February 23, 2024

Tiz the Law works out trip in Holy Bull triumph

Tiz the Law opened his 3-year-old season with a sharp win in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park (c) Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photography

Tiz the Law broke on top and led the field into the first turn of Saturday’s $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Manny Franco wanted no part of that trip and took a sharp hold, easing back to stalk the action. He eventually angled his mount towards the outside, and Tiz the Law advanced to overhaul the pacesetter entering the stretch.

The 6-5 favorite drew off to a three-length decision in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.

Barclay Tagg trains Tiz the Law for Sackatoga Stables, the same connections as 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide. The New York-bred son of Constitution rebounded Saturday from his lone setback, a third in the Nov. 30 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in which he did not experience a clean journey while stuck behind rivals along the rail down the backstretch.

Tagg was relieved to see his pupil avoid similar circumstances in the Holy Bull.

“His race was perfect,” Tagg said. “We told (Franco) to ‘stay off the rail no matter what you have to do. Lose the ground and go around them.’ It worked out perfectly.”

Tiz the Law completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.04.

“He ran like I expected him,” Franco said. “He got out of there and I was able to decide where I wanted to be. For a second, I had to make the turn and I was back on the rail, but when I saw those guys putting pressure on I was able to drop back and get outside where I wanted to be. After that, he jumped in the bit and I was traveling like I wanted.

“You can see on the first turn, when I took him to the clear on the outside, he got comfortable…I was so happy. He galloped out good. When he felt the horses again, he wanted to go. I am so grateful and happy to be here and get the win.”

The first of three Kentucky Derby qualifiers at Gulfstream Park, the Holy Bull awarded points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers. Tiz the Law moved to second on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 22 points, picking up 10 for the Champagne and two for the Kentucky Jockey Club.

Ete Indien assumed pacesetting duties when Tiz the Law took back, establishing splits in :23.31 and :46.60 while being chased by Relentless Dancer. Tiz the Law made his move on the far turn, and he shook clear while straightening into the short stretch drive.

Ete Indien, who recorded a convincing maiden tally while switching from turf to dirt in his previous start, held second by 11 1/2 lengths. The Patrick Biancone trainee was off as the 4-1 third choice. The rest of the field was spread out as well. Toledo, the 9-5 second choice, came next in third, and it was another 4 1/4 lengths to Relentless Dancer in fourth. Mayberry Deputy, Uncork the Bottle and Clear Destination completed the order.

After winning his debut at Saratoga, Tiz the Law attracted Kentucky Derby attention with a powerful four-length win in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. He was bet down as 11-1 choice among individual interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager in late November.

The $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on Feb. 29 and $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 28 are the next Kentucky Derby preps at Gulfstream, but Tagg indicated Tiz the Law may ship to New Orleans for the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 21.

“We’ll try to stretch it out a little bit,” Tagg said. “They’re just young horses. We’ll probably go to Louisiana.”

Bred by Twin Creeks Farm, Tiz the Law was purchased for $110,000 as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred August sale. He is out of the Tiznow mare Tizfiz, a Grade 2 turf winner, and this is the extended female family of 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick.