TORONTO, July 28, 2019 – Chiefswood Stable’s Tiz a Slam was a repeat winner in the $175,000 Nijinsky Stakes after delivering a strong front-end performance on Sunday afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.
With Steven Bahen aboard, even-money favourite Tiz a Slam led most of the way in the Grade 2 event contested over 1-1/2 miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
Leaving from post five, the Roger Attfield trainee took the lead during the first quarter and never looked back en route to a 4-1/4-length victory over his six foes. Sir Sahib and Pumpkin Rumble, both trained by Kevin Attard, closed from the backfield to finish second and third, respectively.
The race was hand-timed in 2:24.45 and the unofficial clocking is under review and will be confirmed by the stewards on Wednesday evening. The track record is 2:25.60, set by Raintrap in 1994.
“He ran very well,” said Bahen. “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.
Now riding a three-race win streak in graded stakes action, the homebred five-year-old son of Tiznow out of Flaming Rose is on top of his game for the Hall of Fame trainer. Tiz a Slam entered the Nijinsky following a pair of Grade 3 victories in the Louisville Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 18 and the Singspiel Stakes at Woodbine on June 22.
“He was a big, big horse just taking a long time to actually reach total maturity, which he has now,” said Attfield. “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 now boasts nine career wins from 26 starts and more than $1.2 million in purse earnings.
The only other horse to win back-to-back editions of the Nijinsky was Windward Islands in 2010 and 2011. Attfield picked up his third victory in this event having also scored with 2015 winner Are You Kidding Me.
Attfield said Tiz a Slam is likely headed to the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes on September 14 at Woodbine.
The favourite paid $4.10 to win.
Live Thoroughbred racing resumes at Woodbine on Wednesday evening, featuring the $65,000 semi-final of the Turf Sprint Series on the new inner course. True North Stable’s 11-year-old gelding Stormy Rush, an 11-1 upset winner in the first round on July 10, will look to double up with Jesse Campbell back aboard for trainer Lorne Richards. First race post time is 6:45 p.m.
UPDATE (AUGUST 2): The official winning time for Sunday’s Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes is 2:25.14, making Tiz a Slam the new track record holder for 1-1/2 miles on Woodbine’s E.P. Taylor Turf Course. The stewards confirmed the time was verified by an official clocker, as per the rules of racing. The old record of 2:25.60 was set in 1994 by Raintrap.