Tizaqueena may have the highest morningline odds for Saturday's $750,000 Beverly D race at Arlington Park, but veteran local trainer Mike Stidham hardly rules the 4-year-old filly out of contention for the Grade I event.
Listed at 15-1, Tizaqueena will face seven rivals in the 20th running of the 1-mile and 3/16ths turf race for fillies and mares.
The leading rival is 3-1 morningline favorite Pure Clan, who won the Grade III Modesty by 21/2 lengths over runner-up Tizaqueena on July 11 at Arlington.
"She's (Tizaqueena) already won a Grade II race so she belongs with these," said Stidham, who is making his Beverly D debut with Tizaqueena, the daughter of Tiznow, who has never been worse than third in 8 career starts. "She had to take the right steps to get here and she did."
Those steps started with a three-quarters-length victory in the Grade II Distaff Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. She then took third in the Grade III Mint Julep at Churchill before her last appearance at Arlington.
Tizaqueena, who is by the mare Issaqueena, will start from post No. 6 Saturday.
"I love it (post)," Stidham said. "She can be on the lead or come from off the pace. It just depends how fast the pace is. She has real good tactical speed to do what she needs to do."
Local jockey E.T. Baird will be the irons for the second straight time aboard Tizaqueena.
Trainer Robert Holthus's Pure Clan is trying to become the first distaffer to win the Modesty and Beverly D in the same season.
With earnings of $1.19 million from 13 starts, she is the only millionaire in the field.
In her only other start this year, Pure Clan was second, a neck ahead of Tizaqueena, in the Mint Julep.
Irish-bred Alnadana, Irish-bred Mad About You and Denomination will be making their first starts in the states.
The Beverly D distance will be the furthest that Alnadana has run. She won the Group III Prix Messidor at Maisons-Laffitte in France in her last start July 18.
Mad About You, trained by Dermot Weld, was most recently third in the Group III Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh on July 11, and earlier this year won the Group III Gladness Stakes in Ireland.
Denomination, a Group III winner, is trained by Criquette head, who won the Beverly D with Hatoof in 1994.
Black Mamba is a West Coast invader trained by John Sadler.
She and Dynaforce, both 6-year-old mares, are the oldest horses in the race, which is named after the late wife of Arlington Park Chairman Richard Duchossois.
New Zealand-bred Black Mamba has earnings of more than $800,000 with 5 wins in 26 starts, including a head victory in the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap on June 28 at Hollywood Park.
Dynaforce won the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont last year. She was third to Pure Clan and Tizaqueena in the Modesty.
Trained by Bill Mott, Dynaforce has banked $639,772 from 4 wins, 3 seconds and 3 third in 14 career starts.
Points of Grace, coming off a 21/4-length victory in the Grade II Dance Smartly at Woodbine, has 5 wins and 2 seconds in 8 career starts for earnings of $296,532.
The 4-year-old filly, trained Pierice Malcolm, has never run past 11/8 miles and has never faced Grade I competition.