02/06/2013 4:08PM

Oaklawn: Always in a Tiz returning for Southwest

Barbara D. Livingston
Always in a Tiz, here winning a maiden race at Saratoga, will go into the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn off a close third in the Smarty Jones there.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Always in a Tiz is to return to Oaklawn for the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest on Feb. 18, setting up a rematch of the top three in last month’s $150,000 Smarty Jones. Always in a Tiz invaded from Florida for the Smarty Jones and was third by a neck, edged by winner Will Take Charge and runner-up Texas Bling, both of whom are scheduled to run back in the Southwest.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Always in a Tiz was to ship from Gulfstream Park to Oaklawn on Thursday, according to Anthony Bonomo Jr., the general manager for owners MeB Racing Stables and Brooklyn Boyz Stables. The horse will be joined by Flash Forward, a recent allowance winner at Gulfstream who is being pointed to the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee for 3-year-old fillies here March 9, Bonomo said. Both horses are trained by Dominick Schettino.

Always in a Tiz was making his third start in the Smarty Jones and was favored off a runner-up finish to the future Grade 2 Jerome winner Vyjack in an overnight stakes at Aqueduct. Always in a Tiz rallied from off the pace to just miss in the one-mile Smarty Jones, which ended at the first wire, or sixteenth pole. The Southwest has been lengthened from a mile to 1 1/16 miles this year, and the added ground figures to suit Always in a Tiz.

“He’s bred top and bottom for distance,” Bonomo said of the son of Tiznow.

Bonomo said Always in a Tiz handled the Oaklawn surface well, which was one of the reasons to bring him back to Hot Springs. The track’s series for 3-year-olds is another. Bonomo said the horse also will be considered for the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel, which will be run at Oaklawn on March 16.

“That’s the idea, from the Southwest to the Rebel,” Bonomo said. “As things go along, plans do change. But, that’s what we’re thinking.”

Always in a Tiz won a maiden special weight at Saratoga in his career debut last September. He is out of the stakes-winning Elusive Quality mare Calendar Girl.