Tiz Miz Sue, Ogden Phipps Handicap, Belmont Park, 27th May 2013
Trained by Steve Hobby, Sire: Tiznow. Dam: Sue's Good News
Carol V. Ricks and her grandson, Ran Leonard, a real estate investor who is a member of the Oklahoma Racing Commission, are having the times of their lives watching Tiz Miz Sue win stakes races. “She sure is fun to watch,” Carol, now in her ‘80s, said. Ran put it in perspective: “For small breeders like us to have one that blossomed like this is amazing. She’s taken us to Saratoga, Churchill and all over the country.”
Carol and her late husband, Ran Ricks, Jr., helped the state of Oklahoma start pari-mutuel racing. “My husband Ran, in about 1981, said, `I think Oklahoma is going to have pari-mutuels,” Carol said. “We owned this land, 35 miles north of Oklahoma City, and he said he’d like to have a horse farm. I said, `Okay.’ We moved into our home here in 1983.’”
Remington Park, built by Edward DeBartolo Sr., opened on Sept. 1st, 1988. Such was Ricks Jr.’s involvement, that the track named its annual award for owners the Ran Ricks Jr. Memorial Award.
Initially, the Ricks invested in Oklahoma-breds. “We had to change our philosophy,” Carol said. “We started going to Kentucky.”
Steve Hobby became their trainer. “One day, my grandson and my trainer called and said they’d like me to buy a Woodman filly,” Carol said. “I said, `I couldn’t afford her.’”
It turned out she could. That filly was Sue’s Good News. “She went on to win her first five starts,” Carol said. “She was really something. When she retired, she had so much talent that we bred her.”
Tiz Miz Sue was one of her foals. Her success reminds Leonard of the time he spent with his grandfather. “I’m the oldest grandson,” he said. “I was blessed to have a relationship with my grandfather and grandmother. I went to work with him when I was 15. He made his living in oil and gas.”
The family farm is in Crescent, Okla. They took the first four letters and combined it with Leonard’s grandpa’s first name, Ran, to create CresRan LLC. Originally created to manage the family’s Thoroughbreds, it’s grown into a commercial breeding operation with investments in stallions, mares and bloodstock in Oklahoma and Kentucky.
The family keeps four to eight horses in training and three or four babies a year, selling one or two of them and keeping one or two, hoping to get another horse as talented as Tiz Miz Sue.