04/18/2012 2:03PM

Santa Anita: It's back to turf for Blingo, Tiz Point

Shigeki Kikkawa
Blingo won his racing debut on turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Blingo and Tiz Point finished sixth and eighth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on the main track at Santa Anita on March 10, losses that ended any chance of them starting in a Triple Crown race.

Both horses were proven on turf before the San Felipe and will return to that surface in Friday’s $75,000 La Puente Stakes over 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.

Blingo won a maiden race on turf in his career debut at Hollywood Park last November. Tiz Point won an allowance race over a mile on turf at Santa Anita in February, his first win in his third start on the surface.

Blingo, trained by John Shirreffs for Jerry and Ann Moss, is likely to be favored in the La Puente, which drew a field of five. Shirreffs said on Wednesday that he is confident that Blingo can rebound from his loss to Kentucky Derby contender Creative Cause in the San Felipe.

“He’s had a couple of works since the race,” Shirreffs said. “He’s a 3-year-old, it was early in the year, and he’s a horse with a lot of talent. We took a chance and tried it.”

In hindsight, Shirreffs wonders whether Blingo was not at his best for the San Felipe, the gelding’s only start this year. He finished 7 3/4 lengths behind Creative Cause.

“I’d have to say he was a little quiet that day,” he said. “Usually, he’s bouncing around a little bit. I think there might have been other factors.”

Tiz Point has won 2 of 7 starts, and is the most experienced runner in the La Puente. Trained by Richard Mandella for Gerald Ford, Tiz Point has worked quickly in recent weeks, Mandella said. He was enthused about the first part of a six-furlong workout on April 6.

“He’s trained too good,” Mandella said. “I wanted him to go five-eighths in 1:01, and he went in 58.”

Officially, Tiz Point worked six furlongs in 1:12.60 that day.

“He’s shown he can run on the turf,” Mandella said. “I was hoping he’d to be able to show something on the dirt, but he didn’t.”

The other three starters – Captain Obvious, Vibrato Jazz, and Buffalo Billy – finished fifth, sixth and eighth in the Pasadena Stakes over a mile on turf on March 23. Captain Obvious was stakes-placed in Ireland last fall.