By Sid Fernando
Calumet’s Oxbow, a son of Awesome Again from Tizamazing, by Cee’s Tizzy, has an intriguing 4-year-old colt named Tuz who’s scheduled to start at Meydan on Thursday, either in the Listed Curlin Stakes over 2000 meters or a handicap over 1600 meters. He’s been cross entered in both races with a stablemate and will presumably run in the race in which the other one doesn’t.
Bred by Calumet from the Pulpit mare Suede Shoe and a $7,000 Keeneland September yearling, Tuz began his racing career in Russia, winning his first two starts at two by daylight, both at the Pyatigorsk Hippodrome over polytrack. He won his debut by 28 lengths and came back to win his next start by 14 lengths. Now, the competition in Russia isn’t strong, its stakes program isn’t recognized internationally, and horses from Russia don’t usually end up in Dubai, but this colt did last year, running a blinder to finish second in the Listed Al Bastakiya over 9 1/2 furlongs on dirt (see video below). He now has international black type next to his name and some promise going forward. However, he hasn’t started since the Al Bastakiya, which is worrying, and he’ll be making only his fourth start on Thursday, but if he’s alright and has trained on, he could have a future in black-type races and bring some attention to Russia in the process.
There was actually a time in the middle of the last century when some Russian horses made an impact in Europe and North America. The greatest of them was Anilin, a colt bred in Russia by the state-owned Voskhod Stud. By the Soviet Union-bred stallion Element, Anilin was a Russian Derby winner who also won Germany’s Preis von Europa (now a Group 1 race) consecutively in 1965, 1966, and 1967, and he was also second in the 1966 Washington D.C. International, third in the race in 1964, and fifth in the 1965 Arc.
See Anilin below, with the white stripe on his face, winning the 1966 Preis von Europa.
Oxbow, a G1 Preakness winner, stands for $7,500. He’s the sire of five black-type winners through four crops of racing age (through 2020), and four of those were 2-year-old stakes winners. So far, his best runner is first-crop Calumet-bred daughter Coach Rocks, winner of the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks and $554,472, but his current 3-year-old colt Hot Rod Charlie was second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last year to champion Essential Quality and is on the Triple Crown trail. He was third to Medina Spirit and Roman Centurian in the G3 Robert B. Lewis S. on his season debut — beaten a neck and a nose for everything — and looks like he’s training on.
Oxbow’s three-quarter brother Paynter is also represented by a horse in the Middle East this week. Knicks Go, who won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and the G1 Pegasus Invitational, is in the $20 million Saudi Cup as one of the favorites and is expected to go to Meydan for the G1 Dubai World Cup after that.
A Grade 1 winner, Paynter was second in the G1 Belmont S. He’s by Awesome Again from the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizso — a sister to Oxbow’s dam and to Tiznow — and stands for $10,000 at WinsStar. Like Oxbow, he’s represented by four crops through 2020, but he has 16 black-type winners to his credit and has been far more effective to date than Oxbow.
WTC bloodstock editor Frances J. Karon wrote about Knicks Go, Paynter, and Oxbow in January. Read it here.