ARCADIA, Calif. (April 26, 2014)–Golden Eagle Farm’s homebred Storm Fighter dispatched heavily favored Rousing Sermon turning for home and went on to an impressive 3 ¼ length win in Saturday’s $125,000 Tiznow Stakes for older horses bred or sired in California. Ridden by Edwin Maldonado and trained by Bruce Headley, the 4-year-old colt by Stormin Fever covered a flat mile in 1:35.06.
Breaking from post position three in a field of five, Storm Fighter broke sharply and assumed command into the Club House turn and controlled the race throughout, carving out fractions of 23.20, 46.45, 1:10.00 and 1:22.30.
“There was no speed in the race, so we thought we would take advantage of that,” said Maldonado. “I thought one of Hollendorfer’s horses would go with me to pressure us, but we made the lead easy and it was all him.”
Off as the second choice at 5-2, Storm Fighter paid $7.60, $3.40 and $2.60.
Bred by the late Larry Mabee, son of Golden Eagle founders John C. and Betty Mabee, Storm Fighter is owned by John R. Mabee, son of Larry Mabee. Storm Fighter picked up his third win from seven starts and banked $75,000, increasing his bankroll to $159,718.
“It’s great to win a race like this for Mr. Mabee,” said Headley. “He represents three generations of breeders here in California and they’ve been great for the game over the years. We stopped on him after the Santa Anita Derby last year, gave him a rest and he’s doing really well. When you give ’em the time, everything’s fine.”
When asked if the Grade I, mile and a quarter Gold Cup at Santa Anita was under consideration on June 28, the ever-quotable Headley responded, “This is like pennies in a wishing well, only time will tell.”
Rousing Sermon, trained by Jerry Hollendorder and off at 4-5 with Rafael Bejarano, sat a close third and was 1 ½ lengths off the winner leaving the three furlong pole, but could never get on terms with the pacesetting winner.
“My horse showed a big kick and he never quit,” said Bejarano. “He was still running to the end. He might have needed a little more distance. Last time, he ran a mile and a quarter and today, it was a mile…It was a good trip, but the winner was best today.”
Rousing finished a half length in front of China Prince and paid $2.60 and $2.10.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, China Prince was an attentive fourth to the quarter pole and rallied three-wide turning for home and was clearly third best, finishing a length in front of Kate’s Event.
Off at 6-1, China Prince paid $2.60 to show.