04/03/2013 3:39PM

Santa Anita Derby pivotal race for Tiz a Minister

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Tiz a Minister followed this victory in the California Breeders' Championship with a third-place finish in the San Felipe.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Tiz a Minister earned a start in Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby when he closed from last of eight in the final half-mile of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 9 to finish a competitive third.

That performance has left owner Stephen Young of nearby Monrovia, Calif., in an unusual position – starting his first horse in a Grade 1, and in California’s top race for 3-year-olds.

“This is big time,” he said.

[SANTA ANITA DERBY: Get PPs, watch Saturday's full card live]

Young, 67, was not thinking Santa Anita Derby when he and trainer Paul Aguirre claimed Tiz a Minister for $40,000 at Del Mar last summer. They were aiming to obtain a colt who could be a factor in the growing list of stakes for California-breds.

Tiz a Minister beat maidens last November at Betfair Hollywood Park in his sixth start. He won the $300,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for California-breds on a wet-fast track over a mile here on Jan. 26, and was beaten a length by Hear the Ghost in the San Felipe Stakes, his graded stakes debut.

In the San Felipe, over 1 1/16 miles, Tiz a Minister was 18 lengths off a quick pace on the backstretch and caught the eye with a wide rally in the final furlong.

The Santa Anita Derby result will determine how Young and Aguirre campaign Tiz a Minister in coming weeks. Tiz a Minister has earned 10 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby on May 4, but will need a one-two finish in the Santa Anita Derby to gain the 100 or 40 additional points, which will be needed to secure a Derby berth.

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

If he runs third or farther back in the field, he is more likely to start in the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on April 27.

“I’m sure he’ll be tough against Cal-breds,” Young said. “If we don’t go first or second and get enough points, we’ll look at some Cal-bred races.”

Young will have a party of 25 to 35 people at Santa Anita on Saturday. He has a recycling and scrap business in Baldwin Park, Calif., which he began in 1963. “My dad loaned me $800,” he said.

Tiz a Minister will be ridden by Joe Talamo in the Santa Anita Derby. The colt drew post 4 in the field of nine. Tiz a Minister will drop to the back of the field early. If a speed duel develops early in the 1 1/8-mile race, Tiz a Minister might have a chance of pulling an upset.

“I think he can be competitive with some speed in front of him,” Young said. “I hope he can get a mile and an eighth.
“It’s a nice position to be in. We’re excited. We knew he was a good horse when we got him.”
 

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Steven Simonovic More than 1 year ago
His gallop out was horrible in the San Felipe.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
No chance
Dee Englehart More than 1 year ago
I like Hear the Ghost, Goldencents, and Tiz A Minister. I liked the way Talamo brought TAM up on the outside when Hear the Ghost made his move in the San Felipe. I do like Flashback so I'm adding him as well to make a superfecta.
AzShowVivor More than 1 year ago
Nice horse but lets be real...his next race will be the Snow Chief...he was flying at the end of his last race but The Ghost was pulling away from him at the end...If I owned this horse I would be looking at the Derby Trial in a one turn sprint
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
Was hot for Flashback but have changed my mind. These are my ex, tri & sup---TaM Power Broker Gcents Flashback.
Michael Pierre More than 1 year ago
This horse needs a Calvin Borel type of a ride. A saved ground up the rail in between horses type of run. And if this plays out the way I see it. He will be a force to reckon with come the 1st Saturday in May.
JOHN More than 1 year ago
I like it. But 6/1 isn't that big of a price when you consider the competition.
Micahdog More than 1 year ago
John, you absolutely correct. Unless overlaid at over 9-1 + I'm just gonna watch. NO price, you don't throw the dice. You have to a price to take the chance and 6-1 on Tiz is a 'no bet' for sure. Great point.
Paul Perata More than 1 year ago
He'll be close to 10/1.
Micahdog More than 1 year ago
Tiz ran 22.84 inside and 23.88 outside in Cal Brders Champ Stakes on 1-26-13. Then in the 3-9-13 San Filipe went 23.6 inside and 29.40 (last 2.5 furlongs) outside. These are profound performances doing inside numbers like that and continuing on to do similar oustside. BUT with SA Deby 2011 6F time 1:11.53 and 2012 of 11:11.14 with the winners just being 2 lengths off leader at 6F.......TIZ is going to need a 1:10 to have any chance. We're pulling for a fast pace and Joe Talamo to seize the opportunity ! GO Tiz A Minister at a price !!
Kimberly Martin More than 1 year ago
good luck Tiz A Minister! And Steve - all the connections. I will be routing for you!