September 23, 2020

Tiz the Law meets Uncle Chuck, Country Grammer in eight-horse Travers

Tiz the Law wins the Belmont Stakes
Tiz the Law proved much the best in the Belmont Stakes (Coglianese Photos)

Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law has been installed as the even-money morning line favorite in Saturday’s $1 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga. A couple of new rivals, Los Alamitos Derby (G3) winner Uncle Chuck and Peter Pan (G3) scorer Country Grammer, will step up to face the 3-year-old divisional leader in the eight-horse field.

A three-time Grade 1 victor, Tiz the Law improved to 3-for-3 this year with his facile 3 3/4-length triumph in the June 20 Belmont Stakes. Barclay Tagg trains the New York-bred son of Constitution for Sackatoga Stable, and regular rider Manny Franco will be up.

A major qualifier in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the 1 1/4-mile Travers will offer points on a 100-40-20-10 scale toward a berth in the Run for the Roses.

Uncle Chuck, the early 5-2 second choice, romped by seven lengths when making his career debut over a two-turn mile at Santa Anita in mid-June  and improved to 2-for-2 with a four-length tally in the July 4 Los Alamitos Derby. A late nominee to the Triple Crown, the Uncle Mo colt is trained by three-time Travers winner Bob Baffert, and Luis Saez will pilot the front-runner.

Country Grammer earned his first stakes victory with a neck decision in the July 16 Peter Pan at Saratoga. A troubled fifth when making his initial stakes attempt earlier this season, the improving son of Tonalist has shown an affinity for longer distances, winning both starts at nine furlongs, and the Chad Brown trainee will look to rally from off the pace with Irad Ortiz Jr.

Max Player, the co 6-1 third choice with Country Grammer, exits a fine third in the Belmont Stakes, his first outing since winning the Withers (G3) in early February. The late-running colt will try to keep moving forward for conditioner Linda Rice, and Joel Rosario has the mount.

The other runners are Peter Pan runner-up Caracaro; Ohio Derby (G3) runner-up South Bend; Grade 1-placed Shivaree; and last-out maiden winner First Line.