Derby Remix: Tiz the Law starts a new chapter

Profile Picture: Nicolle Neulist

Nicolle Neulist

June 26th, 2020

"I need someone to read me stories

Someone to turn the page

The endless quest for love and glory

Does not fade away with age"

"The Book I'm Not Reading" by Patty Larkin is a sprawling list of all that could be — the books that exist that she isn't reading, the stories she has yet to delve into.

By anyone's guess, Sally Jenkins got the Triple Crown tale of Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stable on paper in her 2004 book "Funny Cide."  The one thing she couldn't write about was a Belmont win.

It would have been a glorious story, even beyond a Triple Crown. New York connections winning New York's horse race with their New York-bred. That became wishful thinking, as Empire Maker put his head past Funny Cide's around Belmont's sweeping far turn.

Even though the Triple Crown hadn't figured in their story since 2003, Tagg and Sackatoga kept their New York roots well nourished. They didn't have any other graded stakes winners, but they've had a few New York-breds who held their own in stakes along the way — Doc N Roll, Pastel Gal, Seattle Mission, and Niko's Dream, to name a few.

"The book I'm not reading isn't written down

The book I'm not reading is an English translation

The book I'm not reading should be read aloud

And I'm getting impatient"

As the field in the Belmont Stakes ran around that same far turn, where Tagg and the members of Sackatoga Stable had felt disappointment descend 17 years before, elation bloomed. Tiz the Law, their New York-bred, gained on Tap It to Win. At the quarter pole, he led. From there, no one could touch him. 

Whether Tiz the Law's story finds the pages of a book may depend on what happens three months from now. But, for right now? Tagg, Sackatoga, and any hopeless romantic who wanted to see the August Belmont Trophy go to the locals after all this time don't need a book. They're all living through this story right now, thanks to the best 3-year-old in the country.