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CAL-BRED TIZ FLIRTATIOUS POWERS HOME TO WIN GRADE I RODEO DRIVE STAKES BY HEAD WITH LEPAROUX ABOARD, ZIEBARTH HOMEBRED NETS FIRST GRADE I WIN AND IS SET FOR BREEDERS’ CUP NOV. 2 AT SANTA ANITA
FAVORED MARKETING MIX SECOND AS ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN” PREP FOR BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE TURF FEATURES DRAMATIC THREE-HORSE FINISH
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2013)—A dramatic stretch run provided California-bred Tiz Flirtatious with her first-ever Grade I win in Saturday’s $250,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on turf as the 5-year-old mare by Tizbud prevailed by a head in 1:58.98 over favored Marketing Mix and guaranteed herself a berth in the $2 million Breeeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Trained by Marty Jones and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Tiz Flirtatious rallied resolutely through the lane to overhaul pacesetting Vionnet with Victor Espinoza up and Marketing Mix, with Gary Stevens, in the shadow of the wire.
It was Tiz Flirtatious’ first try at a mile and a quarter and her 12th career start.
“She likes to fight because those other fillies did not stop,” said Leparoux. “It was a good race for her and she got the Grade I she deserves. I think she has a great chance for the Breeders’ Cup. We knew she was really good but it was nice to see her handle the distance.
“I was a little concerned with Victor’s horse (Vionnet). Victor’s filly was running really well, actually, the first three ran really well and finished very fast.”
Vionnet set fractions of 25.39, 48.84, 1:12.92 and 1:36.34.
Tiz Flirtatious, the second choice 8-5 in a field of seven fillies and mares aged three and up, paid $5.40, $2.80 and $2.10.
Owned and bred in California by Pamela Ziebarth, Tiz Flirtatious bagged $150,000 and ran her bankroll to $774,800. Her record now stands at 12-8-3-1.
“Earlier in her career someone asked me ‘Is this the nicest filly you’ve had,’ and I said Healthy Addiction would probably take that ticket, but…I’d say she’s there now,” said Ziebarth.
Trained by Tom Proctor, Marketing Mix was the 6-5 favorite and just missed.
“I think this set us up pretty well going forward,” said Stevens. She ran her race today, we just got out-kicked. It was a funny race. Hopefully there will be more pace in the Breeders’ Cup.
Marketing Mix finished a half length in front of Vionnet and paid $2.60 and $2.20.
Vionnet, off at 28-1, paid $6.60 to show.