Tiz the Law’s Derby bid comes up short

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

Authentic (on the rail) battles with Tiz the Law turning for home in the Kentucky Derby. Coady Photography.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

The 2020 Kentucky Derby wound up full of conflicting feelings from the time the horses entered the paddock to the time the winner left the winner’s circle in a dramatic edition of the American classic.

There was a late scratch when Thousand Words reared and fell while being saddled. The incident also sent Bob Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes to the hospital with a suspected broken arm.

While a healthy Thousand Words circled the paddock, the rest of the horses headed out and as expected Sackatoga Stable’s New York-Bred Tiz the Law grabbed the imagination – and the money – when going off as the 4-5 favorite.

Just like trainer Barclay Tagg planned it, Tiz the Law raced a few paths off the rail under Manny Franco and just a few lengths off the leader from the first with Authentic taking control by the first turn. It turned into a battle between the pair as Tiz the Law moved up to start what many had assumed would be a straightforward march to the lead.

Tiz the Law pressed Authentic midway around the turn and drew even with him as they passed the quarter pole. The duel continued through the stretch with Authentic inching forward with every stride to have a length on Tiz the Law by the final sixteenth and win by 1 ¼ lengths to give Baffert a record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby wins.

Tiz the Law finished a clear second, 2 lengths ahead of Mr. Big News with Honor A. P. fourth. Ny Traffic, the other New York-bred in the field, finished eighth.

“At the top of the stretch, the way he’s been running all year, basically Manny hasn’t had to ask him. Manny was asking him and he was trying,” said Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga’s managing partner. “Authentic ran a great race. We’re going to see probably a big speed figure in there, and he deserved to win. He got the inside trip, and obviously our plan was to be outside. It’s worked all year. When you look probably at the number of the feet each of the horses ran, when it’s all said and done we probably ran quite a bit farther, farther than we got beat.

“But that was our plan, that’s the way this horse likes to run. Credit Authentic, I mean, he came from the far outside and managed to get to the lead and just ran a great race. No shame on our part.”

With the hopes of a reconfigured Triple Crown sweep dashed, there could be a rematch at Pimlico for the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes.

“Even though it didn’t turn out the way we hoped it would, certainly no shame in the race he ran,” Knowlton said. “He’ll be back. Hopefully he’ll come out of the race well and we’ll look to go onto Baltimore and hopefully win that and get some revenge. Hopefully we’ll get some more shots at him and we’ll turn the table on him. As long as he comes out of it healthy and sound, let’s go to Baltimore. Let’s go to the Preakness.”

While Tiz the Law prepares for the third leg of the Triple Crown, attention on his family turns to Fasig-Tipton in the coming days. Tiz the Law sold for $110,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. His yearling half brother by Mission Impazible sells in the New York-bred section of Fasig-Tipton’s Selected Yearling Showcase as Hip 73 through Sequel Bloodstock. Another Mission Impazible filly, out of Tiz the Law’s dam’s half-sister sells, as Hip 13 through Fort Christopher’s Thoroughbreds.

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