News and STORIES

Tiz the Law Wins Belmont Stakes With Ease

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Monday June 22, 2020
Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law took a 3 3/4-length victory over Dr Post in the 152nd Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) on Saturday in what was the predicted outcome for the event. 

Joined by jockey Manny Franco and trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law came into the $1 million stakes as the 4-5 favorite. The Belmont was his first start since winning the March 28 Curlin Florida Derby (G1).

"It looked to me like everything went like clockwork," Tagg said.

Belmont Changes

This year was unlike any other for the Belmont Stakes, with various changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race was pushed back two weeks from the original running date of June 6. 

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) was also moved to Sept. 5 and the Preakness Stakes (G1) to Oct. 3. Because of this, Belmont became the opening leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in history.

Besides a date change, the Belmont Stakes was also cut back from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles. Usually the longest Triple Crown test became the shortest.

If Tiz the Law wants to become the next Triple Crown champion, he will have to overcome the 105 days between the Belmont Stakes and Oct. 3. 

Sackatoga Stables

Sackatoga only campaigns a few horses a year. Trainer Barclay Tagg had not taken a grade 1 win until Tiz the Law came into the mix.

The connections took the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with the New-York bred gelding Funny Cide, and they now have another Triple Crown race years later with another New York-bred. 

Tiz the Law was the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont Stakes since 1882.

Jack Knowlton is Sackatoga managing partner along with Lew Titteron. They are the only members left of the partnership that was around during Funny Cide.

"To win Triple Crown races in two different years, not many people can say that," said Knowlton. "It's tremendous (to win the Belmont Stakes with a New York-bred). We buy New York-breds — that's our game — and we don't spend a lot of money. 

"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. … We had a great and amazing day. Tiz delivered for us."

The Belmont Race

Live Oak Plantation's Tap It To Win, the 5-1 second choice and looking for a third consecutive Triple Crown win for trainer Mark Casse, set the pace in the one-turn event. He led by a length after an opening half-mile in :46.16.

Tiz the Law sat in third as Franco waited for the right moment to push forward. Tap It to Win hit six furlongs in 1:09.94 before falling to fifth, and Tiz the Law moved up front with Franco. 

Tiz the Law was way ahead in the stretch and extended the lead to 4 1/2 lengths, crossing the wire in 1:46.53.

It was Manny Franco's first Triple Crown win. 

It means a lot to me," said Franco. "One leg of the Triple Crown is the dream of any jockey."

St. Elias Stable's Dr Post came in second for trainer Todd Pletcher after being sixth after six furlongs.

Dr Post picked up 60 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. The top four finishers were awarded points on a scale of 150-60-30-15.

George Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds' Max Player put in a late run and moved up from ninth to finish third, 5 1/4 lengths behind Tiz the Law. 

Witchell Thoroughbreds' Uncle Mo colt Pneumatic finished fourth.