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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Veteran trainer Barclay Tagg has decided that Tiz the Law will not run in the Preakness Stakes, according to a report by David Grening of Daily Racing Form.

“Since we have no shot at winning the Triple Crown, our big goal with this colt is of course the Breeders’ Cup,” Tagg told the DRF.

“We really want to go into the Breeders’ Cup with a fresh, happy horse.”

The colt’s connections are making a wise choice. The winner of the Florida Derby, Belmont, Travers and runnerup to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby had more to lose than gain in Baltimore.

As was pointed out here in an On The Line column, September 8, a loss to Authentic in Baltimore would have cost the year-long divisional leader the three-year-old championship.

And as stated here this week, ‘Tiz’ has not had a timed workout since the Derby.

Tiz the Law could have regained his stature by winning the Classic, but the Breeders’ Cup would have been his fourth Grade 1 appearance from late July through early November, three races at a mile and a quarter and one at 1-3/16s miles.

This is 2020, not 1970.

However, should an eight-week fresh Tiz the Law win the Classic, defeating the best horses of all ages available, he would be a very heavy favorite to win the Horse of the Year title and, of course, the divisional crown that goes with it.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is November 7 at Keeneland Race Course.


Pimlico Starting Gate on its Way to Filling Up

With Tiz the Law watching the Preakness from his stall, Max Player is headed to 2020’s third jewel in the Triple Crown. His entering currently him the only horse to compete in all three legs — plus the Travers.

Max Player finished third in the Belmont Stakes, third in the Travers and most recently fifth in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen ran Max Player for the first time in the Derby, replacing New York-based Linda Rice.

“I’m very excited because I haven’t been in the Preakness yet,” said owner George Hall. “Steve and I stay in close contact… and we discuss things. We both agreed we’d take a lot of things into consideration…

“Steve watched him closely and he was in great shape. He’s galloped well. He’s breezed well. We felt the horse was at the peak of his game and is ready to run.”

additional reporting was provided by Pimlico press staff

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Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

21 Responses

  1. Any murmurs about a possible jockey change if any top jockey will be available? I would look around and hope for any feelers,interest from more experienced riders than M Franco. There are many Million$ at stake now and later on Tiz’ s honeymoon with benefit$ after retirement.

  2. I don’t think that’s fair or the right decision. He knows him, oh, and FRANCO DID NOTHING WRONG! Tiz regressed, two 10 furlong races in a month can be too much for today’s Thoroughbred, especially one that ran hard and fast to win the Travers…

  3. As C correctly stated in your Sept. 8th posting, “The Derby Blame Game…,” Tiz would probably show up at Keeneland for BC (and not Preakness). I have a question for you? Knowing that TTL was going in KY Derby having won The Belmont Stakes, do you think it was a mistake for Team Tiz to run in The Travers? I know they are from Saratoga so it is an emotional decision but, now that both Travers and DY have been run and it is the general opinion Tiz is tired maybe it was a mistake (to run in Travers). Glad he’s skipping Preakness in favor of BC. Also, greatly appreciate the head shot of TTL with that amazing white blaze of his. Hard to miss.


    Just checked Spendthrift Farm’s Stud Fee chart and Runhappy goes for 25k. I did notice that in February a filly from his second crop sold for 125k at KY Winter Sale so maybe he’ll do ok down the road. It really is kinda cool how Mattress Mac splashes Runhappy’s name all over the place. I remember when he zipped home a winner in BC Sprint. A really fast horse, Runhappy.

  4. Referring to yourself in the third person, a little strange C, but OK.

    I wrote in that piece that they should do the best thing for themselves and the colt by going into the B Cup fresh, which is what they’re doing.

    This is Saratoga’s hometown horse, as such, if you’re odds on to win the Travers, that’s where you run. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one? For horses you could write that in bold caps.

    Was it a bit much? The way it turned out, it was. But that’s red-boarding. I saw all his works leading up to the Derby. Maybe they were too good too, leaving him a bit flat on race-day. It would be a good question to ask the connections. If I can, I will.

    1. President Trump often refers to himself in 3rd person as in, “They like Trump.” I think I was taking my cue from him, ha, ha. I guess going in Travers makes sense because the purse is strong and he is the hometown fave. I saw that you can buy TTL ice cream flavor up there. Is it commonplace for 3-YO’s to beat older in BC Classic? I’m thinking Curlin did it in 2007 but I may be wrong. I will be rooting hard for TTL in BC Classic, along with a lot of other people. Also was listening to some covereage of the Keeneland Sales (Tapit filly fetches 1.25m) and heard that Runhappy’s are not selling that well. But a woman expert went on to say that sometimes with sires it takes a while for them to have really good offspring. Not sure I understood this but the whole breeding “game” is kinda tricky. Like you said, Starship Jubilee’s father cost 2m and she has made her daddy proud with big earnings haul. Rooting for her in BC also.

  5. If we’re being honest about it, the early analysis of the Runhappy first crop would not be pretty. They had to have been hoping for a better start

    1. I’m afraid you’re right, Doc. Haven’t seen a lot of them either. Nick Zito saddles one Saturday for Mattress Mack (3rd race Belmont)

  6. C, a few things, first, never take any cues from a Killer in Chief, ha ha, or no ha ha. And I will never “undersell” that…

    Yes, Curlin, and six others, won the Classic at 3.

    Runhappy’s are not selling well because his first crop is underperforming badly; trends make trends. I admire Mr. Mcingvale for his support of his sire and the game in general and, while no confirmation expert, they are not particularly attractive.

    Yes, sometimes it takes sires time to become successful; mothers have something to do with success, too. But the expert is being disingenuous. First instance, how is Constitution doing–speaking of TTL.

    Starship’s father stood for $2K, not 2$M.

    I do not have the inside scoop on the TTL ice cream, right?


    Just checked Spendthrift Farm’s Stud Fee chart and Runhappy goes for 25k. I did notice that in February a filly from his second crop sold for 125k at KY Winter Sale so maybe he’ll do ok down the road. It really is kinda cool how Mattress Mac splashes Runhappy’s name all over the place. I remember when he zipped home a winner in BC Sprint. A really fast horse, Runhappy.

    Claiborne Farm is where you’ll find Runhappy, not Spendthrift.

    1. If you only had one-half of the anger for your political party, then one (note the 3rd party reference) might listen to your politics. Unfortunate . . . but I’ll continue to tune in for the racing commentary and great stories from the HRI Faithful, like Kim Mason. .

      1. Richard, this one’s for you because I know you missed it.

        I’ve called for the Chairman of the DNC to resign. I’ve ridiculed Democrats for often being gutless and ineffectual, and I’ve also gone after mainstream media for their coverage, saying that it was not strong enough.

        I am extremely loyal to MSNBC for their truth telling but have criticized them for offering too much punditry and not enough detailed reporting a la Rachel Maddow, deserving of Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for just the reporting she did two nights ago.

        ICYMI, it was how the CDC was pressured by a Drumpf appointee to completely water-down and de-fang an EPI-team report, written after they were sent to investigate the overwhelming number of Covid positives and deaths at the Smithfield meat plant, turning recommendations into “suggestions,” another victory for corporate greed and political clout over “the people.”

        Finally, as to the coming “rigged” election, I have faith–not overwhelming confidence–that Killer Potus, who knew about the threat and badly undersold it and “took no responsibility” for the “China virus,” taking credit for the fact that there are only 200,000 dead Americans instead of two million because of the “A+” job that he’s done–all that actually matters little in the big picture.

        This election is linear: democracy v. fascism. If Drumpf wins–name change after his family “Immigrated” to America–it will result in the death of 240 years of paying in blood and treasure for those our ideals.

        Absent that, the executive editor at HRI hopes you continue to return for the racing coverage.

        1. I’m pleased to hear that you challenge some of these Democratic leaders. You are correct: If it was broadcast by MSNBC, then I didn’t see it. Obviously, we are on totally opposite ends of the political spectrum. I call out some of your comments because others here – and many of them share my viewpoint – choose to remain silent. Calling the President “Killer in Chief” is, in my opinion, completely and outlandishly irresponsible. Do you think that – even for one second – Hillary or anyone else on the Democratic side would have been better prepared to operate in a pandemic crisis mode ???

          I’ll still be tuned in for the excellent HRI racing coverage, but I’m prepared to jump in and counter your biased political arguments at any time.

          1. Richard do as you like but I won’t engage. If what was revealed in the Woodward book AND tapes heard with my own ears, that he knew and deliberately played down the danger, bypassed the advice of science, politicized mask-wearing and makes outrageous statements after mask-less people have died at his super-spreader rallies, there’s nothing more to say.

            Drumpf IS responsible for lives lost–not all 200,000–but enough of them. What about the pressure placed on CDCV Epidemiologists who risked their lives to stop or retard the spread of disease with strongly worded recommendations, rewriting the report the very next day with words like “suggested” and “when possible.”

            And those who remain silent hear apparently wish not to defend the indefensible. But then there are those who value the status quo and care less about the future because they have theirs. And he said the silent part out loud- that he will contest the election results no matter the margin using Constitutional loopholes.

            I’d tell you to read the Atlantic piece by Barton Gellman from today or yesterday on this how the WH is developing a strategy to use their own electors to declare Drumpf the winner in swing states such as PA and FLA and declare the incumbent the winner because the vote is inviolate, no matter the margin. But it won’t matter because facts don’t matter to his cult-like supporters.

            #DemocracyOrFascism. You choose. Do you want this autocratic nightmare to continue?

            Ultimately, this American horror story won’t be over until inauguration day, and the Constitution, precedent, and all those who died on a battlefield defending democracy be damned. I wish for our potus only what he wishes for the American people.

            On this topic with you here, in the future and as stated previously, I’m out!

  7. John, interesting tactic, for one who doesn’t wish to engage. You start the political conversation, end the political conversation and delivered at least ten times more commentary than I offered to you. Suffice to say, when you remark “Killer in Chief”, “Drumpf”, “Fascism” or the like, you should 100% of the time expect a reply – that is, after provoking about half your audience. But I’ll stop here, confident in knowing that I have the far superior presidential candidate in President Trump.

    1. Mr. Moore’s misguided missives are so far unmatched in motivating the HRI Executive Editor’s energetically effective expression of justifiable disenchantment with the incumbent potus.

      I never doubt that – even for one second – Hillary or MOST LEADERS on the Democratic side would have been better prepared to operate in a pandemic crisis mode.

      A competent approach would have embraced the truth and unified the public to cooperatively contain the disease in an orderly, science-based fashion; and saved lives –- or at least extended them until more effective treatment and prevention could be established — both this year and next.

      Instead this administration has magnified the stress imposed by the Pandemic on most U.S. citizens, and compounded it by threatening the integrity of elections and the orderly transfer of power.

      Voters should not only ask themselves if they are better off now than they were in 2016, but also whether the country is likely to remain a democracy under a second Trump presidential term.

      1. Indulto. “misguided missives” ??? I’ll take the opposite position to your full commentary and, I firmly believe, will be much closer to the truth.

        The rest of this post has been deleted. There will be no more defense of the indefensible in this space. That ended 48 hours ago when a would-be-king autocrat raised the possibility of a less-than-peaceful transition of power on Inauguration Day, thus creating a Constitutional crisis following the results of an election.
        Mr. Moore and I have had our dust-up. It ends here. Come for the racing and sports and we’ll leave it there. If that doesn’t work for everyone…well, while it’s still America, you’re free to change the channel.

        1. I’ll trust, John, that you will refrain from posting further political commentary on a horse racing website. I responded to your messages only. Never have initiated a battle with you or anyone else on HRI. I’ve simply chosen to counter your arguments.

          Please feel free to delete this post, too. I won’t be offended; I’m here for the racing.

  8. Richard, if I make political commentary, on my website, and it’s not directed at you, and you respond to me that might be of issue.

    But having said that, you are more than welcome for the racing, I promise you sir.

    1. The above being said, politically, we couldn’t be further apart. Racing-wise, you are still my go-to authority on this game and your viewpoint is very highly valued.

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