News and STORIES

Florida Derby Field Led by Tiz the Law

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Friday March 27, 2020
Winners of 59 Triple Crown races have come out of the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) for 3-year-olds. The 1 1/8-mile test at Gulfstream Park has played a key role in the lead up the spring series.

Entries were drawn March 25 for the 69th edition of the race. However, everyone is still waiting to see if the Florida Derby and other races and stakes on the card will still run on March 28. 

Jack Knowlton is the head of Sackatoga Stable. They own the 6-5 favorite, New York-bred Tiz the Law, who is among the field of 13 Florida Derby entrants. 

"We have to get through this one and run well," Knowlton said. "and if he can accomplish that, we have the luxury of time if you want to call it that."

The race comes at a time when tracks are closing all around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 25, there have been no cancellations at Gulfstream for the upcoming races. 

The entries include 12 starters and one eligible runner, and connections are hoping that the horses can run. Following the Florida Derby, all eyes will turn on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), which has been rescheduled to Sept. 5. 

"As of now, we'll go to the Florida Derby and then turn the page and go to the next chapter," said Patrick Biancone, trainer of Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) winner Ete Indien. "What that next chapter is, nobody knows."

Tiz the Law

Tiz the Law, a son of Constitution out of the Tiznow mare Tizfiz, scored the Champagne Stakes (G1) in his second start. He then finished his 2-year-old season with a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) over a sloppy track. 

On Feb. 1, he beat Ete Indien by three lengths in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. Ete Indien went on to win the Feb. 29 Fountain of Youth by 8 1/2 lengths on Feb. 29.

Tiz the Law was bred by Twin Creeks Farm and purchased by Knowlton for 110,000 from the Sequel New York consignment at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-Bred Yearling Sale.

Tiz the Law will break from post 7 with jockey Manny Franco. 

"That's a good post," said Barclay Tagg, trainer of Tiz the Law. "He's doing well, and this is a race we have to run in because you don't know where you are going after this. It's still an important race."

Rival Ete Indien

Ete Indien is owned by Linda Shanahan, Sanford Bacon, Dream With Me Stable, Horse France America, D.P. Racing, and Patrick L. Biancone Racing. His odds have taken a hit since he drew post 12 for the race.

In the Fountain of Youth, he won even with his post 11 draw in an original field of 12. In the 1 1/16-mile race, the son of Summer Front was able to quickly sprint to the front from post 10 in the field of 10. 

"What can we do? It's happened to me twice to be on the outside. But what can we do? We have no choice but to run," Biancone said. "We have a good jockey, and he has speed and is good out of the gate. He won from (post 10) last time, and now we are a few more spots outside, but we have 100 more yards to the first turn."

Ete Indien breezed a half-mile in :48 2/5 on March 25. Three days before his Fountain of Youth win, he breezed in :48. 

"We do that to keep him fresh," Biancone said. "He was happy to do it, and I was happy with the way he did it. When things work out well, you keep doing the same thing. You don't want to invent too much."