Tommy Town Thoroughbreds LLC.'s It Tiz Well earned herself 50 points towards eligibility in the Kentucky Oaks and a return trip to Oaklawn for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) April 14 with her victory in Saturday's $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3).
Making her two-turn debut for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, It Tiz Well settled into fourth place early as Someday Soon led the field of 11 through early fractions of :23 and :47 for the first half mile. The winner began to advance entering the final turn, came three wide into the stretch and then battled gamely to prevail by one-length over 22-1 longshot Benner Island in a final time of 1:42 3/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track. Elate, the 9-5 favorite, finished third.
The winner is a 3-year-old daughter of Arch out of the stakes-winning mare It Tiz, by Tiznow. She was bred in Kentucky by Allen and Susan Branch and purchased by Tommy Town for $230,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale from the Greenfield Farm consignment.
“Jerry (Hollendorfer) has had a lot of confidence in her obviously,” assistant trainer Don Chatlos said. “He ran her against Unique Bella a couple starts back. He thought this would be a good spot to get her away from her and get her around two turns. We're getting closer to the Kentucky Oaks. She's not going to find any easy spots and obviously this wasn't. It was a good test for her. Jerry knew (jockey) Corey (Nakatani) knows Oaklawn. He had good tactical filly and could set her where ever he needed to be. That was the instructions, to just get the best trip he could.”
“She is a nice filly,” said Nakatani. “I have always thought high of her. Thank you to Jerry (Hollendorfer) and the owners Tommy Town Thoroughbreds for giving me a chance to ride her. She is a special filly and I felt the farther she went the better she would get. Unique Bella is possibly the best 3-year-old in the country and these have a little ways to go to catch up to her. She's (It Tiz Well) on the right path and doing the right things and I want to think Jerry one more time for giving me the opportunity.”
In addition to the 50 points earned by the winner, Benner Island receive 20 points for second, Elate earned 10 for third and Tapa Tapa Tapa, who like Elate had shipped in from Florida for the race, earned five for finishing fourth. Ever So Clever, Chanel's Legacy, My Sweet Stella, Someday Soon, Tap of War, Perfect Wife and Lovely Bernadette completed the order of finish.
The Southern California-based It Tiz Well improved her career record to three wins from five starts and has now earned $181,840. She returned $7.80, $4.80 and $3 as the 5-2 second choice.
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