Kentucky Derby contender profile: Tiz the Law

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

February 3rd, 2020

Could lightning strike twice for Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg, the team behind 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide?

Thanks to their promising colt Tiz the Law, a second triumph in the “Run for the Roses” is far from being a fantasy.

Bred in New York and purchased for $110,000 as a yearling, Tiz the Law was never supposed to be a superstar. When he arrived at Saratoga for his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs, the son of Constitution wasn’t even favored to win. But then the gates opened, and less than 80 seconds later, Tiz the Law crossed the finish line triumphant by 4 1/4 lengths.

Clearly Sackatoga found another good horse.

The remainder of Tiz the Law’s juvenile season was encouraging. Despite a stumble at the start of the 1-mile Champagne (G1) at Belmont, Tiz the Law smoothly rallied back into contention and pulled away to win by four lengths. After a final quarter in :24.59, Tiz the Law clocked the mile in a snappy 1:35.41.


In the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, Tiz the Law endured an awkward trip and got buried in tight quarters along the rail while he raced over a sloppy track. Tiz the Law had every excuse to quit, but instead he bulled his way through traffic in the homestretch to finish third by less than a length. Even with this defeat, Tiz the Law closed at 11-1 in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1, the shortest price available on an individual horse.

Following a brief winter break, Tiz the Law returned to action in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull (G3) on Feb. 1 at Gulfstream Park. Whereas Funny Cide could only finish fifth in the 2003 Holy Bull, Tiz the Law went considerably better than his famous predecessor and scored an emphatic three-length victory in a final time of 1:42.04.


Despite his lofty achievements on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, Tiz the Law remains a work in progress. In the Kentucky Jockey Club, he switched back to his left lead late in the race, which stalled his momentum and possibly cost him victory. In the homestretch of the Holy Bull, Tiz the Law ducked sharply toward the rail and raced a bit greenly to the finish line.

Assuming Tiz the Law smooths over these rough edges, the sky is the limit for his potential. He has the talent and breeding to be a serious factor on the first Saturday in May. Might he prove to be even better than Funny Cide? Only time will tell, but he’s off to a promising start.

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Tiz the Law wins the Holy Bull Stakes 2020 (Coglianese Photos)

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