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Tiznow horse.jpg
Tiznow standing at Winstar Farms, Kentucky
SireCee's Tizzy
DamCee's Song
DamsireSeattle Song
CountryUnited States
BreederCecilia Straub-Rubens
OwnerCecilia Straub-Rubens and Michael Cooper (2000)
Cees Stable (2001)
TrainerJay M. Robbins
Major wins
Affirmed Handicap (2000)
Super Derby (2000)
Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (2000)
San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (2001)
Santa Anita Handicap (2001)

Breeders' Cup wins:
Breeders' Cup Classic (2000 & 2001)
American Horse of the Year (2000)
American Champion 3-Year-Old Male Horse (2000)
California Horse of the Year (2000, 2001)
NTRA "Moment of the Year" (2000, 2001)
American Champion Older Male Horse (2001)
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (2009)
Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita
Tiznow Handicap at Louisiana Downs

Tiznow (foaled March 12, 1997 in California) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for his wins in the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2000 and 2001, becoming the only horse to win this race twice. He was the 2000 American Horse of the Year and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2009.


Tiznow is a bay horse with a white tornado-shaped[2] blaze and four white socks. A California bred, he was sired by Cee's Tizzy out of the Seattle Song mare Cee's Song. A full brother, Budroyale, finished second in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic. Tiznow's unraced full sister Tizamazing produced 2013 Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow, by the stallion Awesome Again.[3]

Tiznow was trained by Jay Robbins and ridden by Chris McCarron in his major races. He was originally owned by his breeder, Cecilia Straub-Rubens, and Michael L. Cooper. When Straub-Rubens died shortly after the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic,[4] Tiznow's ownership was changed to Cee's Stable.[1]

At maturity, he reached 16.3 hands (67 inches, 170 cm) high.[5] His frame is rather angular but his conformation is generally correct.[3]

Tiznow is known as a quirky horse. Especially towards the end of his career, he was sometimes reluctant to work in the mornings, including one occasion before the 2001 Breeders' Cup where he spent 40 minutes resisting jockey Chris McCarron's urging to break into a gallop.[6] In the WinStar stallion barn, Tiznow learned how to unlatch his door to let himself out into the main hall.[3] He does not like the feel of concrete on his feet and will adjust his steps so he doesn’t have to walk over it. Tiznow also does not like cold weather and is usually kept inside if the temperature goes below freezing. "He's a California horse all the way," said Amy Nave, a bloodstock assistant at WinStar. "I think in a way it shows how intelligent he is."[7]


Tiznow missed his two year old season due to a leg fracture.[3] At three, it took him three tries to break his maiden, finally winning for the first time on May 31, 2000 by ​8 12 lengths.[8] In his next start, the Affirmed Handicap on July 1, he defeated grade 1 winner Dixie Union by a neck, displaying what would become his trademark quality, gameness.[9]

In his next start, the Swaps Stakes on July 23, Tiznow finished second behind Captain Steve after a troubled trip.[10] In the Pacific Classic, Tiznow faced older horses for the first time and finished second when Skimming got an early lead and kicked clear of the field.[11] This was the first time he was ridden by McCarron, who quickly learned that Tiznow disliked the whip and adjusted tactics accordingly. Said McCarron, "From that point on, that’s the way I rode him. I didn’t hit him a whole lot. I just tried to encourage him to run by chirping to him and moving my hands and if I felt it was necessary, to show him the stick and tap."[12]

For his next race, Tiznow shipped to Louisiana for the $500,000 Super Derby, then a Grade 1 race. He won in wire to wire fashion by six lengths under a hand ride, breaking the course record for ​1 18 miles in the process.[13] Returning to California for the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap, Tiznow grabbed the early lead and then withstood a challenge down the stretch from Captain Steve to win by ​12 length.[14]

His final start of 2000 was in the Breeders' Cup Classic, held that year at Churchill Downs. Tiznow had to be supplemented to the field at a cost of $360,000 as he was not nominated as a foal.[15] The field included Irish champion Giant's Causeway, Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Albert the Great. Tiznow and Albert the Great went to the early lead while being stalked by Giant's Causeway. As they entered the stretch, Albert the Great started to give way, but Giant's Causeway was closing fast on the outside. Giant's Causeway almost got even but Tiznow rallied gamely to win by a neck.[16] The race was voted the NTRA Moment of the Year.

Days after the Breeders' Cup, Straub-Reubens died, leaving her share of the horse to her children. In January 2001, Tiznow received Eclipse Awards for 2000 Horse of the Year and champion three-year-old. He was the first California-bred to receive these honors since Swaps in 1956.[17]

Tiznow started his 4-year-old campaign by winning the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes, then finishing second to Wooden Phone in the Strub Stakes.[18] As high weight in the Santa Anita Handicap, Tiznow dueled with Wooden Phone for a mile before finally drawing away to win by 5 lengths.[19] Tiznow then missed a good portion of the year due to back problems, and came into the Classic off defeats in the Woodward Stakes and the Goodwood Handicap.[20]

The 2001 Breeders' Cup was held in October at Belmont Park, just twelve miles away from Ground Zero and under heavy security. The field for the Classic included European superstars Galileo, winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbies, and Sakhee, winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, both trying dirt for the first time.[20] The American contingent was led by Aptitude, winner of three straight races including the Jockey Club Gold Cup,.[21] Tiznow was the fourth betting choice in a field of thirteen. He tracked the leaders down the backstretch and made his move on the turn where he swung five wide. He dueled with Albert the Great but could not get by, and then both were overtaken mid-stretch by Sakhee.[22] McCarron then hit Tiznow once left-handed and the colt responded with a final lunge, winning by a nose over Sakhee, with Albert the Great two lengths back in third. Track announcer Tom Durkin called, "Tiznow wins it for America!"[20] The race was again voted the NTRA Moment of the Year.

Tiznow is the only racehorse to date to have won the Breeders' Cup Classic twice. He was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 2009.

Race record[edit]

Date Track Race Distance Finish
4/22/2000 Santa Anita Park Maiden 6 Furlongs 6
5/11/2000 Hollywood Park Maiden 8 ½ Furlongs 2
5/31/2000 Hollywood Park Maiden 8 ½ Furlongs 1
7/1/2000 Hollywood Park Affirmed Handicap 8 ½ Furlongs 1
7/23/2000 Hollywood Park Swaps Stakes 9 Furlongs 2
8/26/2000 Del Mar Pacific Classic 10 Furlongs 2
9/30/2000 Louisiana Downs Super Derby 10 Furlongs 1
10/15/2000 Santa Anita Park Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap 9 Furlongs 1
11/4/2000 Churchill Downs Breeders' Cup Classic 10 Furlongs 1
1/13/2001 Santa Anita Park San Fernando Stakes 8 ½ Furlongs 1
2/3/2001 Santa Anita Park Strub Stakes 9 Furlongs 2
3/3/2001 Santa Anita Park Santa Anita Handicap 10 Furlongs 1
9/8/2001 Belmont Park Woodward Stakes 9 Furlongs 3
10/7/2001 Santa Anita Park Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap 9 Furlongs 3
10/27/2001 Belmont Park Breeders' Cup Classic 10 Furlongs 1

At stud[edit]

Retired to stud at WinStar Farm, Tiznow was considered an uncertain stallion prospect due to his relatively modest California breeding.[23] His pedigree is unusual for a great horse; he is one of the few modern Thoroughbreds whose sire line does not end at the Darley Arabian. Tiznow is instead a direct male line descendant of Man o' War whose sire line traces back to the Godolphin Arabian. He is considered the best hope for the survival of this sire line into the 21st century.[24]

He made a promising start to his career as a stallion, leading the freshman sire list in 2005. That first crop included 2005 Eclipse Award champion juvenile filly Folklore, who won the 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. He was third on the American general sire list in 2008 and fourth in 2009. His progeny have typically needed some time to mature and most are best at a mile or more.[3]

Tiznow has established himself as an important sire, particularly of classic distance types like 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da'Tara, Well Armed, the winner of the 2009 Dubai World Cup, Colonel John, winner of the 2008 Travers Stakes and Gemologist, winner of the 2012 Wood Memorial Stakes. Tiznow is also a developing sire of sires, having at least 13 sons at stud in the U.S.[23]

Notable progeny[edit]

Notable offspring of Tiznow include:[25]


Tiznow's sire Cee's Tizzy, who was raced by Cecilia Straub-Rubens, was one of California's most successful sires. At the time of his death in October 2015, he had sired 39 stakes winners and numerous California champions. His progeny earnings were more than $37 million.[26]

Tiznow's dam, Cee's Song, was also raced by Straub-Rubens. Cee’s Song produced nine foals by Cee's Tizzy, including Tiznow and stakes winners Budroyale, Tizbud, and Tizdubai, plus two Grade-I-stakes producing daughters: Tizso (dam of Paynter) and Tizamazing (dam of Oxbow). After Straub-Rubens death, Cee’s Song was purchased carrying Tizamazing for $2.6 million at the 2001 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Relocated to Kentucky, Cee’s Song produced four more offspring including stakes-placed C’Mon Tiger, by Storm Cat, and his winning full sister You’re Beautiful. Cee's Song died in 2011 from the infirmities of old age.[27]

Pedigree of Tiznow
Cee's Tizzy
In Reality Intentionally
My Dear Girl
Foggy Note The Axe
Silver Song
Lyphard Northern Dancer
Tizna Trevieres
Cee's Song
Seattle Song
Seattle Slew Bold Reasoning
My Charmer
Incantation Prince Blessed
Magic Spell
Lonely Dancer
Nice Dancer Northern Dancer
Nice Princess
Sleep Lonely Pia Star
Sulenan (F-No.26)

Tiznow is inbred 4 X 4 to Northern Dancer.


  1. ^ a b "Tiznow Profile". www.equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  2. ^ Haskin, Steve. "Tiznow Wins For America". cs.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Tiznow". American Classic Pedigrees. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  4. ^ Christine, Bill (8 November 2000). "Co-Owner of Tiznow Dies at 83". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  5. ^ http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/90474/pedigree-analysis-is-bigger-always-better
  6. ^ "Jay Robbins, Trainer of Tiznow, Retires". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  7. ^ Marr, Esther. "Checking in With My Man Tiznow". cs.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Chart for May 31". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Chart of Affirmed Handicap". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Chart of Swaps Stakes". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Chart of the Pacific Classic". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ "No Whip on Tiznow: McCarron's Recipe for Success". Jockey Talk 360. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Tiznow Breaks Course Record in Super Derby Win". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Chart of the Goodwood Handicap". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Tiznow Springs Breeders' Cup Classic Upset". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Chart of 2000 Breeders Cup Classic". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  17. ^ Modesti, Kevin. "Eclipse Awards: Local Horse Makes Good". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Chart of the Strub Stakes". equibase.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  19. ^ "Chart of the Santa Anita Handicap". equibase.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  20. ^ a b c Haskin, Steve. "30 Years in 30 Days: Tiznow Wins For America". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Aptitude Profile". www.equibase.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Chart of 2001 Breeders Cup". equibase.com. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  23. ^ a b Porter, Alan. "A Tiznow Sire Line?". TrueNicks.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Sparkman: Keeping Man o' War in the game | Daily Racing Form". www.drf.com. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Tiznow". Stallion Register Online. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Cee's Tizzy, Sire of Tiznow, Dies at 28". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Tiznow's Dam, Cee's Song, Dies at Age 25". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 16 June 2016.