Tiz the Law a ‘star pupil’ on and off the track
Belmont Stakes hero Tiz the Law, born at Sequel Stallions in Hudson, New York and raised in Versailles, Kentucky by breeder Twin Creeks Farm, is the even-money morning-line favorite for today’s Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga Race Course.
The two outfits enjoy a strong relationship, with Sequel Stallions serving as home to the Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ campaigned stallions Mission Impazible and Destin.
Becky Thomas, owner of Sequel Stallions, said Tiz the Law, a son of Constitution, displayed intelligence and athletic promise from his very first steps.
“We just showed him what we wanted him to do and he listened,” said Thomas. “We try very hard as a farm to be able to breed and raise a good horse and Tiz the Law is the pinnacle of what we hope for.”
Randy Gullatt, who manages Twin Creeks Farm for director Steve Davison, has been associated with Tiz the Law since the colt and his Grade 2-winning dam Tizfiz shipped to Kentucky just 90 days after being foaled.
Tiz the Law excelled at the 230-acre farm before shipping back up to New York for the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale, and Gullatt said that not much has changed in terms of the horse’s demeanor.
“He was very similar to what he is now,” Gullatt said. “Just very easy to manage, very happy, very intelligent and very pleasant to be around.”
Thomas said Tiz the Law exuded class ahead of the sale, where he was purchased for $110,000 by Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stables.
“I have found that horses who are smart may go to a place with new surroundings, look around and just process their new environment, but those kinds of horses are the ones that make good racehorses,” said Thomas. “You can go from one place to the next, ship them and move them because they’re smart. They want to please you, they stay in their tub, they do the right thing, and they show well at the sale. Tiz the Law was a class act and a star pupil all the way through.
“I wish we could have all babies and yearlings like Tiz the Law,” Thomas added. “They’re the kind that the veterinarian doesn’t know because nothing is wrong with them. Your help goes to the sale and lead them out because they aren’t problematic. He’s one of those horses that are always wanting to please, did everything right, and are well-balanced.”
Tiz the Law was a winner at first asking at Saratoga for trainer Barclay Tagg on August 8, 2019, exactly one year removed from today’s Runhappy Travers.
The talented bay has since flourished winning three Grade 1 races including last year’s Champagne at Belmont Park, the Florida Derby in March at Gulfstream Park and most recently, the Belmont Stakes, where on June 20 he became the first New York-bred in 138 years to win the American classic.
Gullatt and Thomas have both identified Tiz the Law’s athleticism as his most outstanding attribute.
“I think ‘athletic’ would be the word I use more commonly than others,” Thomas said. “He’s not a big, stretchy horse, he’s a medium-sized horse. Tiz the Law, even though he wasn’t a big overpowering horse, he had really good length in his back and those horses cover a lot of ground and they have a lot of room to reach up under them when they’re moving. In his case, how he runs is how he walked.”
“He was a very athletic horse,” Gullatt concurred. “He had a very good hind leg on him. I think his mind was just so good. He was very easy to please and loved his job. He wasn’t an overly big horse, but it was all his athleticism and his mind that were his biggest strengths.”
In a game of ups and downs, Thomas said she takes a strong sense of pride in being associated with the development of a horse of Tiz the Law’s caliber.
“We sure kiss a lot of frogs before we get to that prince,” Thomas said. “We work really hard to produce a product that succeeds in the sales ring and on the racetrack. It’s important to me to be associated with these types of horses and types of mares. It’s everything we work for.”
Gullatt won 89 races as a trainer before switching careers, and he praised Tagg for being able to keep Tiz the Law in top form throughout the year.
“What’s amazing to me is that it’s very difficult to do well for as long as Barclay has had this horse do well and just stay at that peak level,” Gullatt said. “So, I think it just goes to show the strength of the horse and how well he’s fit Barclay’s program. It’s a match made in heaven.”
Fans of Tiz the Law can look forward to seeing his Twin Creeks Racing-owned 2-year-old half-sister Angel Oak, by Mission Impazible, make her debut this fall for trainer Todd Pletcher.
“She was up at Belmont and was off one day, so we decided to back off and give her a little break,” said Gullatt. “She’s currently at WinStar but she’s training every day and we hope to have her ready in the fall. There’s a New York-sired stakes race in December that we have circled that I would love to make.”