HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, impressive winner of the Holy Bull (G3) Feb. 1 in his sophomore debut, will return to Gulfstream Park for his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) March 28.
Sackatoga’s managing partner Jack Knowlton confirmed the decision Friday afternoon. The Louisiana Derby (G2) March 21 at Fair Grounds in New Orleans was also under consideration for Barclay Tagg-trained Tiz the Law.
“There really are a number of factors, starting with how well he ran in the Holy Bull. He obviously liked the racetrack, so that’s one box that we checked in a major way,” Knowlton said. “Barclay typically likes home games rather than away games. It’s a lot easier for him and arguably easier for the horse to get out of his stall on Saturday morning and go 45 minutes down the road to Gulfstream rather than ship or fly over to Fair Grounds. Those are two major things.”
Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Tiz the Law rolled to a three-length win as the heavy favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull, his first race since suffering the only loss of his career in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Nov. 30 at Churchill Downs.
Winner of the one-mile Champagne (G1) in just his second career start, Tiz the Law is the second New York-bred Sackatoga has had on the Triple Crown trail. Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) in 2003 before finishing third to Empire Maker in the Belmont Stakes.
“There’s been a lot of interest in him as a stallion that has increased exponentially since his performance in the Holy Bull. Running in a Grade 1 rather than a Grade 2 is preferable,” Knowlton said. “In addition, the whole experience at the Holy Bull and how well the crazy Sackatoga contingent was treated, everybody has good feelings about coming back for another round. All those things kind of fell into place.”
Gulfstream’s final prep for the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby comes Feb. 29 in the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2). Among the horses pointing to the 1 1/16-mile race are Chance It, a three-time local stakes winner, most recently in the Mucho Macho Man Jan. 4; and Dale Romans-trained Dennis’ Moment, winner of the Iroquois (G3) last fall unraced since running eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 2.
“[Tiz the Law] came out of his race great. Could not have been better,” Knowlton said. “Fortunately, we’ve got a lot of tome to watch as things unfold. I’m really looking forward to the Fountain of Youth. I know how high Dale is on his horse, so it could be an interesting Derby before the Derby meeting, so to speak.”