BENSALEM, PA – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ It Tiz Well upset the heavily-favored Abel Tasman, driving hard in the final furlong to clinch Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,000,000 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing.
Breaking sharply from post 5 under Drayden Van Dyke, It Tiz Well settled just off the pace under a tight snug hold while Lockdown set fractions of :23.26, :47.27, and 1:11.37. Meanwhile, jockey Mike Smith was forced to make a bold move towards the front aboard Abel Tasman midway down the backstretch in order to overcome an awkward start. Entering the far turn, Abel Tasman was stride for stride to the inside of Lockdown while It Tiz Well contined to sit just off the leaders. Nearing the exit onto the front stretch, Van Dyke urged It Tiz Well forward along the outside and with a furlong to go, the three fillies were a head apart. It Tiz Well steadily inched away from her foes as the wire drew nearer, crossing first by 2 lengths in a final time of 1:43.67 for the 1 1/16-mile main track event.
“She ran today like she ran at Delaware Park (when she won the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks),” Van Dyke said. “She set off the pace and relaxed, and when I called upon her, she responded. She was perfect. When I saw Mike coming up on the inside, I sat off her and waited, and they kind of went away from me for a few seconds, and she was there for me the whole time.”
Abel Tasman outlasted Lockdown to the wire by 3/4 of a length, thanks at least in part to Lockdown’s jockey Luis Saez losing his whip with 1/16 to go. Mopotism took fourth ahead of Proud and Fearless, with Actress nosing out Salty for sixth. Teresa Z, Sine Wave, Thirstforthecup, and Stay Fond completed the order of finish. Run and Go was scratched.
The $544,000 winner’s share pushed the 3-year-old daughter of Arch (out of a Tiznow mare) into millionaire status, with $1,130,840 in career earnings. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee’s record now stands at 10-5-2-2 and includes wins in the Grade 3 Honeybee and the Delaware Oaks.
“Very satisfying,” said Dan Ward, assistant trainer to Hollendorfer. “She has been running good races and improving all the time. I thought we had a good chance. I thought we might get that trip. She did a super job.”
It Tiz Well returned $12.60 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.20 to show. Abel Tasman brought back $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show, while Lockdown paid $3.40 to show.