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Tizaqueena Rules Over Rivals in Lacombe Memorial
Darley Stable’s Tizaqueena, who began a four-race win streak at Fair Grounds last season that culminated with a score in Churchill’s Grade II Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day, began another one at Fair Grounds Saturday with a three-quarter length tally in the third running of the $60,000 Allen Lacombe Memorial Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
The daughter of Tiznow, trained by Mike Stidham and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, was allowed to settle early, took command just after the furlong grounds and outran a surprisingly resilient No Use Denying the rest of the way.
“This was the first time I’ve been on her and she made my job easy,” said Bridgmohan. “She’s so classy. All I had to do was be a good passenger.”
Tizaqueena returned mutuels of $3.20, $2.40 and $2.20, scored her sixth victory in 12 lifetime starts and increased her career earnings to $478,956 while accomplishing the distance in 1:45.99 in the race taken off the grass and run on the main track.
“The key is to get her to relax,” said Stidham immediately after the victory. “That’s a key for her. Today we were just looking to get her started back.”
Pin Oak Stable’s No Use Denying pressed the pace, took command entering the lane, could not withstand the winner late but was clearly second best while finishing 1 3/4-lengths in front of A She’s Adorable, owned by Phillip Maas and also trained by Stidham.
“I put her close to the pace today,” said jockey Miguel Mena, who rode No Use Denying as the longest shot on the board to her runner-up finish, “and I almost got the money.”
No Use Denying paid $10.20 and $5.40, while A She’s Adorable returned $3.60 to show. More of the Best ticked off early splits of 24.25 and 48.57 before weakening to sixth.
Racing resumes at Fair Grounds Sunday with a 10-race program beginning at 12.40 p.m.