02/05/2013 2:08PM

Santa Anita: Tiz Argent lands in good return spot Thursday

Benoit & Associates
Tiz Argent hasn't raced since January 2012 and his last win (above) came in a Santa Anita optional claimer in February 2011.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Tiz Argent will shake off more than a year of cobwebs Thursday at Santa Anita, where the 6-year-old runs a mile on turf in his first start since January 2012.

Despite inactivity, Tiz Argent is among the favorites in race 7, an allowance/optional claimer for California-breds with 10 in the main body. Tiz Argent and Teafatiller have won the condition and race for a $25,000 tag. The two also-eligibles, Alley Hondro and Cahill Country, also entered for the claim price.

Other contenders include recent runner-up Motown Men, consistent closer Unusual Beam, and blinkers-on Our Boy Benjamin. Most in the blue-collar field face legitimate issues, including comebacker Tiz Argent, the horse to beat despite the layoff.

Tiz Argent once was good enough to win a first-level California-bred allowance, which he did in fall 2010 in his fourth start. Three starts in open allowance races in winter 2011 produced one win before his career stalled.

Pamela Ziebarth owns and bred Tiz Argent, who has been trained through his 3-for-12 career by John Sadler. Tiz Argent is by California stallion Tizbud (2013 stud fee $1,500), whose most successful progeny is Ziebarth-owned stakes winner Tiz Flirtatious

As for Tiz Argent, layoffs are not new. His most recent layoff is the fifth of his career; indications are he will fire first start back.

Tiz Argent commenced a work pattern in late November and has worked an average of once a week since. Martin Garcia rides.

Motown Men finished second Jan.  11 in the most recent turf allowance for California-breds. Trained by Peter Eurton, Motown Men has started eight times, with one win and three seconds. A fit on class, Motown Men’s running style is problematic. He faces others with the same up-front style – Kessabtsi, Chicsdigtheshark, and Pulpit’s Express.

Rafael Bejarano, the meet’s leading overall rider and winning at a 33-percent clip on turf (15 for 45), will be aboard Motown Men.

Longshot bettors could do worse than consider Teafatiller, who drops in class after a comeback in a $50,000 claiming race. The last time Teafatiller faced statebred allowance company, in July 2010, he posted a 9.30-1 upset. Teafatiller, 7, has won 2 of 23.

Also-eligible Alley Hondro was re-claimed last out for $25,000 by trainer Ron Ellis. The 4-for-21 veteran has run races that would be competitive against those he faces Thursday. Alley Hondro would break from the far outside under Joe Talamo.