The Barclay Tagg trained Tiz the Law was an impressive winner of the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park and appears to be a major player on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The colt was sent off as the favorite in a field of seven and went on to win by three lengths and earn a 100 Beyer Speed Figure, the first triple digit number along the Road to the Kentucky Derby to date.
Under jockey Manny Franco there were a few anxious moments as the colt lost some position when caught in tight forcing the jockey to take a good hold of the reins. He angled out to a clear path and really accelerated around the far turn. He lugged in some in the stretch while staying clear of the runner up.
“He ran like I expected him,” Franco said. “He got out of there and I was able to decide where I wanted to be. For a second, I had to make the turn and I was back on the rail, but when I saw those guys putting pressure on I was able to drop back and get outside where I wanted to be. After that, he jumped in the bit and I was traveling like I wanted.”
He was a $110,000 Saratoga purchase, by Constitution out of the stakes winner Tizfiz (410,944). He is a New York bred like another colt the owns Sackatoga campaigned—Funny Cide, who was also trained by Tagg and won the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
2020 Holy Bull Replay
Tiz the Law is the now the +1000 favorite in early Kentucky Derby wagering at Jazz Sports and the co-favorite along with Tizamagician and Dennis’ Moment at +1200 at USRacing.
Next up for the colt likely is either the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park or the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Max Player Wins Withers in Stakes Debut
The Linda Rice trained Max Player had two starts at Parx Racing under his belt, graduating in his second career start and become a Derby contender with a 3 ¼ length victory in the $250,000 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct.
The colt was sent off as the 5-1 fourth choice in the field of seven with Remsen (G3) winner Shotski the 9-5 betting favorite when the three-year-olds broke from the gate.
Under jockey Dylan Davis, Max Player stalked the early pace and was a bit rank off the heels of a foe, was put out five wide heading down the backstretch, came even wider into the stretch and rallied to take over inside the final furlong, drawing clear late.
The son of Honor Code earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure for the win, the lowest number among the three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on Saturday.
“He’s becoming more professional all the time in his morning workouts. Anyone that watched his two races at Parx could see he ran pretty green,” Rice said. “He got pinched out a little bit into the first turn and Dylan did a nice job of getting him back into the race and into the clear. He had a bit of a wide trip, but it was a great ride by Dylan. He’s shown us in the morning that he’s had a lot of run at the end of his workouts.”
2020 Withers Replay
Next up likely will be the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct on April 4, which will offer up 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers.
Shotski was an underlay in the Withers after taking advantage of a speed friendly racing strip to win the Remsen. The colt dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish in the runner up spot.
Thousand Words Gives Baffert Another Derby Contender
Trainer Bob Baffert won the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita for the fifth time in the last eight years with Thousand Words, who returned just $3.20 for his victory.
The colt is now undefeated in three career starts, breaking his maiden in his debut and then winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) before his in in the Lewis on Saturday.
The $1 million Keeneland purchase is a son of Pioneerof the Nile and earned a 92 Beyer for his win. The victory also marked Baffert’s 3000th career win.
He saved ground under jockey Flavien Prat early, angled out as they turned for home and took over in deep stretch, the winning margin ¾ of a length over Royal Act.
2020 Robert B. Lewis Replay
“He ran very well,” said Prat. “He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there. He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”
The next Road to the Kentucky Derby points race is the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) this Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.