By Richard Rosenblatt
The preps are over, the workouts complete: Tiz the Law is set to head off to the Kentucky Derby.
Tiz the Law put in his final workout on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, drilling 5 furlongs in 59.21 seconds with exercise rider Heather Smullen aboard. The Derby is Saturday, Sept. 5
Sitting atop the Derby leaderboard with 372 points, Tiz the Law should be the strong favorite when the odds are announced at the post-position draw on Tuesday (Sept. 1).
The work came early – just after 5:45 a.m. ET, and about 15 minutes before the rain, according to the NYRA press office.
“Everything went fine. He came back well,” trainer Barclay Tagg said. “He did everything he was supposed to do. I’m satisfied with this work.
“We had to make the decision this morning to work him. We made the decision around 4 (a.m.). Luckily, it wasn’t raining when he was working. It’s supposed to rain all day, and the track may be worse tomorrow. I’m glad we got the work in.”
Unbeaten in four starts in 2020 – the Holy Bull (G3), Florida Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1) and the Travers (G1), Tiz the Law covered the first 3 furlongs in 36.01, before galloping out in 1:12.01 over a fast main track.
Tiz the Law is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on Monday. The Derby is the second leg of the Triple Crown in 2020, with the Belmont having been the first leg. A Derby win by Tiz the Law will set up a most unique Triple Crown try in the Preakness (G1) on Oct. 3.
Manny Franco rides Tiz the Law, who is owned by (operating manager) Jack Knowlton’s Sackatoga Stable, which teamed with Tagg to win the 2003 Derby with Funny Cide.
Derby field shrinking after 2 more candidates, Dr Post and Shirl’s Speight, are declared out
Charles Fipke, the owner of Shirl’s Speight, said his colt will miss the Derby due to a minor cough.
The 3-year-old colt had no Derby qualifying points, but has won both of his races, the most recently the Marine Stakes (G3) at Woodbine on turf on July 25. He became a possible when less than the maximum of 20 horses (with Derby points) were declared in.
“He’s coughing and full of mucus so we’ve had to put him on antibiotics,” trainer Roger Attfield said. “I’ve had four or five of them (get sick) these last couple weeks actually. It’s nothing majorly serious but it’s bad timing.”
Also, Todd Pletcher-trained Dr Post, third in the Haskell (G1), was removed from Derby consideration, and will run instead in the Jim Dandy (G2) on Sept. 5.
Pletcher will still have a Derby entry in Money Moves, a two-time winner who worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.14 on Friday at Saratoga.
Javier Castellano is now listed as the rider for Money Moves.
Also Friday, Caracaro was withdrawn from Derby consideration, and it remains unclear whether a full field of 20 will be entered on Tuesday (Sept. 2).
Churchill Downs has big day of Derby, Oaks works
Derby hopefuls Enforceable and King Guillermo, along with top Oaks contender put in final breezes Friday morning before their respective races.
Enforceable, under jockey Adam Beschizza, worked 5 furlongs in 49.60 seconds and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:03.20 over a drying out track.
While this will be Beschizza’s first Derby, trainer Mark Casse comes in with a 0-for-7 record. War of Will was seventh in the 2019 Derby, but was impeded by Maximum Security, the DQ’d first-place finisher.
“I think he is really improving at this stage of his career,” Casse said. “He’s maturing; he’s ready to go.”
King Guillermo, with exercise rider Edgar Garcia aboard, completed his workout schedule with an easy four 4 furlongs in 52.20 under exercise rider Edgar Garcia.
Second to Nadal in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) on May 2, the son of Uncle Mo will be making his first start in four months.
Swiss Skydiver zipped 4 furlongs in 49.20 seconds, with Brian Hernandez, Jr., although Tyler Gaffalione will ride the filly in the Oaks.
Derby hopefuls work at Del Mar before trip to Louisville
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent out his top Oaks contender, Gamine, for a 6-furlong breeze in 1:11.60, as well as Derby probable Thousand Words, who for a 5-furlong, 59.80-second work before the pair, along with his other Derby contender, Authentic, are shipped to Churchill on Monday.
Baffert said both horses worked in company, and that Thousand Words was relaxed and steady, and ended up going a mile in 1:39.20.
“He’s one of these horses that is just steady,” Baffert said. “He’s just a steady kind of horse. I think he’ll be a threat. Both of them, Authentic and him, they’re threats. When you see a horse like Tiz the Law, he looks like right now he’ll be so tough to beat, but I’m happy right now the way they’re coming in. They’re coming in the right way and that’s all you can ask for right now.”
Storm the Court, 0-for-5 in 2020 but 45-1 long shot winner of the BC Juvenile (G1) in 2019 to earn top 2-year-old honors, worked 6 furlongs in 1:12.80.
Honor A.P., the Santa Anita Derby (G1), put in his final work before the Derby, going 7 furlongs in 1:27.20 at Del Mar. The 3-year-old colt trained by John Shirreffs, is scheduled to be shipped to Louisville on Monday (Aug. 31).