Tiz the Law “strong” in pre-Belmont move
Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.53 seconds Monday on Big Sandy in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, to be held without spectators, on Saturday, June 20 at Belmont Park.
Jockey Manny Franco was aboard Tiz the Law who visited the Belmont main track at 8:45 a.m. after the break. The Constitution bay, working by himself, galloped out three-quarters in 1:12.86 and seven-eighths in 1:25.28.
Trainer Barclay Tagg, on track to oversee the breeze, said everything went according to plan in Tiz the Law’s penultimate breeze for the Belmont Stakes.
“I wanted to wait until the track was perfect after the break and he did everything we asked him to,” said Tagg. “He was going maybe a little fast and Robin [Smullen, assistant trainer] got on the mic and told Manny to take a little hold of him, which he did. He galloped out strong and looked fast. I was down there with the pony to pick him up and he pulled up fine.”
Tiz the Law will breeze once more ahead of the Belmont Stakes.
“We’ll keep an eye on the weather and go on either Sunday or Monday. He’ll probably work a half-mile,” said Tagg. “If you give him a half-mile, he’ll get five-eighths by the time he pulls up.”
A winner at first asking in August at Saratoga Race Course, Tiz the Law followed up with a four-length score in the Grade 1 Champagne in October at Belmont. He completed his juvenile campaign with a close third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club contested on a sloppy strip at Churchill Downs.
Tiz the Law, who wintered at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, opened his sophomore season at Gulfstream Park with a convincing three-length score in the Grade 3 Holy Bull in February. Last out, he dominated the nine-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby by 4 ¼-lengths on March 28.
Tagg said Tiz the Law, a $110,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase, continues to impress with his steady demeanor and natural athleticism.
“He’s bigger and stronger and a little more sensible, but I don’t see too much difference [from two to three-years-old],” said Tagg. “He’s given us nothing but positive indications. He came back and won two more graded stakes [at Gulfstream] and he just couldn’t be doing any better.
“Even when he works, I might think I worked him too fast,” added Tagg. “But he just does everything easy. He’s a pleasure to work with.”
Tagg and Sackatoga Stable traveled the Triple Crown road in 2003 with another New York-bred in Funny Cide. The Distorted Humor chestnut prevailed by 1 ¾-lengths in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby under jockey Jose Santos. He followed up with a 9 ¾-length score in the Grade 1 Preakness, but finished third in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes after setting the early pace in his Triple Crown bid.
The veteran conditioner said Funny Cide and Tiz the Law are markedly different animals.
“They are completely different horses,” said Tagg. “‘Tiz’ is more malleable. Funny Cide was all run. You couldn’t hold him. He was a strong horse and very tough.”
Tiz the Law will contest a unique Triple Crown scenario beginning on June 20 with the Belmont Stakes, to be run at 1 1/8-miles around one turn as the opening leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in history.
The Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, rescheduled from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, September 5, will go as the second leg of the Classic series, with the Preakness Stakes, originally slated for May 16, to close out the Triple Crown on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.
As the exclusive broadcast partner of the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, NBC Sports will present three hours of live coverage from Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.
A probable field of nine for the Belmont Stakes also includes Basin (Steve Asmussen), Dr Post (Todd Pletcher), Farmington Road (Pletcher), Gouverneur Morris (Pletcher), Max Player (Linda Rice), Modernist (Bill Mott), Sole Volante (Patrick Biancone), and Tap It to Win (Mark Casse).
Recent defections from the field include the injured Bob Baffert-trained duo of Nadal and Charlatan, as well as Grade 1-winner Maxfield, undefeated in three starts for trainer Brendan Walsh, who will instead point to the Grade 2 Blue Grass at Keeneland on July 11.
Tagg said he isn’t worried about the competition and is content to focus on his own colt as he looks forward to another Triple Crown run.
“I’ve been doing this for fifty years,” said Tagg. “You don’t want to take anything for granted, but I just felt so good about the colt that I kept my attention on him and don’t worry about anyone else.”
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