Submitted by Noel Michaels on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Since his performance during the breeze show before this year’s Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Tiznowforamerica has been under consideration for Saturday’s $400,000 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
“He worked really well over the Polytrack (in the breeze show), and we knew the Champagne (the Grade 1 race on Saturday at Belmont Park) was going to come up pretty tough,” said Erin Finley, director of communications for co-owner West Point Thoroughbreds. “It was a pretty simple decision.”
In partnership with Vincent Viola’s St. Elias Stable, West Point bought Tiznowforamerica for $150,000 at the Keeneland April Sale. Viola, a New York businessman who recently purchased the Florida Panthers of the NHL, and Erin’s father, Terry, West Point’s founder and president, both attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They named Tiznowforamerica for a memorable line from Tom Durkin’s call of the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in which the colt’s sire, Tiznow, nosed out Sakhee to win the race (“Tiznow for America,” Durkin proclaimed). That year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships were run on Oct. 27, marking the first major sporting event in New York after 9/11.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Tiznowforamerica made his previous two starts in 5½-furlong sprints on dirt at Saratoga. The colt was third in the first outing then led from the start to win his most recent race on Sept. 2. He drew post 14 for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
“We brought a horse here last year who drew the 14, too, so we’re kinda used to that,” Finley said, referring to 10th-place finisher Tree of Life. “I think we’ll be on or near the lead, so it probably won’t matter too much. (He’ll) get out of there and be close.”
West Point has a second starter in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity, School On a Hill, owned in partnership with James Covello and Millennium Farms. Wayne Catalano trains the Student Council colt, a maiden winner over the Polytrack at Arlington Park who was seventh in the TVG Summer (G2) at Woodbine. School On a Hill was cross-entered in Sunday’s Bourbon (G3).
On Saturday, Leparoux rides another Albertrani trainee, Better Lucky, a Grade 1 winner who has returned to Keeneland for the First Lady (G1). The race will mark the third Keeneland start for the 4-year-old Ghostzapper filly, who was third a year ago in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and was third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) in April.
At Belmont Park, Better Lucky next was second to Stephanie’s Kitten in the one-mile Just a Game (G1) on June 18 and third in the one-mile Noble Damsel (G3) on Sept. 14.
“Seems like she needs a race to get fit then she comes back and usually runs big for us,” said Albertrani’s assistant, Josh Flores. “We’re hoping she does that here.”In the First Lady, Better Lucky will meet several familiar foes, including 2012 Jenny Wiley winner Daisy Devine, 2012 QE II winner and Dayatthespa and Grade 2 winner Hungry Island.