Derby Remix: Tiz The Law breaks away

Profile Picture: Nicolle Neulist

Nicolle Neulist

August 14th, 2020

"Break away from everybody

Break away from everything

If you can’t stand the way this place is

Take yourself to higher places"

The scene as the field approached the quarter pole in the Travers (G1) put the top of this year's 3-year-old division in stark relief.

Two horses led the field. On the inside was Uncle Chuck, the late-blooming Bob Baffert shipper, implored to keep his lead under a heavy drive. On the outside was Tiz the Law, a divisional mainstay since he won the Champagne (G1) 10 months before, who kept pace but was going easily.

Into the lane, Tiz the Law kicked clear of Uncle Chuck and the pursuing pack as sharply as the vocals and guitars attack the chorus of "Break" by Three Days Grace.

He won by 5 1/2 lengths, wrapped up through the final sixteenth, on a higher plane than anyone else on that racetrack.

It's not just this year's 3-year-old crop Tiz the Law broke away from in the Travers.

Through last year, and into this year, it was difficult to hear, read, or think about Tiz the Law without seeing him as Funny Cide, chapter two — another New York-bred who brought Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stable back into the Kentucky Derby (G1) conversation.

It made Tiz the Law easy to root for and made it just as easy to wonder if he could be seen on his own merits, as his own story. Even in the Belmont Stakes (G1), as Tiz the Law ascended to the ranks of classic winners, it was hard not to think about Funny Cide, because Tiz the Law brought his connections the one jewel of the Triple Crown that Funny Cide didn't.

Travers Day belonged to Tiz the Law alone. He tried a race his predecessor never did, and he became a dominant New York-bred hero in New York's signature summer race. He broke away from the comparisons, demanding to be seen and respected in his own right.