03/28/2012 2:17PM

Oaklawn: Hobby reluctant to have Tiz Miz Sue face Havre de Grace in Apple Blossom

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Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Although she is in sharp form after winning the Azeri Stakes, Tiz Miz Sue may skip the Apple Blossom unless she gets a significant break in the weights from Horse of the Year Havre de Grace.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Tiz Miz Sue established herself as a leading local hope for next month’s Apple Blossom when she won the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri at Oaklawn on March  17, but there is no guarantee she will start in the Grade 1 handicap for fillies and mares April 13.  

“I don’t want to run for second money,” said Steve Hobby, who trains Tiz Miz Sue for Cresran LLC.

Havre de Grace, the reigning Horse of the Year, is a candidate to defend her title in the Apple Blossom. Hobby said a start by Tiz Miz Sue in the $500,000 race will hinge on a couple of factors. One will be whether Havre de Grace commits, and the other is what the weight assignments for the Apple Blossom will be when released April 7.

“I really don’t want to run against her, but if I get a ton of weight from her, I might do it,”  said Hobby.

The alternate options, he said, are to either run in the $100,000 Redbud at Oaklawn on April 12, or await the Grade 3, $200,000 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne on April 21. Wherever she lands, Tiz Miz Sue is to be ridden by Joe Rocco Jr.

Rocco was aboard in the Azeri, in which Tiz Miz Sue stalked and rolled to a three-length win, with a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 102. It was the first graded stakes score for Tiz Miz Sue, who last year finished third in the Grade  1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga. Hobby feels she is sitting on her best year ever at the age of 5.

“She’s a Tiznow and they all seem to get better with age, and I’ve always thought she would,” he said. “I was really disappointed in her first two [starts this year], and they weren’t bad. She ran second in two stakes and you can’t complain. But I thought she was better than that, and then the other day she stepped up and proved it.

“She relaxed so much better the other day. Both the previous races she was a little further back, she made a nice run to get to them, and then didn’t have the finishing kick. And then the other day she finished strong, and that’s what I wanted to see.”

As Hobby mulls his options, he will have an up close look at Havre de Grace as she will be stabled in his barn when she arrives here Monday from Fair Grounds.