With a coronavirus-caused ban on fans and owners at the park, he wraps up a spot in the Kentucky Derby, if that postponed race goes on as planned in September.
Tiz the Law Trained by Hall of fame Trainer Barley Tagg. ran away in the stretch Saturday to easily win the Florida Derby, wrapping up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law's victory at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.
It's a feel-good story for a sport in need of one: Tiz the Law is owned by Sackatoga Stable, the upstate New York-based group that took the sport by storm when Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 2003. "Man, I hope they're really happy," winning jockey Manny Franco said about the Sackatoga group led by Jack Knowlton, who was watching the race from a condo in Hallandale Beach, Florida, about a mile from the track. "Their horse did a great job."Franco said he got instructions before the race over the phone from winning trainer Barclay Tagg, but said he didn't have to do much work once the gate opened.
"I give all the credit to the horse," Franco said.
Ordinarily, Tiz the Law would now be immediately targeted to the Kentucky Derby because it had been set to be run five weeks from Saturday. But the pandemic has changed everything, and now it's unclear when or where any of the top Derby contenders -- Tiz the Law now foremost among them -- will run again.
There isn't another major Kentucky Derby prep scheduled, for now, until May 2 when the Arkansas Derby is set to be run. Other major preps -- such as the Santa Anita Derby, the Wood Memorial and the Blue Grass -- are all on hold.