Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law (Constitution) dominated a full and talented field in Saturday’s GI Curlin Florida Derby to cement his status as one of the top contenders for the GI Kentucky Derby, which was recently moved to the First Saturday in September.
With many of what was supposed to be the final round of Derby preps canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 track closures, Gulfstream’s marquee race attracted 13 colts, but only nine remained by post time. Favored at 7-5 off his success in the GIII Holy Bull S. Feb. 1., Tiz the Law sat in a joint third with As Seen On TV (Lookin At Lucky) on the heels of 80-1 shot Shivaree (Awesome of Course) and Holy Bull runner-up Ete Indian (Summer Front), who dueled through a first quarter in :23.75. Tiz the Law inched up a bit onto Ete Indian’s flank through a half in :47.95 as As Seen On TV began to drop out of it and Independence Hall (Constitution) moved into contention.
Ete Indian seized the advantage heading into the far turn, but Tiz the Law ranged up strongly on his outside. They battled their way around the turn, but Tiz the Law took command at the top of the lane and it was all over from there. The native New Yorker rolled clear with ease to stamp himself as one of the top contenders for the First Saturday in September. Longshot Shivaree held on for second over Ete Indien and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Gouverneur Morris (Constitution) was fourth. Independence Hall faded to fifth.
“He is something special,” said Sackatoga Stable’s Jack Knowlton, who campaigned NY-bred GI Kentucky Derby hero Funny Cide with Barclay Tagg. “It would be a lot of fun going to Kentucky in five weeks, but that’s not happening, obviously. Now we get to run some more races. Maybe the [GII Wood] Wood will come back in play. Maybe we can do a Travers-Derby double. Right now it’s a blank slate. Nobody knows what’s going to happen where or when with all that’s going on in the country.”
He continued, “All we know is that we’ve got a horse that’s very special, and it’s pretty exciting for us. Unfortunately none of us could be there today. We were all watching it on TV from coast to coast. Manny just did a fabulous job. [Trainer] Barclay [Tagg] and [assistant] Robin [Smullen] had him prepared and it was just a great effort. He is something special, for sure.”
“That’s what I asked [jockey Manny Franco] to do last time, and he got the hang of it because he did it perfectly this time,” Tagg said. “I just said I’d love you to be third in the two path and he was like third in the three path, but that was fine, because the horse could handle it. I was very impressed, but I’ve been impressed with everything he’s done.”
As for what’s next, the conditioner said, “He’s still got to go out every day. He’s still got to be trained. He’s still got to be fed, so we’ll just keep taking care of him and try and keep him mostly fit and see what happens.”
An impressive victor in his career bow against fellow Empire-breds at Saratoga Aug. 8, Tiz the Law scored another decisive victory in the GI Champagne S. at Belmont Oct. 5. His connections decided to bypass the Breeders’ Cup–taking a more conservative approach and avoiding the trip west to Santa Anita-and instead went to the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at Churchill Downs Nov. 30, where he suffered his first loss, finishing third in the slop.
Tiz the Law is one of five graded/black-type winners from the first crop of rising star stallion Constitution and remains his lone Grade I winner. Twin Creeks Farm purchased his Grade II-winning dam Tizfiz, a full-sister to GSW & GISP Fury Kapcori, for $125,000 in foal to Mineshaft at the 2014 Keeneland November Sale. Her 2014 Tapit filly summoned $525,000 at the following year’s Keeneland September sale and went on to place in multiple stakes. The 16-year-old mare is also responsible for the juvenile filly Angel Oak (Mission Impazible) and a yearling colt by Mission Impazible. She was bred back to Constitution this spring. Tiz the Law also hails from the family of Horse of the Year Favorite Trick (Phone Trick).
Saturday, Gulfstream Park
CURLIN FLORIDA DERBY-GI, $750,000, Gulfstream, 3-28, 3yo,
1 1/8m, 1:50.00, ft.
1–TIZ THE LAW, 122, c, 3, by Constitution
1st Dam: Tizfiz (GSW, $410,944), by Tiznow
2nd Dam: Gin Running, by Go for Gin
3rd Dam: Crafty and Evil, by Crafty Prospector
($110,000 Ylg ’18 SARAUG). O-Sackatoga Stable; B-Twin Creeks
Farm (NY); T-Barclay Tagg; J-Manuel Franco. $446,400.
Lifetime Record: 5-4-0-1, $945,300. *1/2 to Awestruck (Tapit),
MSP, $357,116. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Shivaree, 122, c, 3, Awesome of Course–Garter Belt, by
Anasheed. O/B-Jacks or Better Farm, Inc. (FL); T-Ralph E. Nicks.
3–Ete Indien, 122, c, 3, Summer Front–East India, by Mizzen
Mast. ($85,000 RNA Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $80,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP;
€240,000 2yo ’19 ARQMA). O-Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon,
Dream With Me Stable, Inc., Horse France America, D P Racing
LLC & Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC; B-Robert B. Tillyer & Eric
Buckley (KY); T-Patrick L. Biancone. $72,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, 3/4, NK. Odds: 1.40, 80.90, 2.90.
Also Ran: Gouverneur Morris, Independence Hall, Candy Tycoon, My First Grammy, As Seen On Tv, Rogue Element. Scratched: Ajaaweed, Disc Jockey, Sassy But Smart, Soros.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.