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Contact: David Zenner
TIZDEJAVU WIRES GRADE II AMERICAN DERBY
Gives Jockey Rene Douglas Graded Stakes Double
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 12, 2008) – Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth’s Tizdejavu dashed away to an easy lead and never was threatened en route to a 2 ¼-length tally in the Grade II $250,000 American Derby at Arlington Park. The Greg Fox-trained son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow ran the mile and three-sixteenths over soft turf in 1:59.88.
Rene Douglas was aboard the winner to notch his second graded stakes victory of the afternoon after taking the Grade III Modesty Handicap a half an hour earlier.
Tizdejavu employed the same front-stepping tactics he used in capturing the Grade III Crown Royal American Turf and the Grade II Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs in his last two starts. Overall, the American Derby was his fourth win in seven starts this year and the $148,500 winner’s share pushed his career earnings to $419,687.
With no pressure, Tizdejavu was able to cruise through soft fractions of 25.39 seconds, 51.93 seconds, 1:16.83 and 1:40.80.
“He got a nice, comfortable, relaxed lead,” said Fox. “That’s something he really enjoys. Rene rated him perfectly, so there was plenty (in the tank) for the whole race. I was surprised (he got away with such soft fractions). I watched the earlier turf races and the pace was a lot stronger in both of them. Rene was going to make whatever adjustments were necessary.”
“I hate to go to the lead on this track, but sometimes you don’t have a choice,” added Douglas. “The wet turf today helped me a lot, seems like this horse handled everything. He worked hard and it worked out good.”
Longshot Sr. Henry got up for the place, 2 ¼ lengths clear of Ablaze With Spirit. Boss Lafitte, Great War Eagle and Prime Realestate completed the order of finish.
Tizdejavu, the 7-10 favorite, returned $3.40, $2.80 and $2.40. Sr. Henry paid $18.60 and $6.60. Ablaze With Spirit returned $4.20.
QUOTES FOR THE GRADE II AMERICAN DERBY
Rene Douglas (rode the winner, Tizdejavu): “I hate to go to the lead on this track, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. The wet turf today helped me a lot, seems like this horse handled everything. He worked hard and it worked out good.”
Greg Fox (trainer of the winner, Tizdejavu): “He got a nice, comfortable, relaxed lead. That’s something he really enjoys. Rene (jockey Douglas) rated him perfectly, so there was plenty (in the tank) for the whole race. I was surprised (he got away with such soft fractions). I watched the earlier turf races and the pace was a lot stronger in both of them. Rene was going to make whatever adjustments were necessary.”
Eusebio Razo Jr. (rode second-place finisher, Sr. Henry): “He ran big. He has run some rough races lately. Mike told me to lay off the speed, but the horse in front never backed up. He ran a big race and we had no excuses. The horse that won was just the better horse today.”
Shaun Bridgmohan (rider of Ablaze With Spirit, 3rd): “The winner ran an incredible race, my horse tried for me the whole way. I was third best.”
Jose Valdivia Jr. (rider of Great War Eagle, beaten foreign invader, 6th): “There was no pace whatsoever, but I’m not sure that made a difference for me. My horse just wasn’t getting his air. He was already making noises before the real running started, and then he couldn’t give my anything when I asked him.”
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 96-day meet in 2008 from Friday, May 2 through Sunday, Sept. 21. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry, The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit, Rookies featuring Trackside OTB in Homewood and Salerno-Pincente Ristorante featuring Trackside OTB in Hodgkins. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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