ELMONT, NY – Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law took over the lead at the top of the stretch Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 8 under Manny Franco as the 4/5 heavy favorite in the field of 10, Tiz the Law sat in the clear within 2 lengths of Tap It to Win, who led down the backstretch while posting opening fractions of :23.11, :46.16, and 1:09.94.
Fore Left gave closest chase, but Tiz the Law kept his sights set on the front-running Tap It to Win through the far turn. Making his move at the 1/4 pole, Tiz the Law took charge as he straightened for home, then kicked away sharply in the stretch to win going away.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law crossed 3 3/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:46.53.
“I was pretty confident by the time we hit the 7/8 pole,” Franco said. “He was so kind and relaxed for me. He was so comfortable and never got keen, so I think that was the key. … I’m not going to lie, I was little bit nervous (in the gate), but at the same time, I was confident because I know what I have under me. Like I said, I’m in good hands with Barclay.”
A rallying Dr Post was second by 1 1/2 lengths over Max Player, who toiled near the rear before making one long, sustained run in the stretch. Pneumatic was fourth over a tired Tap It to Win, who could not sustain his front-running bid when the real running began.
Sole Volante, Modernist, Farmington Road, Fore Left, and Jungle Runner completed the order of finish.
The Belmont is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Tiz the Law earned 150 points for the win, with Dr Post receiving 60 for second, Max Player 30 for third, and Pneumatic 15 for fourth.
Tiz the Law’s win was his third straight following scores in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and the Florida Derby (G1) and improved his overall record to 6-5-0-1 with $1,480,300 earned. For Tagg and Sackatoga Stable, it was 17 years in the making after Funny Cide missed out on the 2003 Triple Crown when he lost that year’s Belmont.
“For a lot longer before that I was hoping to win the Belmont,” said Tagg, who joined Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, and Nick Zito as the only contemporary trainers to win each leg of the Triple Crown. “Funny Cide got us close anyway and we topped it off with Tiz the Law here today.”
With the victory, the 3-year-old Constitution colt became the first New York-bred since Forester in 1882 to win the Belmont Stakes.
“It’s tremendous (to win the Belmont with a New York-bred),” said Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga Stable’s operations manager. “We’ve been with Barclay Tagg for 25 years and I keep telling everybody, ‘Barclay doesn’t get a lot of big horses, big opportunities, but when he does, he knows what to do.’ He’s got his and Sackatoga’s got theirs. Triple Crown, two different horses, two different years, and not a lot of people can say that.”
Winner returned $ to win, $ to place, and $ to show. Place brought back $ to place and $ to show, while Show paid $ to show.