05/01/2009 11:00PM

Tizaqueena stays unbeaten on grass

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Jessie Holmes
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Tizaqueena takes the Distaff Turf Mile by three-quarters of a length.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tizaqueena served notice she should be a force to reckon with in the filly and mare turf division throughout the remainder of the season, digging in gamely in late stretch to post a well-deserved three-quarter-length victory over Dawn After Dawn in Saturday's Grade 2, $238,600 Distaff Turf Mile.

Tizaqueena ($19.80), a daughter of Tiznow, is owned by Darley Stable and trained by Michael Stidham. Tizaqueena had won 4 of her first 5 career starts, including both previous tries on grass. The Distaff Turf was her first start in graded stakes competition.

"Today was a big step she needed to pass, and she passed it," said Stidham. "I knew she had a turf pedigree, and her numbers have continued to move forward since we put her on grass. She's good on the main track, but I think she excels on turf."

Tizaqueena prompted the pace while saving ground under jockey Jamie Theriot, forged to command inside the early leader Rasierra at the half-mile pole, maintained a narrow advantage into the stretch, then withstood a determined challenge from Dawn After Dawn through the final furlong. Dawn After Dawn rallied four wide turning for home and ranged alongside the winner near the eighth pole.

Lemon Chiffon finished another half-length farther back in third, while Visit, the 8-5 favorite, checked home a nonthreatening fifth following an eventful trip.

Tizaqueena finished in 1:38.86 over a good course.

"She's very easy to work with," said Stidham.