Tiznow (inside) held off a formidable opponent in Gaint's Causeway to win the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic. (Photo courtesy of Horsephotos.com)
No horse had won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice before Tiznow, and no horse has done it since. In both of his Classic wins, Tiznow showed he had a flair for the dramatic.
By the time he entered the Breeders’ Cup Classic starting gate in 2000, Tiznow was already a Grade 1 winner, demolishing the Super Derby by six lengths while setting a new track record. Having made his career debut in April and therefore missing the Triple Crown races, Tiznow had plenty of ground to make up in the race for an Eclipse Award. But as was the case so many times in his career, Tiznow would not be denied.
Sent off as the fourth betting choice in the Classic, Tiznow was part of a field of 13 that included seven Grade 1 winners.
There was only one point of call where Tiznow didn’t lead in the 2000 Classic. Albert the Great pushed his head in front after three-quarters of a mile after dueling with Tiznow, but that did not last long.
Albert the Great relinquished the lead soon after, but Tiznow kept rolling. He soon was confronted by another formidable opponent as European invader Giant’s Causeway moved up to duel with the 3-year-old in midstretch. Tiznow dug in gamely to fend off his accomplished challenger – Giant’s Causeway had earlier in 2000 won five straight Group 1 races to earn the nickname “The Iron Horse” - by a neck in one of the great stretch duels in the history of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The rest of the field was a distant 3 ¼ lengths behind the top pair.
2000 BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC
“I always had high expectations from day one,” Jay Robbins, Tiznow’s trainer, told the New York Times. “But I never thought he'd win this in only his ninth start. In March, I told my wife I had the best 3-year-old in the country. He loves what he does.”
The celebration was short-lived, however, as Tiznow’s co-owner and breeder Cecilia Straub Rubens passed away three days after the Breeders’ Cup. The Classic victory was a fitting tribute to her career in racing as Tiznow earned champion 3-year-old male and Horse of the Year honors after the season.
The Cee’s Tizzy colt returned 13 days after the calendar changed to 2001, winning the San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths to start his 4-year-old year on a high note. Two starts later, Tiznow put on another display of dominance when he won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap by an easy five lengths as the even-money favorite.
Tiznow returned from a six-month break with a pair of third-place finishes. He arrived in New York to try for a repeat victory in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park that fall.
That edition of the Breeders’ Cup took place less than two months after the United States had been rocked by a terrorist attack, and the event meant even more to spectators because the track was only about 20 miles from the site of the attack on the World Trade Center towers.
Tiznow did not shoot to the lead in the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Classic as he had done the pervious year, instead sitting off the pace until the stretch. Just like in 2000, however, he had to duel with a tough European invader in the final furlong.
Sakhee entered the Classic with a three-race winning streak, including a victory in the prestigious Arc de Triomphe, and he battled fiercely with Tiznow through the final strides. In one of the great race calls in Breeders’ Cup history, track announcer Tom Durkin screamed the now famous “Tiznow wins it for America!” after he held off Sakhee by a nose in yet another Classic thriller.
2001 BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC
Tiznow was retired to WinStar Farm two weeks after the Breeders’ Cup as a venture between WinStar, Taylor Made Farm, and owners Michael Cooper and Cee’s Stable. While Tiznow was already immensely popular, his reputation was bolstered when he was named champion older male for the second straight year.
The stallion didn’t take long to show that his talent on the track was going to transfer to the breeding shed as he had a big winner right out of the gate. When his first crop hit the track in 2005, he topped the first-crop sire list, headlined by champion 2-year-old filly Folklore.
Tiznow has sired 26 graded or group stakes winners and two champions through Sept. 2. He was third and fourth, respectively, on the 2008 and 2009 general sire list. Tiznow was also well represented at the world’s richest race in 2008 and 2009 when Well Armed finished third in the Dubai World Cup in 2008 before winning the race in 2009.
“Tiznow has really replicated his success on the racetrack in the breeding shed, which really, not all brilliant racehorses have the ability to accomplish,” said Leanna Packard, Winstar’s StableMates coordinator and bloodstock assistant. “He has sired 12 Group/Grade 1 winners, including the winners of the Belmont Stakes, Dubai World Cup, Wood Memorial, Goodwood Handicap, Ogden Phipps, etc.”
TIZNOW AT WINSTAR
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While Tiznow’s first crop of foals are only 10 years old this year, his mares already are proving to be successful producers. Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes winner and 2012 Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Went The Day Well is out of Tiznow’s daughter Tiz Maie’s Day. More recently, Miss Derek added to her broodmare sire’s stats by winning two stakes races in Canada.
From only 159 foals to race out of Tiznow’s daughters, he already has two graded stakes winners and five stakes winners for more than $5.8 million in earnings.
Tiznow’s sons also are doing well when it comes to siring talented runners. Tiznow has 17 sons currently at stud, according to the Blood-Horse Stallion Register, with only two having foals of racing age. Colonel John leads the first-crop sire list through Sept. 2 and Tiz Wonderful ranks seventh among second-crop sires.
Tiznow hasn’t been on the track since 2001 but he is still WinStar’s most popular stallion. His personality also is a favorite of fans, who send him gifts throughout the year in addition to requesting to see him whenever they visit.
“Tiznow is an exceptionally intelligent horse, and he truly believes he is the celebrity of our stallion barn,” Packard said. “When visitors arrive, he typically demands peppermints by tapping his door with his foot while also furiously nodding his head. When he is brought out for visitors, Tiznow poses perfectly. He would stand all day in our stallion circle if given the opportunity. This is all part of his ‘celebrity complex.’ With celebrity comes demanding behavior, and Tiznow demands people do what he likes. He can be stubborn and determined, but those traits made him a phenomenal racehorse.”
As the only two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Tiznow already was guaranteed a spot in the history books. But with his early success at stud, Tiznow has a great chance to make a lasting impact on the Thoroughbred breed as well.
TIZNOW (inside) WINNING THE 2001 BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC OVER SAKHEE
Photo courtesy of Horsephotos.com