July 5, 2020

Tiz the Law favored at 6-5 as Belmont Stakes kicks off the Triple Crown

Tiz the Law proved much the best in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (c) Derbe Glass/Adam Coglianese Photo

Tiz the Law has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1), which kicks off the 2020 Triple Crown in this unorthodox racing season. Delayed two weeks from the original date, the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes has been shortened to 1 1/8 miles from the traditional 1 1/2-mile distance.

The Belmont Stakes will precede the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby and the October 3 Preakness Stakes. It offers points on a 150-60-30-15 scale to the top four finishers as a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.

Tiz the Law enters with a two-race win streak, opening the year stylishly with a three-length tally in the Holy Bull (G3) and romping by 4 1/4 lengths in the March 28 Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. From the first crop of Constitution, the once-beaten colt will break from post 8 with regular rider Manny Franco, and Tiz the Law showed an affinity for Belmont Park when posting a four-length score in the Champagne (G1) last October.

Barclay Tagg trains the New York-bred for Sackatoga Stables, the same connections of 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, and Tiz the Law is likely to be an odds-on favorite by post time as the lone Grade 1 winner in the 10-horse field.

Sam F. Davis (G3) winner and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) runner-up Sole Volante comes next on the morning line at 9-2. Conditioned by Patrick Biancone, the Karakontie gelding returned from a three-month freshening with an allowance/optional claiming win at Gulfstream on June 10, rallying to win going away by about a length. The confirmed late runner wheels back on 10 days rest, and Luca Panini rides.

Dr Post has been pegged at 5-1 following a 1 1/2-length tally in his stakes debut, the April 25 Unbridled at Gulfstream Park. A maiden scorer two starts back, dark bay son of Quality Road is one of two entrants for three-time Belmont Stakes winner Todd Pletcher, and Dr Post will keep leading rider Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle. Pletcher will also send out the closer Farmington Road, a 15-1 outsider following a belated fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Tap It to Win, who blitzed entry-level allowance rivals at Belmont by a five-length margin on June 4, is listed as the early 6-1 fourth choice. By Tapit, who has sired three Belmont Stakes winners, the Mark Casse trainee looks like the probable pacesetter from his rail post with Joel Rosario.

Steve Asmussen will be seeking his second Belmont Stakes victory with a pair of runners. Once-beaten Pneumatic, third when making his stakes debut in the May 23 Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill, has the best chance of the duo, and Ricardo Santana Jr. will be in for the mount. Stablemate Jungle Runner, eighth in the Arkansas Derby, is the longest shot in the field at 50-1.

Completing the lineup are Grade 2 victor Modernist, last seen finishing third in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G3); Max Player, who makes his first start since capturing the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on Feb. 1; and Fore Left, who will nine furlongs following a Group 3 sprint win at Meydan in early February.