Sackatoga’s Tiz the Law earns Derby points with commanding victory in G1 Champagne

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Coglianese Photos

By Sarah Mace

Ownership group Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg – the connections of New York-bred Funny Cide who famously won the 2003 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness – had ample reason to break out the bubbly again on Saturday afternoon. As they looked on, their flashy bay son of Constitution, Tiz the Law, drew off to a commanding victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne Stakes in his second career start.

The victory brings with it 10 qualifying points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. It also punches the colt’s ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on the first weekend in November. The connections are, however, inclined to pass on Santa Anita and set their sights further down the road.

Tiz the Law turned plenty of heads after his Saratoga debut on August 8 at 6 1/2 furlongs when he arguably delivered one of the best juvenile performances of the meet. The blaze-faced colt rallied from a covered-up fourth and shot past heavy favorite Dream Bigger to win by 4 1/2 lengths. He was further flattered when Dream Bigger overpowered a strong field in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes on September 30. For his debut effort Tiz the Law earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90, which topped the Champagne field.

Tiz the Law got a little extra time off after his unveiling to resolve some minor shin issues, but had hardly been idle in advance of the Champagne. The colt turned in four works in all, including a pair of bullet moves at four and five furlongs on September 19 and 26, going :46 4/5 and :59 2/5, respectively.

The Champaign field was strong, headlined by undefeated Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner Green Light Go, along with TDN “Rising Star” Gozilla, and a determined September 7 maiden-breaker trained by Todd Pletcher named Alpha Sixty Six.

Let to go as the narrow 7-5 second choice behind 6-5 Green Light Go, Tiz the Law bobbled at the break from his outside post, but his forward momentum allowed him to get right in stride before jockey Manny Franco took him back to sit fifth along the backstretch.

Coglianese Photos

Meanwhile Green Light Go led the way, clocking the first half in 46.15 pressed along by Gozilla. Covered up on the backstretch, and at one point checking lightly off heels, Tiz the Law advanced into third between horses in the turn and angled out three-wide in upper stretch.

Green Light Go and Gozilla were still vying in the lane, but Tiz the Law had the number of them both. Accelerating into the lead with a little more than a furlong to go, he powered home to a 4-length victory in a final time of 1:35.41 for the mile. As in his debut victory, the youngster was a little green in stretch, which gives him room to move forward yet again in the future.

Green Light Go finished second, a neck in front of Big City Bob. Gozilla, Alpha Sixty Six and Truculent completed the order of finish. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Franco reported, “[Tiz the Law] broke a little bit aggressive. He bobbled a bit and then he took a strong hold early, but I got him to relax and he came back to me. I was just waiting for the moment. I didn’t want to move too early because I knew I had a lot of horse under me. I was trying to wait as long as I could. He lugged in a bit, he’s still a little green. I had a lot of horse at the end. He’s a nice horse.”

“It was just what I wanted to see,” said Barclay Tagg. “Out of the gate, he bobbled badly. He out-broke himself. Manny did a great job with him. He got him all the way back and saved some ground.

Continued Tagg, “You’re taking a chance to jump into a big race like this in just his second start. We didn’t do that to Funny Cide. [Funny Cide] had it a little easier, but we were very pleased with [Tiz the Law].”

Funny Cide stayed in the New York-bred ranks as a juvenile, winning all three starts at two, including the Bertram F. Bongard and Sleepy Hollow Stakes.

Tagg was encouraged to try the Champagne with Tiz the Law by the way the colt was training. “I wanted to work him one more time before making a decision. He worked Wednesday and I liked what I saw. [Owner] Jack [Knowlton] is good about these things.”

Knowlton, the face of Sackatoga Stable, said, “In his debut, [Tiz the Law] was never asked for anything. He was inside, he split horses, had dirt in his face and that told us a lot and it paid off today. I didn’t think he would have any dirt on him today. I figured that Manny would be sitting outside and be able to do it, but he put him right in there and he responded just like he did at Saratoga.”

As to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Tagg said that Tiz the Law is likely to take a pass. The implications for next year’s classics, however, are not lost on him. “I don’t think [we’ll go to the Breeders’ Cup]. It’s a little bit close and it’s a long way away. We can always go to California another year, but we can only go to the Kentucky Derby one year.”

Knowlton seconded the view. “Highly, highly, highly unlikely [we’ll go to the Breeders’ Cup] for a lot of reasons,” Knowlton said. “Shipping across the country with a young horse and going a mile and a sixteenth around two turns the first time against top competition.” Knowlton mentioned the Remsen as a possible next start.

Cleverly named for his sire Constitution and dam Tizfiz by Tiznow, Tiz the Law was bred by Twin Creeks Farm and purchased by Knowlton at the 2018 Saratoga New York-bred preferred yearling sale from the Sequel consignment for $110,000. From his two victories he can boast a $317,900 bankroll.

Tiz the Law’s dam, Kentucky-bred Tizfiz, is a winner of four stakes on turf with a graded placing on dirt. She was purchased by Twin Creeks Farm for $125,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Tiz the Law is Tizfiz’ second foal to earn black type. Awestruck, by Tapit, who was a $525,000 yearling, has collected four stakes placings to date. A full sister to graded stakes winner Fury Kapcori, Tizfiz also issues from the female family of 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick (Phone Trick). She has a yearling filly by Mission Impazible named Angel Oak, a weanling by the same sire and went back to Constitution this year.



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