Tiz the Law

Tiz the Law
Sire Constitution
Grandsire Tapit
Dam Tizfiz
Damsire Tiznow
Sex Stallion
Foaled (2017-03-19) March 19, 2017 (age 4)[1]
Country USA
Colour Bay
Breeder Twin Creeks Farm
Owner Sackatoga Stable
Trainer Barclay Tagg
Record 9: 6–1–1
Earnings $2,615,300[2]
Major wins
Champagne Stakes (2019)
Holy Bull Stakes (2020)
Florida Derby (2020)
Travers Stakes (2020)
U.S. Triple Crown series:
Belmont Stakes (2020)
New York bred Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse (2019)
New York bred Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2020)
New York bred Horse of the Year (2019, 2020)
Last updated on September 5, 2020

Tiz the Law (foaled March 19, 2017) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2020 Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes. Owned by Sackatoga Stable, he is the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont since Forester in 1882. He also won the Champagne Stakes at age two. He was the heavy favorite for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, but finished second to Authentic.


Tiz the Law is a bay horse with a broad white blaze, bred in New York state by Twin Creeks Farm. As a yearling in 2018 he was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and was bought for $110,000 by Jack Knowlton.[2] Knowlton is a founder of Sackatoga Stable, and formed a syndicate of 35 partners who race the colt under Sackatoga colors. The colt was sent into training with Barclay Tagg, who had previously handled Sackatoga's 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide.[3]

Tiz the Law is from the first crop of foals by Constitution, a Kentucky-bred stallion whose wins included the Florida Derby and the Donn Handicap.[4] Tiz the Law's dam Tizfiz, a daughter of Tiznow, was a successful racemare who included the Grade II San Gorgonio Handicap among her seven track victories.[5] Her grand-dam Crafty And Evil was a half-sister to Favorite Trick.

Racing career

2019: two-year-old season

Tiz the Law's first race was on August 8, 2019, at Saratoga in a maiden special weight race for New York-bred two-year-olds. He rated in fourth place behind a fast early pace then swung to the outside as the turned into the stretch. He quickly went to the lead and continued to widen his margin down the stretch, winning by 4+1⁄4 lengths while under a hold.[6]

Tiz the Law made his second start on October 5 at Belmont Park where Tagg stepped him sharply up in class by entering him in the 2019 Champagne Stakes, New York's most important race for two-year-old colts. The favorite in the field of six was Green Light Go, winner of the Saratoga Special, who went to the early lead. Tiz the Law stumbled at the start then settled at the back of the pack. He started his move on the turn but briefly ran into traffic. When he finally found racing room, Tiz the Law quickly took command of the race and drew off to win by four lengths.[7][8]

Although the win gave the colt a free entry into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile four weeks later, Tagg opted to miss the race, commenting, "It's a little close, and I think it will be pushing him".[3] He instead finished out his 2019 season in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on November 30 at Churchill Downs. Over a sloppy track, Tiz the Law was close to the early pace but became trapped in a pocket and did not respond quickly enough when he finally got racing room.[9]

Due to his win at the 2019 Champagne Stakes, Tiz the Law was the early favorite on the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby.[10]

2020: three-year-old season

Tiz the Law began his 2020 season on February 1 with a win in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Florida. On March 28, he easily won the Grade I Florida Derby at the same track. By that time though, Florida was one of the few racing jurisdictions not to be closed down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kentucky, Maryland and New York had all put racing on hold, which meant that the Triple Crown races held in those states would need to be rescheduled. Churchill Downs had already announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby, normally held on the first Saturday in May, would instead be held on the first Saturday in September. Tiz the Law's connections decided to give the colt a break while waiting for the racing schedule for the rest of the year to develop. "You plan on being at Louisville in five weeks and we have a horse who had a great chance to win on the first Saturday in May", said Knowlton. "Now we have to find a path to get him to the first Saturday in September and with the way the world is now, no one knows what that path looks like."[11]

Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland announced in mid-May that the 2020 Preakness Stakes would be held on October 3.[12] When Belmont Park was finally reopened for racing on June 1, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) was faced with a difficult scheduling choice. If the 2020 Belmont Stakes followed the Preakness, as had become traditional, the race would conflict with the Breeders' Cup to be held in early November. NYRA ultimately decided to hold the race on June 20, making it the first race of the Triple Crown series for the first time. Because many horses, including Tiz the Law, had not raced since the shutdown in March, they also decided to shorten the race from its traditional distance of 1+1⁄2 miles to 1+1⁄8 miles, changing it from the longest race of the series to the shortest. "I think given the circumstances this was the best choice", said trainer Todd Pletcher. "A mile and a half wasn't going to fit many horses at this stage. It was the right move."[13]

Tiz the Law was the morning line favorite, at 6-to-5.[14] Tap It to Win went to the early lead and set a moderate pace. Tiz the Law raced in stalking position a few lengths behind, then launched his move on the turn. He moved by Tap It to Win near the head of the stretch and continued to draw away, winning by 3+3⁄4 lengths. Dr Post closed ground late to finish second. "Barclay had him in great shape", said Knowlton, who had to watch the race remotely as even owners were not allowed at the racetrack. "People were talking about the layoff, but he won (after) eight weeks off and nine weeks off, and now he did it in (12). Barclay was brimming with confidence, which is unlike him, and 'Tiz' got the job done easily."[15][16]

Although many jockeys had sought the mount, Tagg stayed with the relatively inexperienced Manuel Franco, who thus won the Belmont in his first try. Tiz the Law became the first New-York bred to win the race since Forester in 1882.[16]

Because of Sackatoga Stables' connections to Saratoga, one of their main goals was to win the racetrack's premier race, the Travers Stakes. Normally scheduled at the end of August, the Travers was moved up to August 8 as part of the 2020 changes to the racing schedule prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance at the track was limited, but unlike at the Belmont Stakes, some of the owners were allowed to attend. Tiz the Law was made the heavy 1-2 favorite in a field of seven, with Uncle Chuck the second choice at almost 3–1. Uncle Chuck went to the early lead and set a reasonable pace with Tiz the Law poised to the outside about a length behind. Rounding the final turn, Tiz the Law moved gradually closer. Uncle Chuck's jockey went to the whip while Franco on Tiz the Law remained still until they entered the stretch. Franco then released his horse, who quickly opened a lead of several lengths. Tiz the Law geared down for the final sixteenth but still won going away by 5+1⁄2 lengths. "He gave me chills", Franco said. "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. I'm looking forward to the next race."[17][18]

"After winning the Kentucky Derby [with Funny Cide in 2002], which is really the highlight for anyone who is involved in this sport, this is easily number 2", said Knowlton. "It's quite an accomplishment for our little stable of New York-breds, and for Barclay Tagg training them, to win the two biggest races in New York. We're just thrilled to death."[17]

Tiz the Law's next start was the Kentucky Derby on September 5, in which he was the heavy favorite.[17] On the far turn, Tiz The Law sprinted into second place and started moving closer and closer to the leader, Authentic. But he couldn't make up the lengths he needed to overtake the leader, finishing second by 1+1⁄4 lengths.[19]

On September 22, the owning stable of Tiz the Law announced that he would not run in the 2020 Preakness Stakes.[20]

Tiz the Law next raced in the 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic where he finished sixth. He was expected to do a lot better, but from his number 2 post he had to run on the rail when he usually runs best on the outside, and had a rough trip down the homestretch.

Racing statistics

Date Age Distance Race Grade Track Odds Field Finish Winning Time Winning
Jockey Ref
Aug 8, 2019 2 6+1⁄2 furlongs Maiden Special Weight Saratoga 3.55 8 1 1:18.02 4+1⁄2 lengths Junior Alvarado [6]
Oct 5, 2019 2 1 mile Champagne Stakes I Belmont Park 1.40 6 1 1:35.41 4 lengths Manuel Franco [8]
Nov 30, 2019 2 1+1⁄16 miles Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes II Churchill Downs 0.60* 8 3 1:45.94 ( 3⁄4 lengths) Manuel Franco [21]
Feb 1, 2020 3 1+1⁄16 miles Holy Bull Stakes III Gulfstream Park 1.30* 7 1 1:42.04 3 lengths Manuel Franco [22]
Mar 28, 2020 3 1+1⁄8 miles Florida Derby I Gulfstream Park 1.40* 9 1 1:50.00 4+1⁄4 lengths Manuel Franco [23]
Jun 20, 2020 3 1+1⁄8 miles Belmont Stakes I Belmont Park 0.80* 10 1 1:46.53 3+3⁄4 lengths Manuel Franco [24]
Aug 8, 2020 3 1+1⁄4 miles Travers Stakes I Saratoga 0.50* 7 1 2:00.95 5+1⁄2 lengths Manuel Franco [18]
Sep 5, 2020 3 1+1⁄4


Kentucky Derby I Churchill Downs 0.70* 15 2 2:00.61 ( 1+1⁄4 lengths) Manuel Franco [19]
Nov 7, 2020 3 1+1⁄4 miles Breeders' Cup Classic I Keeneland 3.20* 10 6 1:59.60 (7 ΒΌ lengths) Manuel Franco


Pedigree of Tiz the Law (USA), 2017 [1]
Constitution (USA)
Tapit (USA)
Pulpit A.P. Indy
Tap Your Heels Unbridled
Ruby Slippers
Baffled (USA)
Distorted Humor Forty Niner
Danzig's Beauty
Surf Club Ocean Crest
Horns Gray
Tizfiz (USA)
Tiznow (USA)
Cee's Tizzy Relaunch
Cee's Song Seattle Song
Lonely Dancer
Gin Running (USA)
Go For Gin Cormorant
Never Knock
Crafty And Evil Crafty Prospector
Evil Elaine

Tiz the Law is inbred 5S x 5D to Seattle Slew, meaning this sire appears in the fifth generation of his pedigree on both the sire and dam side. He is also inbred 5S x 5S x 5D to Mr. Prospector.


  1. ^ a b "Tiz the Law pedigree". Equineline.
  2. ^ a b "Tiz the Law". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Tiz the Law Much the Best in Champagne Stakes". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Constitution Profile". Equibase.
  5. ^ "Tizfiz Profile". Equibase.
  6. ^ a b "Chart for Saratoga Race 5, August 8, 2019". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Tiz the Law Lays it Down in Champagne". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Chart of the 2019 Champagne Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Silver Prospector upsets Tiz the Law in Kentucky Jockey Club". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Kentucky Derby Futures: Fast-Rising Contenders from Top Trainers". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Tiz the Law triumphs in Florida Derby". www.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Preakness Stakes Rescheduled for October". The New York Times. 16 May 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Belmont Stakes Goes From Longest Classic to Shortest". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Iyer, Vinnie (June 19, 2020). "Belmont Stakes horses, odds, expert picks & more for first leg of 2020 Triple Crown". Sporting News. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "Tiz the Law earns clear victory in Belmont Stakes". www.bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  16. ^ a b Drape, Joe (June 20, 2020). "Tiz the Law Wins an Unusual Belmont Stakes". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c "Tiz the Law Rolls Home in Travers". BloodHorse.com. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "Chart for the Travers Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Chart for the 2020 Kentucky Derby". Equibase. September 5, 2020. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  20. ^ Bengel, Chris (September 23, 2020). "Tiz the Law, Belmont Stakes winner, won't run in Preakness Stakes". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  21. ^ "Chart for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Chart for the Holy Bull Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  23. ^ "Chart for the Florida Derby". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Chart for the Belmont Stakes". Equibase. Retrieved 9 August 2020.

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