Confirming a report from Bill Finley in the Nov. 11 edition of the TDN, Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution) will train on in 2021 as a 4-year-old, with the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 23 as his target. In a release pushed across its social media channels Thursday afternoon, Sackatoga announced that Manny Franco, who had ridden Tiz the Law to victories in the GI Curlin Florida Derby, GI Belmont S. and GI Runhappy Travers S. and to a runner-up effort to Authentic (Into Mischief) in the GI Kentucky Derby, would be replaced by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
In last Saturday's GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, Tiz the Law broke alertly from gate two, but was taken hold of by Franco to sit behind the pacesetting Authentic. He came under pressure with about three furlongs to race and could make no late impact, finishing sixth as the 3.20-1 favorite.
When asked during a Tuesday interview if a change in the saddle could be coming, Sackatoga Managing Partner Jack Knowlton told Finley: “I think that's certainly on the table. “I don't think any of us were pleased with his ride. I was in the paddock when [trainer] Barclay [Tagg] talked to Manny and gave him his instructions, how he wanted to see him ride him and where he wanted him to put the horse in the race. Unfortunately, that did not happen.”
Franco's agent, Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero, also booked mounts for Velazquez for better than 25 years, but the two parted ways earlier this year. Cordero was not shocked at Thursday's developments.
“It was not a surprise to me,” he told Finley. “I knew as soon as Manny got beat on him he was going to be removed. I am grateful that they gave us the opportunity to ride him. We won some big, important races on him that put us on the map. Maybe one day we'll get another horse like him. He's a good horse. Not too many people get to ride a horse like that.”