When Tiz the Law powered to victory in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, it was as though time had reversed for his human connections.
In 2003 Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg reached the pinnacle of the sport with Funny Cide, an unheralded New York-bred gelding who won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) during a championship season. Almost 15 years to the day after Funny Cide scored his final grade 1 win in the 2004 Jockey Club Gold Cup, Tiz the Law returned Sackatoga and Tagg to the spotlight with his victory in the Champagne.
Like Funny Cide, Tiz the Law is a New York-bred, but he’s far from unheralded. A son of hot young sire Constitution, out of the graded stakes-winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz, Tiz the Law dominated on debut at Saratoga, where he won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight by 4 1/4 lengths.
Two months later Tiz the Law was just as authoritative in the one-mile Champagne. Reserved in fifth place behind steady fractions, Tiz the Law advanced smoothly around the turn, seized command in the homestretch and pulled away to win by four lengths in 1:35.41.
Tiz the Law’s early success is impressive, considering his sire, dam and damsire were all unraced as juveniles and relished running 1 1/8 miles or farther. His Champagne performance notwithstanding, Tiz the Law is bred to thrive with maturity and longer distances, a scary proposition for his as-of-yet overmatched rivals.
Sackatoga Stable and Barclay Tagg already have the Kentucky Derby penciled in for their latest New York-bred star. Although Tiz the Law’s Champagne victory secured the colt a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita, his connections passed the race with an eye on saving Tiz the Law for the Derby. As Tagg told the New York Racing Association, “We can always go to California another year, but we can only go to the Kentucky Derby one year.”
Having secured 10 Kentucky Derby qualification points via his victory in the Champagne, Tiz the Law is already off to a good start on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. If he improves the way his pedigree suggests he will, his rivals will be in for a tough winter.