A dominant winner in all four starts this year, including the June 20 Belmont Stakes (G1), Tiz the Law delivered his most impressive performance to date posting a spectacular 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s $1 million Travers (G1) at spectator-less Saratoga.
With Manny Franco up for owner Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law broke well from post 5 and raced up close in third as Uncle Chuck showed the way with Shivaree chasing in second. The pace was moderate (:23.65, :48.36, and 1:11.95) as Tiz the Law traveled three-wide down the backstretch, and the bay colt began to edge closer on the far turn.
Tiz the Law seized control entering the stretch, quickly accelerating clear while never being seriously asked by Franco, and 1-2 favorite powered his way home to score with resounding ease.
“I didn’t expect a race like that, but we’ll take it. He ran huge,” Franco said. “He was there the whole way for me and I was just waiting for the moment because it is a long way to go – a mile and a quarter – and he hasn’t gone that distance before, so I’m trying to save as much horse as I could before I made my move.
“He gave me chills. When I pressed the button, he just took off. He accelerated really hard. After that, I took a peek back and he was going away and I just saved horse.”
A New York-bred son of Constitution, Tiz the Law completed the 1 1/4-mile distance in a sharp 2:00.95.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve always wanted to win the Travers,” Tagg said. “This has been in my head my whole life. And now it happened so it couldn’t be better. You always have some doubt because many different things can happen. That’s always in the back of you’re a mind, but I was very confident in the horse.”
Tiz the Law will now return to his pursuit of the Triple Crown, with the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs up next. The Oct. 3 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico and Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland are viable targets this fall.
“It’s just so exciting,” said Jack Knowlton, operating manager of Sackatoga. “To be in the race and to be 1-2, there’s a lot of pressure. We had well-wishers from everywhere. We saw a performance today that just blows me away. We know we had a nice horse. We thought we had the best horse. To do what he did today, we’re looking forward to going to Kentucky.”
A major qualifier in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the Travers was worth points on a 100-40-20-10 scale to the top four.
Caracaro, the 11-1 third choice in the seven-horse field, rallied from midpack to be second while never threatening the winner. It was two lengths back to late-running Max Player in third, and South Bend finished another couple of lengths back in fourth. Country Grammer, 5-2 second choice Uncle Chuck, and Shivaree came next under the wire.
After becoming the first New York-bred victor of the Belmont Stakes in 138 years, Tiz the Law joined Thunder Rumble (1992) as the only New York-bred winners of the Travers, which is also known as the “Mid-Summer Derby,” since the 1800s. He was bred by Twin Creeks Farm. Knowlton purchased Tiz the Law for $110,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.
Out of the Grade 2-winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz, who is also the dam of multiple stakes-placed Awestruck, Tiz the Law counts 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin as his second maternal broodmare sire.
A debut maiden winner at Saratoga, Tiz the Law captured the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park the second time out. He sustained his lone setback when recording a troubled third over a sloppy track in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in late November.
Tiz the Law came back stronger at age 3, opening the season with convincing wins in the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream, and rolled to a 3 3/4-length triumph in the Belmont Stakes at a shortened 1 1/8-mile distance.
With Saturday’s payday, Tiz the Law has now earned $2,015,300.