Windhaven Farms homebred Tiz Imaginary rallied from last to overtake favoured Jennifer Lynnette in the shadow of the wire to capture Sunday’s $150,000 Fury Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Mike Doyle and patiently handled by Luis Contreras, Tiz Imaginary, winner of the Fanfreluche Stakes as a juvenile, arrived at the seven furlong Tapeta sprint from a game third-place run in the Star Shoot Stakes won by Treasuring.
Sent to post at odds of 9-2, Tiz Imaginary raced from fourth position along the rail as Jennifer Lynnette sprinted through splits of :23.47 and :47.11 under pressure from Bearsatlanticmist. Jennifer Lynnette led the field into the turn as Tiz Imaginary was checked and shuffled back to last before being gathered up by Contreras to launch a furious charge, splitting rivals Crumlin Spirit and Bella’s Ballerina, en route to a narrow 1/2-length score. Jennifer Lynnette held place by 1 1/4-lengths over Crumlin Spirit. Tiz Imaginary covered seven furlongs in 1:25.43.
Contreras, who won three races on the card, stayed calm throughout the difficult trip.
“Down the backstretch I was in the dream position, saving all the ground. My horse was very comfortable there,” said Contreras. “Just before the three-eighths, they started to move a little bit early and got me in trouble. I just kept my eyes in my head and waited for the perfect time to make a move.
“She really impressed me. Most of the time when you get caught like that, the horse doesn’t give you that response,” continued Contreras. “I just tried to stay calm, let her sit, and wait for the right time to make a run.”
Doyle was full of praise for the improving Tizway bay.
“She’s a pretty nice horse. She’s three for five now. She’s had a couple of bits of trouble along the way, but she’s very nice,” said Doyle.
Although the filly has yet to travel beyond seven furlongs, Tiz Imaginary is now in the mix as one of several contenders for the 1 1/8-miles $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, presented by Budweiser, which is slated for June 12.
Doyle was all smiles when asked if the filly would soon have a chance to try two turns for the first time.
“She’s going to her next start,” said Doyle.
Tiz Imaginary, bred in Ontario by Bill Graham, banked $90,000 in victory while improving her record to 3-0-1 from five starts.
She paid $11, $4.10 and $2.60, combining with Jennifer Lynnette ($3, $2.10) for a $22.40 (2-4) exactor. A 2-4-1 triactor (Crumlin Spirit, $2.40 to show) was worth $43.10.
Live racing resumes on Holiday Monday at Woodbine with a 9-race card featuring the $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes. First post time is 1 p.m.