01/09/2003 12:00AM

Tizbud steps into big leagues


ARCADIA, Calif. - Tizbud, because he is a full brother to Tiznow and Budroyale, has been under a microscope since before he ever ran. It took him three starts to get a maiden win. His connections are hoping it takes just one more start to get his first graded stakes win.

Tizbud is bypassing the allowance conditions for which he is eligible in order to head straight into the Strub Series, for the elite 4-year-olds at Santa Anita. He is among eight runners in a wide-open, $200,000 San Fernando Stakes, Saturday's 1 1/16-mile middle leg of the Strub Series.

John Sadler, who trains Tizbud, is aware that his colt is taking a big jump up in class following a victory against maidens on Nov. 14 at Hollywood Park. But the timing of the race fits Sadler's schedule, and though Sadler will not come out and say it, handicappers will realize that this isn't the deepest field for a Grade 2 stakes race.

"I wanted to give him time after his maiden win," Sadler said Thursday morning at Santa Anita. "It would have been nice to have an allowance race in between that race and this one, but the spacing wasn't right. I could have run him in an allowance race the other day, but that would have meant bringing him back in two weeks, and he's not a back-in-two-weeks horse. "I think it's best to stay with 4-year-olds now," Sadler added. "He's working really well."

Tizbud figures to get a good trip behind the likely pacesetter, Pass Rush.

Pass Rush was second in the Great State Challenge Classic at Sam Houston in his last start, and was a close second in a highly rated Churchill Downs allowance race before that. With his outside post, his best strategy will be an aggressive one, though recent maiden winner Traditional could show speed in blinkers from an inside post.

Tracemark returned from a five-month layoff and finished second in a classified allowance race at Hollywood Park when meeting older rivals for the first time. He likes to stalk the pace, but doesn't have as much natural early speed as Tizbud.

Mananan McLir, second in the Hollywood Derby in his last start, is attempting to switch successfully from turf to dirt. He carries top weight of 120 pounds, four more than Tizbud.

Rushin' to Altar comes off an allowance win at Hollywood against Labamta Babe, who came back to win here earlier this meet.

Century City, like Mananan McLir, is trying dirt for the first time. He also is adding blinkers for this race. "He worked really good in them," his jockey, Laffit Pincay Jr., said Thursday.

for Santa Anita entries.

:: Subscribers: to purchase past performances for Santa Anita.

:: Non-subscribers: to purchase past performances for Santa Anita.

Get FREE past performances for this race in the DRF.com section. Every week you'll find free past performances and Thorograph sheets on the weekend's best races.