ELMONT, NY – Trainer Barclay Tagg reported Monday that his multiple graded stakes winner Tiz the Law “couldn’t be doing any better” after he completed a 5-furlong work in 1:00.53 at Belmont Park in his penultimate breeze before entering the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Working solo with regular rider Manny Franco in the irons, Tiz the Law galloped out 6 furlongs in 1:12.86 and 7 furlongs in 1:25.28, though he clearly wanted to go much faster. Assistant trainer Robin Smullen relayed to Franco that he needed to contain the Constitution colt as he hit the track immediately after a break.
“I wanted to wait until the track was perfect after the break and he did everything we asked him to,” said Tagg. “He was going maybe a little fast and Robin got on the mic and told Manny to take a little hold of him, which he did. He galloped out strong and looked fast. I was down there with the pony to pick him up and he pulled up fine.”
Tagg said that Tiz the Law will work one more time prior to the Belmont Stakes, which is scheduled to go 1 1/8 miles over the main track on June 20.
“We’ll keep an eye on the weather and go on either Sunday or Monday,” Tagg said. “He’ll probably work a 1/2-mile. If you give him a 1/2-mile, he’ll get 5/8 by the time he pulls up.”
Once entries are drawn, Tiz the Law is expected to be the morning line favorite, due in large part to his pair of graded stakes victories in 2020. After making his seasonal debut in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) in February, he stretched out to 9 furlongs with style to dominate the Florida Derby (G1) in late March.
“Even when he works, I might think I worked him too fast,” Tagg said. “But he just does everything easy. He’s a pleasure to work with.”
Tagg and owner Sackatoga Stable are making their second run with a New York-bred at the Triple Crown, having campaigned Funny Cide to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). According to Tagg, however, that is as far as the comparisons reach.
“They are completely different horses,” he said. “‘Tiz’ is more malleable. Funny Cide was all run. You couldn’t hold him. He was a strong horse and very tough.”
Expected to face Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes are Basin, Dr Post, Farmington Road, Gouverneur Morris, Max Player, Modernist, Sole Volante, and Tap It to Win. Tagg, however, said that he does not pay attention to who else might enter the starting gate.
“I’ve been doing this for fifty years,” he said. “You don’t want to take anything for granted, but I just felt so good about the colt that I kept my attention on him and don’t worry about anyone else.”