UPSETTER SLEW’S TIZNOW RUNS DOWN FAVORED AGGIE ENGINEER

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2010) – Aggie Engineer, the 6-5 favorite, got the easy front-running trip that was expected, but it wasn’t enough to stave off Slew’s Tiznow, his closest pursuer, in Friday’s $56,000 allowance race feature at Santa Anita.

Dismissed at odds of 6-1 in the field of five, Slew’s Tiznow, with Garrett Gomez aboard, ran down Aggie Engineer in the final sixteenth to gamely score by one-half length with Cigar Man 2 ½ lengths back in third.

The final time was 1:36.00 as the last half-mile was run in 47, which was two seconds faster than the first half-mile of 49 seconds that included a 24.86 first quarter with Aggie Engineer dictating the tempo. The six furlongs went in 1:12.98.

The winner, trained by James Lloyd for Joseph Lacombe Stables, was coming out of four successive Grade II stakes races without having been a threat even though he was the 19-10 favorite in the first of the four, the San Fernando Stakes in January, 2009.

He clearly found allowance company more to his liking while returning mutuels of $15.40, $5.60 and $3.80. Aggie Engineer, ridden by Alex Solis, paid $3.20 and $2.40. The show price on Cigar Man, with Joel Rosario aboard, was $3.20.

“On paper, it looked like Aggie Engineer was the only speed, and he was,” said Gomez. “We were able to lay second, and I just wanted to be able to give him an opportunity to do something. When we turned for home, we turned it into a sprint. When he got alongside that horse (Aggie Engineer), he laid his body down and showed his class.”

“He needed his last race,” Lloyd said of an eleventh place finish in the Grade II San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 7, his first start in 11 months. “Not only that, he got hit real hard leaving the gate and he lost a shoe. He was lame for seven days after the race. Luckily, (blacksmith) Wes Champagne was able to straighten him out, and we got him sound. We’ll see how he comes out of this and regroup.”

The victory was the first for Slew’s Tiznow since he took the War Chant Stakes at Hollywood Park in November of 2008. The win was worth $33,600. It boosted the 5-year-old homebred son of Tiznow’s career earnings to $290,470 from an overall record of 4-1-0 in 11 starts.

On Saturday, unbeaten Zenyatta returns to the races for the first time since becoming the first female to defeat males in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic hosted by Oak Tree at Santa Anita last Nov. 7. Her appearance as the heavy favorite in the Grade I, $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap tops a 10-race program that includes the competitive Grade II, $150,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds, the meet’s final major prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 3. First post is at 12:30 p.m.

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