Tiz Shea D can deliver for Mott in Indiana Derby

Profile Picture: James Scully

July 17th, 2015

Trainer Bill Mott holds a nice hand of three-year-olds heading into the late summer/fall campaign. Speighster and Japan are at the head of the class, both posting impressive victories in recent months, and Tiz Shea D is seeking a breakthrough performance in Saturday’s $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2).

I’ll make a case for Tiz Shea D’s chances at Indiana Grand.

After posting a debut win at Parx Racing, Tiz Shea D was privately sold and transferred from Jason Servis to Mott. The well-bred colt, a son of Tiznow and out of the multiple stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Ender’s Sister, jumped straight to stakes company with a runner-up effort in the Gotham (G3) before taking a step back in the TwinSpires Wood Memorial (G1), recording a well-beaten fifth.

He gave a better account of himself in the Peter Pan (G2) five weeks later, beaten 3 ½ lengths in an even fourth-place effort, and exits his best showing to date, a runner-up effort in allowance on the Belmont Stakes undercard that netted a career-topping 96 BRIS Speed rating.

Tiz Shea D wound up on the lead by default last time and easily held second after being overhauled by Tommy Macho, who turned in a very impressive showing by my estimation. Tommy Macho came back with a third in the Dwyer (G2) at Belmont Park, finishing behind Speightster and Texas Red, a pair of sophomores who would be odds-on in the Indiana Derby field.

The Wood and Peter Pan were both at 1 1/8 miles, but Tiz Shea D appears to favor a little less ground at this stage in his career, running well in both the Gotham and the aforementioned allowance at Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile trip. I’m expecting to see him build upon the encouraging performance last time.

Regular rider Jose Lezcano, who is winning at a 32% clip with Mott over the last 60 days, will be in for the mount.

Mr. Z, the 2-1 morning line favorite, was hurt by the post position draw, receiving the rail post that has performed terribly in dirt routes at Indiana Grand all meet. Divining Rod, the 5-2 second choice after a neck third in the Ohio Derby, did not do much better in post 2.

Mr. Z lost 13 straight races heading into the Ohio Derby and if he can string together two straight wins while breaking from an extremely tricky innermost post, more power to him. I’m taking a stand against at short odds.

Divining Rod captured the Lexington (G3) in April and did not disgrace himself when third behind American Pharoah in the Preakness (G1), but the Tapit colt showed up with first-time front wraps in the Ohio Derby and lacked a sufficient finishing kick after being in a prime spot turning for home. Former jockey Julien Leparoux opts to ride Island Town and new jockey Alex Cintron is winless from eight starts with Arnold Delcour over the last two months. Divining Rod was dogged by foot problems earlier this year and I’m questioning whether we’ll see his best here.

Island Town exits an upset win in the Matt Winn (G3) in which odds-on favorite Fame and Power missed the break, allowing Island Town to dictate things up front on a glacial pace before gutting out a narrow victory over his troubled-trip opponent. The gelding is stepping up to face deeper competition and has never won outside the friendly confines of Churchill Downs.

All three rivals are picking up significant weight in the Indiana Derby, with Mr. Z, Divining Rod and Island Town each spotting seven pounds to Tiz Shea D, who figures to receive a good trip just behind the early leaders with his tactical speed.

Tisz Shea D can grab a seat at the table among Mott’s promising three-year-old contingent with an Indiana Derby victory.

As incentive to tackle the bulk of the Indiana Derby card, is expanding its normal 10% Pick 4 bonus to cover all three Pick 4 pools on the program, including the All Stakes "Dapper Derby" Pick 4 (races 6-9) on Saturday night.  And to help bettors formulate tickets, all products, including Daily Selections, are FREE of charge for the full Indiana Grand card on Saturday, July 18. Click the following link for complete details: