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Travers Stakes Likely Next Stop For Belmont Winner Tiz the Law

James Murphy
by in Horses on
  • 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.
  • Tiz the Law will be pointed to the Travers Stakes on August 8 at Saratoga.

In this unprecedented Triple Crown season Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law is taking an unprecedented road to the Kentucky Derby. With more than two months until the Kentucky Derby the connections of the New York bred colt are pointing him to the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 8. The Travers is typically held on the final weekend in August but like seemingly everything else in this topsy turvy year has been rescheduled in order to position itself as an attractive tuneup for the Kentucky Derby. That race, of course, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is why the Belmont Stakes began the Triple Crown sequence rather than ended it as is the case in every other year. At least the Travers distance hasn’t change and will be contested at a mile and a quarter.

Tiz the Law’s trainer Barclay Tagg acknowledged that some will denigrate his horse’s impressive win at the Belmont due to the unusual circumstances surrounding this season:

“I would have preferred this be the real Belmont Stakes. I know they’re going to put an asterisk up there. I don’t think they should because the timing [of the Triple Crown] has not always been that way. It’s never been perfect . . . there’s always something to get in the way.”

Tagg reported that Tiz the Law looked great coming out of the Belmont. His assistant, Robin Smullen, concurred:

“He came out great, he grazed for an hour, his legs were good. He has an acupuncturist, and the acupuncturist said his energy is good and he doesn’t need any work.”

Tagg says that the Travers is a perfect Derby tune up for Tiz the Law and that his horse’s steady nature means that if he looks good at Saratoga he expects a good showing a month later at Churchill Downs:

“If he goes into the Travers really good I’m not going to worry about him being good for the Derby because I’m sure he will. Nothing takes anything out of him mentally or physically. Nothing fazes him.”

Tiz the Law might face at least one familiar foe in the Travers. Belmont Stakes runner up Dr. Post is being considered for the Travers Stakes as well as the $1 million Haskell on July 18 at Monmouth. He’ll be pointed to the Kentucky Derby after that though trainer Todd Pletcher is trying to determine if the extra layoff time he’d get from a Haskell start would be beneficial. Pletcher was very pleased with his horse’s progress considering that Dr. Post won his maiden race on March 29–one day after Tiz the Law won the Florida Derby:

“To go from that point to being second in the Belmont, that’s quite a lot of progress in a relatively short period of time. Yesterday, Tiz the Law was simply a better horse. We’re hoping we can close the gap with more experience and with more racing.”

Tiz the Law is currently the futures betting favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, priced at +275. Honor AP (+545) and Authentic (+560) are the only other horses currently priced at single digit odds. Pletcher’s Dr. Post is +1800 to win the ‘Run for the Roses’.

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