04/05/2008 11:00PM

Tiago completes Oaklawn sweep


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Tiago held his ground along the inside for a head win over Heatseeker in the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on Saturday, and with the win gave his owners, Jerry and Ann Moss, his trainer, John Shirreffs, and his rider, Mike Smith, a sweep of the two richest races for older horses at Oaklawn Park. An hour earlier, the connections won the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap with Zenyatta.

"One of these races can make your year," said Jerry Moss. "To win both is quite


Tiago ($8.80) broke with the field in the mile and an eighth Oaklawn Handicap and settled about eight lengths behind Silver Lord, who led the field with Buzzards Bay and Fairbanks in close pursuit. Tiago moved up along the rail down the backside, further advanced on the final turn, came between horses into the stretch, and battled to the wire with Heatseeker.

Tiago raced closer to the pace than he had in his past several races.

"I thought if I could get a better position early, it would make the difference,"

said Smith. "He'll give you a good kick wherever you put him."

The Oaklawn Handicap was hand-timed. The time was originally reported to be 1:50.34 but was corrected to 1:48.60 on Sunday. The new time was determined by Equibase, Oaklawn management and its video department, and Randy Moss of Beyer and Associates.

Tiago earned $300,000 for the win, which was his fifth from 13 career starts. He has now earned $1,684,270. He is a 4-year-old son of Pleasant Tap. Tiago could make his next start in the Grade 2, $250,000 Californian at Hollywood Park on May 31, said Dottie Ingordo-Shirrreffs, the racing manager for the Mosses.