to nak on a golden platter with Espinoza and Garcia setting the race up for a closer. Learn how to read a race before you post!!
PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Sounds like a sore loser! Maybe you should have not singled dens legacy. Talking about sore losers how about baffert's assistant calling out Gomez for letting Tiz threw the rail. Are runners outfitted with rear view mirrors, if anything Tiz always closes on the grandstand side, best horse won fair and square. I guess Garcia didn't get the memo and set up the wrong horse. Go cal breds, Watch out for them ministers wild cat runners.
Keron Thomas More than 1 year ago
I don't know what race you was watching, because it sure wasn't the same race I was seeing. Because there was nothing Gomez could have done any better, if anything Garca should have got down on the rail. Because if anything Corey's horse had the best trip and Gomez would really like the turf, last race it ran was on the turf here and he wonso so you can't blame Gomez for his ride Corey's horse came through on the rail its not like Gomez just said come on through and beat me.. you should watch the replay again and then say something...
cbrook03 More than 1 year ago
Deep stretch leader Den's Legacy was passed by the winner? I never seen Den's Legacy leading the race.
cbrook03 More than 1 year ago
I even went back to watch the race again, don't see how you could miss that one! Less writing and more watching.
PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Who cares!!
cbrook03 More than 1 year ago
Called reporting the facts. How can you write a story that should all be factual and very easy to write, yet miss certain aspects of the race completely?
PATrickB More than 1 year ago
Watch live! anyone who gambles doesn't place a bet and then wait on free, watchmaker, or Anderson to know the outcome where's the fun in that!!!