03/16/2007 12:00AM

Tough Tiz's Sis heads Oaks talent


By all rights Tough Tiz's Sis should be coming into Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks off a loss. After all, this 3-year-old daughter of Tiznow had a brutal trip in an optional claimer at Santa Anita Feb. 25. But she overcame the trouble that day and not only earned the victory, but a trip to Sunland Park as the horse to beat in the 1 1/16-mile Oaks.

Trained by Bob Baffert, she will attempt to become the fifth California raider to win in the last six runnings of this race.

She tackles eight other fillies, many of who come into this with their own list of assets. The Oaks goes as race 8 on Sunland's marquee card of the meet, which is highlighted by the WinStar Derby (race 9). Also on the program are the $100,000 Harry Henson Breeders' Cup Handicap (race 7) and $100,000 New Mexico Breeders' Derby (race 11).

Tough Tiz's Sis began her career at Hawthorne and showed promise when she graduated by 6 1/4 lengths in her first route attempt. She was then sent to Baffert in Southern California and ran second in an optional claimer there at a mile before her resounding win there Feb. 25. Victor Espinoza rides.

Swiss Current, trained by Doug O'Neill, also ships in from Southern California. If Tough Tiz's Sis is a major player here, then it follows that this filly is a player here as well. That's because she finished third, just a head behind Tough Tiz's Sis, in their Jan. 25 meeting at Santa Anita, and then was second, beaten a half-length by that rival, on Feb. 25. O'Neill won the 2005 running of the Sunland Oaks with Cee's Irish. Aaron Gryder rides.

Nice Inheritance has established herself the top local hope off a strong win in the Island Fashion at Sunland on Feb. 18. Trained by Steve Asmussen, she had won her two previous starts as well, beating maidens at Hawthorne Oct. 21 and then winning the Cimarron on the turf at Remington. Garrett Gomez, Santa Anita's leading rider, has the call.

She's Outrageous gets a significant class test for trainer Jon Arnett, but she deserves the opportunity after an 11-length romp over allowance rivals here on Feb. 23.

Harry Henson: Shipper looks strong

Eyes on Eddy appears the mare to beat in the $100,000 Harry Henson, a mile event for fillies and mares. She invades for Asmussen with some strong Fair Grounds form this winter, including seconds in the Truly Bound Handicap there Jan. 20 and in the Chou Croute Handicap Feb. 17. In both races she finished behind Delicate Dynamite.

Homemaker, winner of Turf Paradise's Sun City Handicap Feb. 24, and Kranky Karol, winner of the Santa Teresa at Sunland on Feb. 24, loom dangers.

N.M. Breeders' Derby: Pepsi rematch

ZZ Dome, Shaken the Cage, and Colorofrun, the top three finishers in the Jan. 27 Pepsi Cola Handicap, meet again in the New Mexico Breeders' Derby. The mile race for New Mexico-bred 3-year-olds lured a field of 12.

While those three dominated the Pepsi Cola, Ky's Quest may still be the horse to beat. He posted two huge victories over many of these in the New Mexico Cup Juvenile and Red Hedeman Mile at the end of 2006, but then dueled for the lead and faltered to seventh in the Pepsi Cola on a slow track he may not have liked.