TORONTO, ON – Chiefswood Stable’s homebred Tiz a Slam turned the tables on his rival Holy Helena on Sunday, beating her to the wire to capture the Grade 3, $125,000 Ontario Derby at Woodbine.
Breaking bumpily from post 6 under Eurico Da Silva, Tiz a Slam stalked the early pace set by Gorgeous Kitten through easygoing early fractions of :25.13, :49.20, and 1:13.15. Meanwhile, the favored Holy Helena, who defeated Tiz a Slam in the $1,000,000 Queen’s Plate, was pinched in the rear of the field without much room to run. Tiz a Slam took command heading into the stretch and opened up under a drive to hit the wire first by 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:51.57 for the 1 1/8-mile event contested over Woodbine’s all-weather track.
“It was not that easy because when he broke there, he was very, very sharp, and it took a long time for me to relax him,” Da Silva said. “Finally, I got him relaxed, but at the 1/4 pole, I wanted to wait a little more because it’s very, very hard to run against the wind, but he took off, and I said, ‘You know, boy, you are the boss, and let’s do it!’”
Holy Helena was able to rally late for second by a head at the wire over Guy Caballero. In his first start since finishing 10th in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational, Senior Investment took fourth. Undulated, Gorgeous Kitten, Grizzel, Colonel Samsen, and Cool Catomine completed the order of finish.
Regularly stationed at Woodbine for trainer Roger Attfield, Tiz a Slam increased his career earnings to $469,147. Despite the wealthy earnings at this point in his career, the 3-year-old son of Tiznow visited victory lane for only the fourth time ever, and the first since October 22, 2016, here at Woodbine.
“He’s just been training so well,” Attfield said. “There was no way this horse shouldn’t be able to win a race like this and so it was so nice to see. Actually, when he was coming up to the 3/8 pole, I was shouting out to Eurico, ‘Just let him run, please let him run!’ because he’s a big horse, and if he ever has to check, it takes him a while to get his feet under him again. He’s a lovely horse to train and I’m so pleased for the Chiefswood team. They breed a lovely horse and they’re such nice people to train for, and I’m pleased for everybody.”
Tiz a Slam returned $20 to win, $6 to place, and $4.20 to show. Holy Helena brought back $3.30 to place and $2.80 to show, while Guy Caballero paid $9.80 to show.