TORONTO, ON – Chiefswood Stable’s homebred Tiz a Slam became just the second horse to win back-to-back editions of the $175,000 Nijinsky Stakes (G2) at Woodbine, successfully defending his title for the repeat score on Sunday.
Breaking from post 6 as the even-money favorite under Steven Bahen, Tiz a Slam struck the front almost immediately, fighting with Bourbon Resolution for prominence heading into the slight left-hand slant before the clubhouse turn. By the time he straightened out back, the defending champion was clear by at least a length and posted opening fractions of :24.75, :49.48, 1:14.27, and 1:37.58.
Cutting the far turn sharply, Tiz a Slam exploded in the stretch and drew off handsomely. Under a mild ride through to the wire, the Roger Attfield trainee completed the 1 1/2-mile event over the firm turf course in a final time of 2:24.45.
At the time of publication, the time was considered a new track record, breaking the previous mark of 2:25.60. However, it will be reviewed because the race was hand-timed.
“He ran very well,” Bahen said. “We got to where we like to be and he doddled along again, and when I heard them coming and asked him, he just took off again. Roger’s got him really good right now. He’s a very happy horse and he’s just showing it when he runs.”
Sir Sahib rallied from the rear to take second, though he was 4 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Pumpkin Rumble also charged from behind but tired in the stretch run before finishing third. Dark Templar necked out Avie’s Mesa for fourth, with Arthur Kitt another neck back in sixth. Bourbon Resolution weakened steadily when the real running began to complete the order of finish. Souper Tapit was a stewards scratch.
Tiz a Slam’s win was third straight, having taken the Louisville Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs before winning the Singspiel Stakes (G3) here last month. The 5-year-old son of Tiznow improved his career mark to 26-9-3-1 with $969,699 earned and will likely target the Northern Dancer Stakes (G1) here on September 14.
“He was a big, big horse just taking a long time to actually reach total maturity, which he has now,” Attfield said. “We’ve looked after him really well and he’s sound and, like I say, when they reach full maturity and they’re sound and they’re happy, they’re only going to give you their best, and that’s what he’s doing for us.”
Tiz a Slam returned $4.10 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. Sir Sahib brought back $3.90 to place and $3.20 to show, while Pumpkin Rumble paid $2.80 to show.