Tizway has it his way in the Met Mile
Tizway had it all his way in winning the $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap on Monday, running the second-fastest mile in the storied history of the race.
''He's been running with the big boys, and today he was the big boy,'' Tizway's owner William Clifton Jr. said. ''This horse has a lot of heart.''
And a lot of speed. The 6-year-old son of Tiznow left his 10 rivals in the dust once he made the turn for home and scorched the mile in 1:32.90 on a hot, sunny day at Belmont Park. That is just nine hundredths of a second off the record of 1:32.81 set by Honour and Glory in 1996.
''He tries every time,'' winning trainer H. James Bond said. ''I'm just fortunate enough to have him in my barn.''
A year ago, Tizway finished third in the Metropolitan Handicap behind Quality Road, who won in a speedy 1:33.11. Tizway missed five months after last year's race with a left front foot injury, and returned last October to win the Kelso Handicap at Belmont. He was 0 for 2 this year coming into the Met Mile but put on a dazzling performance in winning the 118th running of the race by 2-3/4 lengths over Rodman.
Tizway, it seems, just loves Belmont, where he has picked up four of his six career victories.
Caixa Eletronica was third, 5-1/2 lengths behind Rodman, followed by Aikenite, Haynesfield, Stormy's Majesty, Soaring Empire, Ibboyee, Tackleberry, Yawanna Twist and Kensei.
The Metropolitan Handicap has been won by many champions, including Forego, Kelso and Holy Bull, but Tizway ran faster than nearly every one of them.
With the win, Tizway earns an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November, with the Breeders' Cup paying entry fees ($30,000) and providing the owners with $10,000 for travel expenses.
Sent off as the 3-1 favorite, Tizway hooked up with Tackleberry on the lead, with Stormy's Majesty, Caixa Eletronica and Haynesfield in close pursuit. When the leaders hit the turn, Tizway moved in front and when he reached the top of the stretch, it was all over.
With little urging by jockey Rajiv Maragh, Tizway lengthened his lead with every stride and was home free, with Rodman making a strong move for second.
''He was really ready,'' Maragh said. ''My horse is more of a steady kind of horse, and he keeps picking it up gradually, so the race flow suited him pretty well. That's running into my horse's style. He'll kill you with a high cruising speed, that's what his weapon is.''
Tizway, owned by William Clifton Jr., earned $300,000 for the win to boost his bankroll to $909,274. Tizway returned $8.20 on a win bet.