07/23/2009 11:00PM

Tiz Late takes the next step in Leeward


Tiz Late will try to remain unbeaten on the year and undefeated at Presque Isle Downs on Sunday in the $100,000 Leeward Stakes.

The 4-year-old gelding has made only two starts this year, something trainer Michael Trombetta said is by design. He is 3 for 3 at Presque Isle.

"He definitely has an affinity for this track," Trombetta said. "He ran a big race last year and we could see that his numbers jumped up when he ran over this surface. They jumped up like 20 percent. We tried him on the grass and then decided to lay him up and wait for this meet."

Tiz Late has not disappointed Trombetta. In his first start of the year, Mayo16, he won a third-level allowance race by two lengths. He came back June 21 to win a fourth-level allowance by 3 3/4 lengths. Both wins were in front-running fashion going a mile and 70 yards. The Leeward will be run at a mile over Presque Isle's Tapeta surface.

There is an abundance of speed in the race, but Trombetta is not worried.

"The rider has never had to ask him for early speed," he said. "When he breaks from the gate he just pulls himself to the front."

A 4-year-old gelded son of Tiznow, Tiz Late signaled his readiness with a bullet five-furlong work last Sunday.

"We were very happy with that last work," Trombetta said. "He went as well as could be expected."

Should Tiz Late run well in the Leeward, Trombetta will target the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile on Sept. 13.

Willie Martinez, who has ridden Tiz Late to all of his local wins, retains the mount.

"Willie knows him really well," Trombetta said. "He even breezes him in the mornings for us."

Dominican returns off a two-month freshening for trainer Darrin Miller. In his last out, May 23, Dominican finished second in the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park after experiencing trouble in the stretch.