By NYRA Press Staff — Sackatoga Stable’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes champ Tiz the Law, bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, breezed five furlongs in 59.63 seconds Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers, a 1 1/4-mile test for sophomores, on August 8.
Tiz the Law visited the main track at 8:45 a.m. under mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s. The Constitution bay, working solo under exercise rider Heather Smullen, breezed through splits of 24.40, 35.60 and galloped out three-quarters in 1:12.84 over a fast main track.
Trainer Barclay Tagg, on track to oversee the breeze, said he liked what he saw.
“I thought the work was good. He did it just right. The time was good. Everything was good,” Tagg said.
Tiz the Law will breeze twice more ahead of the Runhappy Travers, which offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers “He came out nice and strong,” said Sackatoga Stables operations manager Jack Knowlton.
“Obviously the new racetrack was no impediment for him, so it’s just one more step. We’ve got three weeks from today. He’ll have two more works and then we’re ready to go. You can see how fit he is.
A winner at first asking in August at Saratoga, Tiz the Law followed up with a four-length score in the Grade 1 Champagne in October at Belmont.
He completed his juvenile campaign with a close third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, contested on a sloppy strip at Churchill Downs.
Tiz the Law wintered at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida, and opened his sophomore season at Gulfstream Park with a three-length score in the Grade 3 Holy Bull in February. He then dominated the nine-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby by 4 ¼ lengths on March 28.
Last out, Tiz the Law captured the first leg of the revised Triple Crown when 3 ¾-lengths the best in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes.
Tagg and Sackatoga Stable traveled the Triple Crown road in 2003 with New York-bred in Funny Cide. The Distorted Humor chestnut prevailed by 1 ¾-lengths in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby under jockey Jose Santos. He followed up with a 9 ¾-length score in the Grade 1 Preakness, but finished third in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes after setting the early pace in his Triple Crown bid.
Knowlton said he relishes the opportunity to run Tiz the Law in the Runhappy Travers, especially since Funny Cide was scratched from the 2003 Travers.
“There’s nothing like the Derby, but obviously we would like to win the race that Funny Cide didn’t have a chance to run in,” Knowlton said. “Hopefully this will be a stepping stone to success in Kentucky. We’re on a nice roll. We won a Classic, we won two other Grade 1s, and we won three out of three this year, so four out of four going into the Derby would be great.”
Tiz the Law, who leads all contenders with 272 Derby qualifying points, will contest a unique Triple Crown scenario that will continue with the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, rescheduled from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, September 5, as the second leg of the Classic series. The Grade 1 Preakness, originally slated for May 16, will close out the Triple Crown on October 3 at Pimlico Race Course.
The Runhappy Travers Day card is headlined by the “Mid-Summer Derby” for the country’s most talented 3-year-olds and is one of three Grade 1s on the day, joining the $300,000 Ballerina for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up going seven furlongs in a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
The day will also see sophomore fillies compete in the prestigious Grade 1, $300,000 Longines Test at seven furlongs, with the card bolstered by the Grade 3, $200,000 Troy, a 5 ½-furlong turf sprint for older males, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Waya , a 1 ½-mile turf route for older fillies and mares.
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