New York-based jockey Manny Franco was in Florida on Sunday morning to guide Sackatoga Stable's New York-bred Grade 1-winner Tiz the Law through a five-furlong breeze in 1:01.55 on the Gulfstream Park main track.
Franco returned to New York in time to guide Doll to victory in Sunday's opening race at the Big A.
Tiz the Law has been stabled at Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Florida while preparing for a run at the Kentucky Derby set for May 2 at Churchill Downs.
“He had a nice work. We brought him down here to get a feel for the track,” said trainer Barclay Tagg. “Manny came down to work him. They went out on their own and it looked like he handled it well. Manny thought he felt a little funny the first part of it, but then he got the hang of it and breezed nicely.”
The Constitution bay, bred in the Empire State by Twin Creeks Farm, will look to make his seasonal debut in the Grade 3, $250,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream which offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law was a winner on debut in August at Saratoga Race Course and followed up in October at Belmont with a four-length score in the Grade 1 Champagne despite stumbling at the start.
Tiz the Law then shipped to Kentucky to finish third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club contested at 1 1/16-miles on a sloppy Churchill Downs surface. Tagg opted to skip the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park in California to focus instead on preparing the young colt for the First Saturday in May.
Tiz the Law currently sits fourth, with 12 points, on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that is currently topped by Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court with 22 points.
In 2003, the Tagg trained New York-bred Funny Cide finished fifth in the Holy Bull as the first step en route to a driving 1 3/4-length score over Empire Maker in the Kentucky Derby.
That year, Funny Cide, who was also owned by Sackatoga Stable, ran second in both the Louisiana Derby and Wood Memorial before his Derby coup.
Tagg said any similarities in Tiz the Law's path to the Derby are coincidental.
“It's just the way it sets up, but we'll be on a similar path,” said Tagg. “I'd kind of hoped to stay here in Florida for the whole thing, but I think the races are pinched together too much here.
“It's all up in the air right now. One step at a time,” continued Tagg. “I think he looks great and he's developing very nicely.”
The succinct Tagg said preparing another New York-bred for the Derby brings back a lot of good memories.
“It sure does,” said Tagg. “But, we have a lot of wood to chop before the Derby.”
Charles Fipke homebred Tale of Silence, off-the-board last out in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, is training with Tagg's string at Palm Meadows. The 6-year-old Tale of the Cat bay worked in company with Tiz the Law on January 12 at Palm Meadows and was on the work tab again Sunday morning covering a half-mile in 49 flat at the Boynton Beach training center.
Tagg said Tale of Silence could target the one-mile Grade 3, $150,000 Fred Hooper at Gulfstream on January 25.
“He didn't run very well in the Cigar Mile, but that's life,” said Tagg. “We might try the mile race here at Gulfstream.”
Tale of Silence captured the 2018 Grade 3 Westchester at Belmont and has proven to be a consistent earner with a record of 3-5-3 from 22 starts while banking $538,032.
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