‘Big Dreams Like Everyone Else’; Sackatoga, Tagg Take Aim At Second Derby Run

by | 11.28.2019 | 2:28pm
Sackatoga Stable's Jack Knowlton smiles at Manny Franco after Tiz The Law won the Champagne

Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law was made the 7-5 morning line favorite by veteran oddsmaker Mike Battaglia for Saturday's $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) – the co-featured event on Saturday's penultimate day of racing at the 2019 Fall Meet.

Trained by 2003 Kentucky Derby-winning conditioner Barclay Tagg, the undefeated Grade I winner has gotten to know Churchill Downs well over the last two days by schooling in both the paddock and starting gate.

“He's got a good way about him,” Tagg said. “He's interested in many things in his life but he doesn't act silly. He's all business on the racetrack.”

Tiz the Law galloped 1 ½ miles Thursday morning at Churchill Downs with exercise rider Heather Smullen aboard, the niece of Tagg's longtime assistant trainer Robin Smullen.

The son of Constitution will attempt to become the first New York-bred horse to win the Kentucky Jockey Club since Eugene Klein's Notebook won the 1 1/16-mile race in 1987.

“We rarely buy anything but New York breds,” Sackatoga Stable's managing partner Jack Knowlton said. “This was a very different situation purchasing him than it was forFunny Cide – not to mention this horse is a colt and not a gelding. We're still a very small operation but we have big dreams like everyone else.”

The Kentucky Jockey Club – a “Prep Season” race on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” in which the Top 4 finishers will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively – goes as Race 11 at 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 1 p.m. The co-featured $300,000 Golden Rod (GII) for fillies is Race 9 at 4:57 p.m.

Billed as “Stars of Tomorrow II,” each of the 12 races on Saturday's card are exclusively for 2-year-olds that may have aspirations of trail blazing their way to next spring's Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI).

The complete field for the Kentucky Jockey Club from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Enforceable (Florent Geroux, Mark Casse, 8-1); Fighting Seabee (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 8-1); Tiz the Law (Manny Franco, Tagg, 7-5); South Bend (Julien Leparoux, Stan Hough, 9-5); Silver Prospector (Ricardo Santana Jr., SteveAsmussen, 8-1); Finnick the Fierce (Sonny Leon, Rey Hernandez, 30-1); New Eagle (Channing Hill, Mike Maker, 20-1); Two Last Words (Jose Riquelme, Tim Glyshaw, 20-1); and Shotski (Sheldon Russell, Jerry O'Dwyer, 12-1).

All horses will tote 122 pounds.

Inaugurated in 2005, the Stars of Tomorrow programs at Churchill Downs have helped launch the careers of more than 50 future Grade I winners including: Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver; Horse of the Year and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Gun Runner; 2011 Preakness and 2012 Met Mile and Clark winner Shackleford and Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra, Believe You Can and Monomoy Girl.

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