Chris McCarron celebrates Tiznow's repeat win in the Classic while owner Michael Cooper leads him to the winner's circle.
When the gate opened, Albert the Great and Orientate hooked up in an early speed duel, with Tiznow stalking just behind them. Orientate led for the first half mile, in times of 23.27 and 47.04 before dropping back. Albert the Great inherited the lead with Guided Tour now giving chase, going 3/4 in 1:11.32 and a mile in 1:35.87. On the turn, Tiznow went five wide along with Sakhee to his outside. Midway down the stretch, the pair drew even with Albert the Great. Sakhee briefly got his neck in front, but Tiznow, between Albert the Great on the rail and Sakhee to his outside, dug in and outfinished the others to become the first repeat winner of the Classic in a final time of 2:00.62 for the 1 1/4 mile distance. Tiznow was in front by a nose over Sakhee with another 1 3/4 lengths back to Albert the Great.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 10 Tiznow McCarron 15.80 7.20 5.60 6 Sakhee Dettori 7.80 4.40 9 Albert the Great Chavez 7.80 Winning Time: 2:00.62 $2 Exacta 10-6 140.50 $2 Trifecta 10-6-9 1,341.00 $2 Superfecta 10-6-9-7 24,496.00Results Chart from Equibase
Tiznow and Chris McCarron take their walk down Victory Lane. McCarron said: "He's outstanding. He's a wonderful animal. He's a lot more intelligent than others and he loves to be out on the racetrack. When I first pushed the button at the 3f pole, I didn't get the acceleration I'm used to, like I got last year. But when Sakhee got to my hip, Tiznow saw him before I did and he accelerated. And I thought, 'oh good, we got him'. In spite of the fact Sakhee got by him he did accelerate and outgamed him, gave more resolve."
The trophy presentation. Referring to his late co-owner Cecilia Straub-Rubens, owner Michael Cooper said: "I think Tiz knew in spirit she was here. The way he came back in that race and gutted it out right down the line, kind of like the way she was too."
Tiznow heads back to the barn with his flowers. Trainer Jay Robbins, when asked about when he fed Tiznow vodka earlier in the week, said: "That's an old trick giving the horse some alcohol to relax him more after he jogged on Sunday because he was pretty fractious. He showed a lot of improvement in his behavior on Monday morning so we didn't give him anything."
Tiznow heads towards the gate before the start of the race. Because of the layout of Belmont's main track, the post parade did not return by us but only went by with the ponies on our side.
Frankie Dettori on second place finisher Sakhee tries to explain to trainer Saeed bin Suroor why he couldn't win. Dettori said: "I felt I went by him. But he knuckled down and fought me back. I felt once I couldn't shake him off, already my petrol gauge was going into empty. I knew I was there to be shot at. Tiznow's got a great reputation and a head like a dinosaur. I knew I had to get by by half a length to beat him sure."
Albert the Great finished third. Trainer Nick Zito said: "This was his last race so he goes out on a high note. He goes home sound, a winner. He's a great New York horse and this race the whole world was watching. I think he represented New York very well." Jockey Jorge Chavez added, "It was a shame there was a horse who got with me early. Still he put that one (Orientate) away and was still fighting right to the end. He showed me a big, big heart."
Favorite Aptitude finished eighth. Jockey Jerry Bailey said: "He ran very, very wide. I expected to get a start like that because of the post but I didn't expect to finish like that."
Second choice Galileo finished a disappointing sixth. Jockey Michael Kinane said: "He's had a long hard year, a fantastic season, a pleasure all year to ride and deserves it (to win) every time. I was in a lovely position down inside Tiznow but he just couldn't adapt to the conditions. He didn't get a hold of it. He was struggling to get a hold of it. Every stride required a big effort and it's just not the same as a horse who could adapt to these situations."
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Photos ©2001, Cindy Pierson Dulay and Terence Dulay