Tiz the Law brings dominant form to the Kentucky Derby

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 27th, 2020

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Tiz the Law ( Nelson)

Tiz the Law is in the midst of a special season. The pandemic altered the horse racing landscape in 2020, with the Kentucky Derby being delayed four months and the Triple Crown race order rearranged, but Tiz the Law’s excellence has remained a constant.

RELATED: Tiz The Law brings back Derby hopes to New York

A Grade 1 juvenile winner, Tiz the Law has won all four starts at age 3 with ease. He crushed the competition in South Florida over the winter/spring, taking the Florida Derby (G1) and Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park by open lengths, before moving back to his New York base this summer.

Next came the June 20 Belmont Stakes (G1), which typically concludes the Triple Crown but served as the opener this year, and Tiz the Law made short work of his rivals with a powerful turn of foot into the stretch, quickly seizing control and winning under wraps.

Owned by Sackatoga Stables and trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law has the same connections of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, who became the first New York-bred winner of the Kentucky Derby. Tiz the Law is also a New York-bred, but the similarities stop there.

Funny Cide is a gelding and lost all three of his prep races in 2003 for the Kentucky Derby. In fact, Funny Cide had never beaten open rivals (capturing only state-bred events) or won at two turns prior to upsetting the Kentucky Derby at 12.90-1 odds.

Tiz the Law has become synonymous with top-class form and heavy favoritism. The bay colt is poised to become the shortest-priced Kentucky Derby favorite since coupled entries were eliminated in 2001, perhaps close to even-money odds by post time on Sept. 5.

RELATED: 2020 Kentucky Derby: Brisnet Speed Rating Report

Bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, Tiz the Law is by first crop sire Constitution, a multiple Grade 1-winning son of Tapit standing at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky. Sackatoga Stable purchased Tiz the Law for $110,000 at the 2018 Fasig Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale.

When the Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May, horses don’t typically prep at the 1 1/4-mile distance. With the Run for the Roses being moved to the first Saturday in September, Tiz the Law tuned up with a brilliant triumph in the August 8 Travers (G1) at Saratoga, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths at the Derby distance.

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Tiz the Law ( O'leary)

His win margin doesn’t do the Travers performance justice. With regular rider Manny Franco, Tiz the Law displayed his tactical speed from the start, racing up close in third during the early stages, and looked like a powder keg when drawing even nearing the conclusion of the far turn. The well-built sophomore put the race away when given his cue, drawing clear in the blink of eye, and was taken in hand for the rest of the stretch drive as he won with seemingly plenty in reserve.

The Travers was not only breathtaking visually, it came back extremely fast as Tiz the Law registered a 115 Brisnet Speed rating. That number towers over his Kentucky Derby rivals.

Tiz the Law has been the whole package so far, displaying no weaknesses on the racetrack as a 3-year-old, and he appears set for another big effort in the Kentucky Derby.