11/22/2006 12:00AM

Tiz Wonderful's target race arrives


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Discretion was the better part of valor when Tiz Wonderful was withheld from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The reward for resisting the temptation to try the colt against the best of his generation might well come Saturday when Tiz Wonderful goes postward as a solid favorite in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, the Grade 2 race for which entries were drawn Wednesday at Churchill Downs.

Tiz Wonderful earned an eye-popping 99 Beyer Speed Figure in winning his Sept. 2 career debut at 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga, and although it was impossible for trainer Scott Blasi not to dream of bigger things, he opted for the more prudent route of ending the colt's initial campaign with back-to-back Churchill races, the Oct. 29 Iroquois and the KJC.

"Chances like him don't come around all the time," said Blasi.

Tiz Wonderful, a Tiznow colt owned by the Stonestreet Stables of Jess Jackson, won the one-mile Iroquois by 6 3/4 lengths, earning a 97 Beyer. Saturday, with John Velazquez to ride, he will break from post 3 when he makes his first two-turn start against eight other 2-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile KJC.

The probable second choice is U D Ghetto, the lone holdover from the Nov. 4 BC Juvenile. U D Ghetto, winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile, finished a distant seventh behind Street Sense in the Breeders' Cup.

From the rail, the KJC lineup is Going Ballistic, Starbase, Tiz Wonderful, Mr Blackstone, U D Ghetto, Dominican, What a Tale, Any Given Saturday, and Joe Got Even.

The KJC is carded as the 11th of 12 races Saturday, the last day of the 21-day Churchill fall meet. Every race on the card is restricted to 2-year-olds, reprising the "Stars of Tomorrow" theme the track began last fall.

Change Up heads Golden Rod

The sister race to the KJC, the $200,000 Golden Rod Stakes, will be run about an hour earlier as race 9 on the closing-day card. A field of 10 2-year-old fillies, led by Pocahontas Stakes winner Change Up, was entered in the Grade 2 Golden Rod, which also is run at 1 1/16 miles.

Velazquez, who already was scheduled to be here Friday to ride Master Command in the Clark Handicap, has the mount on Change Up, a homebred Distorted Humor filly whose connections have been hotter than anyone else throughout the meet. The filly is owned by Richard, Bert, and Elaine Klein and is trained by Steve Flint. Both the owners and the trainer went into Wednesday with identical records for the meet - a red-hot 8 wins from 15 starters.

Change Up will break from post 5 while going for her fourth win from six starts. Her main challenger appears to be Cohiba Miss, the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies winner who was entered and scratched from the Oct. 29 Pocahontas with the hopes of ultimately making the BC Juvenile Fillies lineup, but was excluded from the race. Cohiba Miss (post 9), with Willie Martinez to ride, is trained by Bernie Flint, Steve's father.

In order, the Golden Rod lineup is High Heels, Stellas New Groove, Lady Joanne, Wellofaprize, Change Up, Pro Pink, Time's Mistress, Littlebitabling, Cohiba Miss, and Lady Corredor.

Besides the KJC and Golden Rod, two $65,000 turf stakes also are carded for Saturday: the Grand Canyon (raceo2) and the Caressing (race 10).

Bredar ran with Umphrey's idea

The Stars of Tomorrow concept was the brainchild of the late Bob Umphrey when he was racing secretary at Calder, the Churchill-owned track located in south Florida. Umphrey, who died on Jan. 2 at age 53, passed along the idea to his longtime colleague Doug Bredar, who as the Churchill racing secretary carded his first Stars of Tomorrow program on Nov. 5, 2005. Bredar left Churchill over the summer.

Saturday will be the second Stars of Tomorrow card of the 2006 fall meet. The other was on the opening-day program of Oct. 29.

* Two jockeys took off their mounts Wednesday at Churchill, but both were expected back in action Thursday. Mark Guidry took off ill, said his agent, Fred Aime, while Robby Albarado missed a flight from New Orleans after taking care of some personal business there early this week, said his agent, Lenny Pike Jr.

* Jockey Josue' Arce will be based primarily at Mountaineer Park after the Churchill meet ends, although he also will ride periodically at Turfway Park. Arce has ridden mostly in Kentucky this year, although easily the biggest of his 34 wins came at Calder, aboard Malibu Mint in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney in July.