Tizdejavu swept Churchill Downs’ spring graded stakes races for 3-year-olds on turf with a convincing gate-to-wire romp in Saturday’s $222,600 Jefferson Cup (Grade II).
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Tizdejavu ran 1 1/8 miles over “good” turf in 1:49.15 en route to a four-length victory over Golden Yank. On Kentucky Oaks Day, they also teamed to win the Crown Royal American Turf (GIII) by a neck.
Tizdejavu joined Senor Tomas (1992), King Cugat (2000) and Senor Swinger (2003) as the only four horses to win both races.
Tizdejavu asserted himself from the start Saturday, leading the field of eight 3-year-olds through comfortable fractions of :24.48, :48.06, 1:12.31 and 1:36.35. The Kentucky-bred son of Tiznow was never challenged. Gomez began to work his hands on the colt with a quarter mile to run, and Tizdejavu responded gamely through the stretch.
Tizdejavu, trained by Dr. Greg Fox, paid $8, $4.20 and $3.20. Golden Yank, ridden by Jamie Theriot, paid $7.60 and $5. Old Man Buck, the 2-1 favorite with Robby Albarado in the irons, finished another half-length back in third and paid $3.20.
Halo Najib, Wicked Style, Budge Man, Go West Bert and Bobby Blue Eyes completed the order of finish.
The $133,872 first-place check nearly doubled Tizdejavu’s earnings to $271,187 for owners and breeders Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth. It was his third win in six career starts.
STAKES QUOTES: THE JEFFERSON CUP
GARRETT GOMEZ (jockey, Tizdejavu) – “There did not seem to be a lot of speed in there looking at the race. Julien (Leparoux on Wicked Style) and I broke about two lengths ahead of the field and then he took back. This colt has nice, huge stride and he just went on from there.”
GREG FOX (trainer, Tizdejavu) – “I think his performance speaks for itself. We are going to enjoy this victory now (before committing to the next race). He has plenty of options. We decided to put him on the grass after he ran in the allowance race at Keeneland (on April 12). Garrett felt that the Polytrack may be not his best surface and that he would like the grass. He is a very happy horse.”
JAMIE THERIOT (jockey, Golden Yank) – “He ran a good race. I just let him fall back and make a run and picked up most of the pieces. He ran good.”
ROBBY ALBARADO (jockey, Old Man Buck) – “That was a pretty tall order for a first race back off this layoff. It’s been a while since he’s run, but he’ll be a top horse this year.”