- Post time favorite Tiz the Law won Saturday’s 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes.
- Tiz the Law is the first New York bred horse to win the Belmont since Forrester in 1882.
- The 2020 Belmont was held without fans for the first time in history.
The coronavirus pandemic has already made this a horse racing year unlike any other. This is particularly true of the Triple Crown races which were not only rescheduled but re-shuffled. As a result, Saturday’s 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes was the first race of the 2020 Triple Crown sequence and not the final leg as in a typical year. It was also shortened to 1 1/8 miles instead of the standard 1 1/2 miles due to the changes in horse training schedules. The Kentucky Derby will be up next on September 5 with the Preakness representing the final Triple Crown race this year to be held on October 3.
Saturday’s Belmont was won by Tiz the Law, a New York bred horse that went off as the 4-5 favorite. Tiz the Law took control in the front stretch and cruised to an impressive 3 3/4 lengths victory. With the victory, he becomes the first New York bred to win the Belmont since Forrester in 1882. The expectation is that Tiz the Law will go on to the September 5 Kentucky Derby and October 3 Preakness but since there’s several months in between what he does next remains ‘TBA’. Jack Knowlton is the horse owner and Barclay Tagg is the trainer–the duo is perhaps best known for 2003 Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Funny Cide who finished third at the Belmont that year. 25 year old Puerto Rican jockey Manny Franco won his first Belmont Stakes.
With the exception of Tiz the Law’s solid victory, the entire 2020 Belmont was a freak show. Belmont Park can cram in over 100,000 for race day but this year’s race had around 100 spectators including jockeys, media and track staff. The ‘official attendance’ will be listed as ‘0’ representing a significant drop from 2019’s attendance of 56,000. Masks were mandated for everyone–including the jockeys–though thankfully the horses were excepted from the requirement. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the traditional ‘riders up’ call via Zoom video. Not only were fans barred from the race, owners were not allowed to attend. The saddest commentary on the fiasco were the signs outside of the facility that instructed would be bettors to do it via cellphone.
Winning trainer Barclay Tagg said that the silence was a nice change of pace:
“I’m not trying to be a jerk about it, but I thought the quietude was very nice. I’m not against [fans], not at all, that’s what makes our business go, but just for a change I didn’t have any qualms about it.”
Tagg has seen a lot in his 82 years though it’s doubtful that he ever imagined anything like this. With the win, he surpassed Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons (1955 Belmont winner Nashua) as the oldsest winning trainer in history.
TAP IT TO WIN SETS THE PACE BUT FADES
Trendy ‘wise guy’ horse Tap It To Win set the pace early, breaking from the rail and going right to the front with Fore Left and Tiz the Law just off the pace. This triumvirate was 1-2-3 at the quarter, half and six furlong mark. At the 5/16th pole, jockey Franco moved Tiz the Law into second and after he determining that he had a good lane he downshifted and hung on tight as his horse left the rest of the field in the dust. Tiz the Law earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in the win. Dr. Post and Max Player took second and third respectively.
Tiz the Law paid $3.60, $2.90 and $2.60 with his victory as the 4/5 favorite. Dr. Post paid $5.80 and 4.20 with Max Player paying $5.20. The $1 8-9 Exacta paid $9.80, the 50 cent 8-9-3 Trifecta paid $49.75 and the ten cent 8-9-3-10 Superfecta paid $55.65. If you want to check out the chart of the race the link is below: