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Tiny Temper Takes Azeri With Last-to-First Rally

Mark and Nancy Stanley’s Tiny Temper  broke last in her graded stakes debut but came running down the lane to catch fellow longshot Misty Veil  to win the $400,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) by a neck March 9 at Oaklawn Park.

Trained by Dallas Stewart, 4-year-old Tiny Temper entered off an entry-level allowance victory at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Jan. 25. James Graham, who rode the Arrogate filly in that win, traveled to Oaklawn and guided her to Saturday’s last-to-first victory in the 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares.

Tiny Temper broke slowly and trailed the eight-horse field through a half-mile in :48.21. She advanced into seventh on the far turn, and Graham kept her moving along the rail until early stretch when Tiny Temper angled out and split horses.

Resolute Racing’s Misty Veil, a 6-year-old Tonalist   mare trained by Mike Maker who was sent off at odds of 16-1, had surged to the lead and was briefly clear, but Tiny Temper came alongside and got her head in front just a stride or two before the wire.

“She showed up big today. We believed in her all along. It’s just taken awhile,” said winning trainer Stewart. “Hopefully, we’ll get back to the Apple Blossom. After she won (Jan. 25 at Fair Grounds), I was like: ‘We need to be serious about what we’re doing with her quick.’ Just get in some good races.”

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It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Kaleem Shah’s grade 3 winner Bellamore  in third place. Tiny Temper paid $25.60 to win. 

Tiny Temper wins the Azeri Stakes on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Oaklawn Park
Photo: Coady Photo/Holly Smith

Winning trainer Dallas Stewart (left) is all smiles after Tiny Temper’s victory in the Azeri Stakes

Now a winner of three of five starts, Tiny Temper has earned $354,240. She was purchased for $240,000 as a weanling by Hunter Valley Farm, agent, at the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. She went through two yearling sales in 2021—Keeneland September and Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October—but was listed as not sold both times.

Tiny Temper made her racetrack debut Sep. 17 of her 2-year-old season, when she finished second in a maiden race at Churchill Downs. That was followed by a maiden win, a fourth-place finish in her first try at the allowance level and lone race last year, then the Fair Grounds allowance victory in a race that was originally carded for turf.

Arrogate, champion 3-year-old male in 2016 and later inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame, died in 2020 after standing just three seasons at stud. Tiny Temper is his 12th graded black-type winner from 325 lifetime foals. From 213 career starters, Arrogate is getting an impressive 5.6% graded winners to date.

Tiny Temper was bred in Kentucky by the Alan S. Kline Revocable Trust. She is out of the grade 3-placed winner Don’t Blame Me , by Blame  .

An 18-year-old by Arch, Blame entered stud in 2011. Still an active successful stallion, his reputation as broodmare sire is growing. Tiny Temper is the eighth graded black-type winner and 15th stakes winner that carries Blame as broodmare sire. Blame stands at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. His 2024 stud fee is $25,000.

Video: Azeri S. (G2)

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