Karl Watson, Michael E Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Tiz Midnight made her owners all smiles on Saturday with a record-setting performance in the $200,000 Bayakoa S. (G2) at Los Alamitos racecourse.
The win was Bob Baffert’s second victory in the 1 1/16 mile race for fillies and mares; his previous win came in 2011 with Ellafitz when the race was run at Hollywood Park.
Tiz Midnight got caught up in an early duel with Yahilwa, with the pair locked together after six furlongs in 1:11.32. Tiz Midnight put her foe away in the upper stretch, only to have Warren’s Veneda mount a strong challenge and actually get in front with less than a furlong to run. Tiz Midnight fought back gamely under Victor Espinoza to win by a head in 1:41.62.
"She seems to like it when another horse comes to her,” said Espinoza. “So it was actually a good thing when (Warren’s Veneda) came to us because she saw her next to us and fought back. What I didn’t want was for someone to come late and she couldn’t see them.’’
Bred in Kentucky by Watson and Pegram, Tiz Midnight is out of their top-class mare Tough Tiz’s Sis, multiple Grade 1 winner of over $900,000. The Bayakoa is Tiz Midnight’s first stakes victory; she was second to two-time champion Beholder in the Sept. 27 Zenyatta S. (G1) at Santa Anita.
Saturday’s win upped Tiz Midnight’s earnings to $334,720 with a mark of 4-3-1 from nine outings.