When Tiz the Law (by Constitution) put away the competition and strode home a winner in the 2020 Florida Derby, the white-faced bay placed himself at the top of the classic prospects in the East and at the top of all racers for his sire, a son of Tapit whose first crop is three.
Now a two-time winner at the Grade 1 level, also winner of the Champagne at two, Tiz the Law is one of five graded stakes winners from the first crop by Constitution, who stands at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
Being out of a daughter of leading sire Distorted Humor, Constitution has family ties to the WinStar breeding operation, and Elliott Walden, president and CEO of WinStar, noted that the stallion “is a product of the WinStar Farm racing program.” Twin Creeks Racing LLC purchased the athletic bay for $400,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale in 2012, and Constitution raced in partnership for Twin Creeks and WinStar.
Winning his first three starts, Constitution was a serious candidate for the 2014 classics before he was sidelined, and the colt didn't return to competition until October of that year. He showed good form to finish third to Hoppertunity in the G1 Clark Handicap and then to win the G1 Donn Handicap in his 4-year-old debut. Another lengthy layoff followed, however, and a pair of unplaced finishes closed a brief career of four victories from eight starts.
That sort of conclusion to a racing career has often been a prelude to an undistinguished stallion career.
Not so with Constitution.
His first crop made up into nice enough yearlings, but they weren't bringing absurd sums. Then as 2-year-olds in training, the evidence was undeniable that these young horses were doing everything right to that point, and when they began racing, the Constitution stock put their sire at the top of the leader board, enabling him to finish second by progeny earnings only to American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) himself among the freshman sires of 2019.
Since the end of their 2-year-old season, the classic prospects by Constitution have prospered, and in the Florida Derby, the stallion was responsible for not only the winner but also Gouverneur Morris in fourth and Independence Hall in fifth. So, three of the first five home in the Florida Derby are by Constitution. This is an indication of the quality athleticism and high form that is sending better and better mares to the young stallion, who is shaping up as the heir to his sire Tapit.
“Tapit has been a great sire, a breed-shaping sire, and this is the son of Tapit we've all been waiting for,” Walden said. “They have the ability; they have a desire to win; and I think he gets it from both sides. Being by Tapit out of a Distorted Humor mare, Constitution has a pedigree that would allow him to be this sort of sire. They are precocious and they are fighters. Sometimes they outperform how they look and sometimes how they are bred. I think that is the mark of a good stallion.”
One of the other indicators of a top-tier stallion is that his stock shows its form at the highest level, and with all five of the stallion's stakes winners making their mark in graded races, that has moved the market strongly in the direction of Constitution.
“Constitution is very popular,” Walden said, “and it's exciting to see what he's going to get from the quality of book that he has this year. Due to the way this has developed, he probably will breed more than 200 mares this season. That's not a situation I'm happy with, but he was popular in September and October, then hits with this colt, Independence Hall, Gouverneur Morris, and his horses are continuing forward and look like horses that are coming to the Derby in the right way.”
With five stakes winners to date from his first crop and seven stakes-placed racers, Constitution has made all the right steps to establish himself as a stallion of significance, and we can look to further racing this year to confirm this potential.
Presently, the lengthy bay son of Tapit stands for $40,000 live foal at WinStar.
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