ELMONT, N.Y. – Sackatoga Stable’s New York-bred Tiz the Law recorded his final breeze over the Belmont Park main track on Friday in preparation for the Grade 1, $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 7 at Keeneland Race Course. He registered six furlongs in 1:12.26 over a fast main track.
Tiz the Law, who will ship to Keeneland by van on Sunday to continue his Breeders’ Cup preparations, stepped foot onto the track just after 6:30 a.m. under overcast skies and a sliver of daylight, accompanied by stablemate and three-time winning filly Niko’s Dream [five furlongs in 1:01.05] with trainer Barclay Tagg looking on from his pony.
Under exercise rider Heather Smullen, Tiz the Law went in company with Niko’s Dream before drawing away at the top of the lane. He recorded splits of 13.07, 24.84, 36.43, and 47.63 before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25.46 and one mile in 1:40.05.
“He just goes out there and does his job,” Smullen said. “He was on the bridle, breaking off of her [Niko’s Dream] and then he decided ‘Well, it’s time to finish up’ and he just went on away from her. He does everything you expect a good horse to do.”
Tagg’s partner and longtime assistant, Robin Smullen, said she was very happy with the work.
“We wanted him to settle next to [Niko’s Dream], which he did,” Smullen said. “They went the first three-eighths in 36 and 4. He galloped out seven-eighths in 1:25. He pulled up great, cooled out well.”
The move was the four-time Grade 1 winner’s fourth work since finishing second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby last month, where he finished three-quarters of a length to Authentic. He scored in his prior four starts this season in dominant fashion beginning with the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby, both at Gulfstream Park. Tiz the Law then posted a sensational 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20, where he became the first state bred to win the American Classic in 138 years, and followed with a triumph by 5 ½ lengths in Grade 1 Runhappy Travers on August 8 at Saratoga.
With three weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Tiz the Law will complete his final serious preparation for the classic-distance event at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, where this year’s event is scheduled to be held from November 6-7.
Smullen said Tiz the Law tends to run better when he has time to get acclimated to new surroundings.
“He seems like he’s at his best when he does,” Smullen said. “His best race was at Saratoga and we were there for a few weeks before we actually ran in the Travers, and that was his best race by far. In Florida, he had to ship down to Gulfstream [from Palm Meadows Training Center] and we breezed him there. His first race was good, but the Florida Derby was better.
“His second race going over the track was better,” she added. “We didn’t take him back down to breeze him. We kept him at Palm Meadows. Looking at it from that standpoint this far out from what we know now, his best races are when he has a couple of works over the track. We discussed that and decided the best we could possibly do for him is give him two works over that track.”
Smullen praised Tiz the Law for his intelligence and being able to place himself right where he needs to be, building a rapport with jockey Manny Franco.
“If you watch his replay in the Belmont, Manny is just sitting there and leaves him alone. If he breaks and he’s good, he’ll place himself,” Smullen said. “He’s not grabbing, he’s not rank, he’s going to place himself where he’s comfortable and Manny is smart enough to see what’s going on. If it’s real slow and Tiz automatically moves up, you’re not going to say ‘Hey, I don’t want you to move,’ you’re going to sit there because Tiz is just going to be running his race.
“From a jockey’s standpoint, he’s got to be one of the easiest horses to ride,” Smullen continued. He always puts you where you need to be. We’ll just have to see what our post is and take it from there, but I think he’s tactical enough where he can do whatever he wants to do.”
A $110,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale, the Constitution bay has amassed $2,615,300 in purse earnings. Bred in the Empire State by Twin Creeks Farm, Tiz the Law is out of the graded stakes winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz.
Photo: Tiz the Law works at Belmont. Credit: Susie Raisher