01/05/2013 3:00PM

Oaklawn Park: Tiz Miz Sue back on the work tab

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Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park
Tiz Miz Sue is being pointed to the Azeri in March, a race she won last year.

Tiz Miz Sue, who was just edged by champion Royal Delta in last year’s Delaware Handicap, is working steadily at Oaklawn Park and could make her 6-year-old debut in either February or March, according to her trainer, Steve Hobby. Her major objective at the Hot Springs, Ark., meet that opens Friday is the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 12.

Tiz Miz Sue was second by a neck in the Delaware Handicap, an effort that came following a 2012 Oaklawn season in which she won the Grade 3 Azeri and was third in the Apple Blossom. Tiz Miz Sue was recently freshened following a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland on Oct. 7, and through Friday had worked twice at Oaklawn.

“She’s doing great,” said Hobby, who trains Tiz Miz Sue for CresRan. “Right now my target is the Azeri, but maybe we’ll get lucky and run her before then, if the weather cooperates. We’re not pushing for it, we’re just seeing how it works out. I’m targeting the Azeri, unless things just really come fast, which can happen.”

The Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth is on March 16. If Tiz Miz Sue comes to hand quickly and the decision is made to run before then, Hobby said an option would be the $100,000 Bayakoa for fillies and mares at a mile and a sixteenth at Oaklawn on Feb. 16.

Joe Rocco Jr., will have the mount on Tiz Miz Sue, said Hobby.

Hobby, Rocco near 1,000 wins

Rocco and Hobby are both approaching career milestones. Rocco, who is riding at Gulfstream Park, entered Saturday’s card with 992 career Thoroughbred wins. Hobby, who will not start a horse until the opening of Oaklawn, also has 992 career Thoroughbred wins. Hobby, 56, is a former jockey who operates one of the leading barns at Oaklawn.

“I’m really tickled that that’s coming,” he said of the milestone. “I had no idea until David Longinotti [of Oaklawn] told me.”

Hobby, who early in his career trained Quarter Horses, registered his first Thoroughbred win at Oaklawn, on Feb. 20, 1985. Last year was his best year in stable earnings, with $1,493,661. Overall, Hobby’s 5,524 Thoroughbred starters have earned $20,597,841.

Hobby’s best horses through the years include Telling, with whom he won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga in both 2009 and 2010; Chindi, a Grade 3-winning sprinter who earned $1 million for Cresran; Tiz Miz Sue and her Grade 3-winning dam, Sue’s Good News; and Brush with Pride and Belle of Cozzene, a pair of multiple Grade 3 winners who each ran out more than $500,000.

* Oaklawn announcer Frank Mirahamadi will be the keynote speaker during Wednesday night’s sixth annual Oaklawn Jockey Club “Kick Off” Banquet in North Little Rock, Ark. It will be held at the Wyndham Riverfront. The evening will also feature some Oaklawn racing highlights in a presentation led by Rowland Hoyt, a member of the track’s media relations team. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased through Monday by calling (501) 372-5959. The event is sponsored by Oaklawn.

* Entries for Oaklawn’s first card of the meet will be taken on Tuesday.