Tiz the Law cruises through six furlongs in final Belmont work for Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)
by NYRA Press Office
- Longshot specialist Second of July looking to prove doubters wrong again in next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
- Ward leaning toward Juvenile Fillies Turf with Matron (G3) heroine Royal Approval
- Buy Land and See returns to Belmont turf for Hill Prince (G2)
- Belmont Week 6 stakes probables
Sackatoga Stable's New York-bred Tiz the Law recorded his final breeze over the Belmont Park main track on Friday in preparation for the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic on November 7 at Keeneland Race Course. He registered six furlongs in 1:12.26 over a fast main track.
Tiz the Law, who will ship to Keeneland by van on Sunday to continue his Breeders' Cup preparations, stepped foot onto the track just after 6:30 a.m. under overcast skies and a sliver of daylight, accompanied by stablemate and three-time winning filly Niko's Dream [five furlongs in 1:01.05] with trainer Barclay Tagg looking on from his pony.
Under exercise rider Heather Smullen, Tiz the Law went in company with Niko's Dream before drawing away at the top of the lane. He recorded splits of 13.07, 24.84, 36.43, and 47.63 before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25.46 and one mile in 1:40.05.
"He just goes out there and does his job," Smullen said. "He was on the bridle, breaking off of her [Niko's Dream] and then he decided 'Well, it's time to finish up' and he just went on away from her. He does everything you expect a good horse to do."
Tagg's partner and longtime assistant, Robin Smullen, said she was very happy with the work.
"We wanted him to settle next to [Niko's Dream], which he did," Smullen said. "They went the first three-eighths in 36 and 4. He galloped out seven-eighths in 1:25. He pulled up great, cooled out well."
The move was the four-time Grade 1 winner's fourth work since finishing second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby last month, where he finished three-quarters of a length to Authentic. He scored in his prior four starts this season in dominant fashion beginning with the Grade 3 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby, both at Gulfstream Park. Tiz the Law then posted a sensational 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20, where he became the first state bred to win the American Classic in 138 years, and followed with a triumph by 5 ½ lengths in Grade 1 Runhappy Travers on August 8 at Saratoga.
With three weeks out from the Breeders' Cup Classic, Tiz the Law will complete his final serious preparation for the classic-distance event at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, where this year's event is scheduled to be held from November 6-7.
Smullen said Tiz the Law tends to run better when he has time to get acclimated to new surroundings.
"He seems like he's at his best when he does," Smullen said. "His best race was at Saratoga and we were there for a few weeks before we actually ran in the Travers, and that was his best race by far. In Florida, he had to ship down to Gulfstream [from Palm Meadows Training Center] and we breezed him there. His first race was good, but the Florida Derby was better.
"His second race going over the track was better," she added. "We didn't take him back down to breeze him. We kept him at Palm Meadows. Looking at it from that standpoint this far out from what we know now, his best races are when he has a couple of works over the track. We discussed that and decided the best we could possibly do for him is give him two works over that track."
Smullen praised Tiz the Law for his intelligence and being able to place himself right where he needs to be, building a rapport with jockey Manny Franco.
"If you watch his replay in the Belmont, Manny is just sitting there and leaves him alone. If he breaks and he's good, he'll place himself," Smullen said. "He's not grabbing, he's not rank, he's going to place himself where he's comfortable and Manny is smart enough to see what's going on. If it's real slow and Tiz automatically moves up, you're not going to say 'Hey, I don't want you to move,' you're going to sit there because Tiz is just going to be running his race.
"From a jockey's standpoint, he's got to be one of the easiest horses to ride," Smullen continued. He always puts you where you need to be. We'll just have to see what our post is and take it from there, but I think he's tactical enough where he can do whatever he wants to do."
A $110,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale, the Constitution bay has amassed $2,615,300 in purse earnings. Bred in the Empire State by Twin Creeks Farm, Tiz the Law is out of the graded stakes winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz.
Longshot specialist Second of July looking to prove doubters wrong again in next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint
Bryan Hillard's Second of July came out of his victory in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Futurity at Belmont Park in good order, trainer Phil Gleaves said. The 2-year-old son of Jack Milton improved to 2-for-2 to start his career with a second consecutive victory at long odds, besting a seven-horse field as a 15-1 longshot to win the 130th Futurity, a prestigious race that awarded Second of July an automatic entry to the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 6 at Keeneland.
"He's home from Belmont and is in good shape and we'll make our decision, but obviously we are leaning towards going to the Breeders' Cup as long as the horse is OK," Gleaves said.
Second of July won at 68-1 in his debut in a six-furlong maiden sprint on September 20 at Belmont. Gleaves said he's confident the Kentucky homebred can handle shipping in for a race at a different track for the first time in his career should he go to Kentucky for his Grade 1 bow.
"It's hard to say with any 2-year-old, it's always different going into new surroundings. But we'll get there well ahead of the race and familiarize him with the surroundings and the paddock and we'll see what happens from there," Gleaves said.
Gleaves praised his charge's ability to close strongly.
"His turn-of-foot, especially for a sprinter, has impressed me; he really quickens-up well," Gleaves said. "In his first start, he came home very fast. He did it again Sunday."
Second of July would be Gleaves' fourth career starter in a Breeders' Cup race and first in 11 years, where Mambo Meister ran fifth in the 2009 Dirt Mile. Gleaves said the industry has undergone major changes since he saddled his first Breeders' Cup contender when Happy Jazz Band ran fourth in the 1990 Juvenile and Devil On Ice followed with a 10th-place effort in the Juvenile the following year.
"It's very exciting," Gleaves said. "We had relocated to south Florida to raise our son and after he want off to college, we wanted to get back to the big time, so to speak, and here we are. A lot has happened since the first time. My hair was a lot darker at that point. But the game has changed drastically but top-class racing is always going to be what it is."
Thin White Duke, who Gleaves co owns with Steve Crist, Ken deRegt and Hillard, won his second consecutive stakes when capturing the Aspirant on October 6 at Finger Lakes, which followed his win in the Funny Cide on September 4 at Saratoga. The juvenile son of Dominus could be on target to face fellow New York breds again in the $150,000 Sleepy Hollow going one mile on October 24 as part of Belmont's Empire Showcase Day or return to Finger Lakes for his next start.
"The Duke is doing super," Gleaves said. "He came out of his race in excellent order."
Ward leaning toward Juvenile Fillies turf with Matron (G3) heroine Royal Approval
Following a stakes victory in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Matron at Belmont, trainer Wesley Ward reported that Three Chimneys Farm's Royal Approval is looking forward to her next engagement in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The Kentucky homebred daughter of Tiznow displayed similar tactics in the six-furlong event at Belmont Park as she did in her maiden triumph on September 9 at Kentucky Downs. In both races, she sat close to the pace early on and produced an explosive turn-of-foot when asked.
Ward said he is leaning toward giving Royal Approval more distance in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile as opposed to the Juvenile Turf Sprint at 5 ½ furlongs.
"Right now, I'd say we'll go for the mile," Ward said. "After discussing it with [Three Chimneys vice chairman] Doug Cauthen and [chairman] Mr. [Goncalo Borges] Torrealba, we think the extra ground will do her some good."
Ward will saddle the likely favorite in the Juvenile Turf Sprint in Golden Pal, who was a runaway winner of the Skidmore at Saratoga. Royal Approval will likely square off against stablemate and familiar foe Campanelle, who defeated her in a Gulfstream Park maiden event and also is slated to race in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Owned by Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Farm, Campanelle is unbeaten in three starts, including international endeavors in the Grade 2 Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Grade 1 Prix Morny at Deauville.
When asked of the possibility of a Wesley Ward exacta in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, Ward said: "That would be unbelievable."
Royal Approval is out of the Malibu Moon mare Touch the Moon and is from the same family as 2005 Kentucky Oaks winner Summerly.
Buy Land and See returns to Belmont turf for Hill Prince (G2)
Joseph Imbesi's Pennsylvania-bred Buy Land and See returns to the course and distance of his first career stakes win in Sunday's re-scheduled Grade 2, $150,000 Hill Prince; a one mile test for sophomores on Belmont's Widener turf.
The talented Cairo Prince gray boasts a perfect in-the-money record of three wins and two thirds in a career that launched with a deceptively good third in a loaded 5 ½-furlong maiden turf sprint last August at Saratoga won by Mystic Lancelot, with eventual Grade 2 Blue Grass-winner Art Collector in second.
"That was a tough maiden special weight in his first start. Art Collector went on to do well," said trainer Steve Klesaris.
Buy Land and See then reeled off a trio of scores including an 8 1/4-length graduation in September 2019 at Parx in a track record 1:30.03 for 7 ½-furlongs on good turf and a neck score over eventual Grade 2-winner Pixelate in the one-turn mile Awad last October on the Widener turf labeled good at Belmont.
He recovered from a serious illness following the Awad and returned off a nine-month layoff on July 28 at Parx where he captured a restricted 7 1/2-furlong allowance event over firm footing.
Last out, in the 5 1/2-furlong Mahony on August 26 on a firm Saratoga turf, Buy Land and See settled for third in a race won by the frontrunning Jack and Noah.
Klesaris said he wanted to stretch Buy Land and See back out in distance following a tough trip sprinting in the Mahony.
"We thought he might want more ground. He didn't show us enough in the Mahony, although he was pinned down toward the inside which may not have been the best place to be," said Klesaris. "He won the Awad at a mile and we also wanted to give him more time between races after being off.
"He's doing really well," continued Klesaris. "Certainly, he's stepping up into steeper company here. It's a good group of horses. Hopefully, the ground is good and we'll hope for the best."
Buy Land and See has posted six weekly breezes on the Delaware Park main track dating back to September 6, including a bullet half-mile in 47.60 seconds, in preparation for the Awad. The preparations also included a pair of one-mile works.
"I'm pleased with the way he's training," said Klesaris. "We kept the cardio going and got some air into him. That last work, we gave him a real sharp breeze to get him ready to go."
After making his last two starts from the inside post, Buy Land and See will exit post 7 on Sunday when he is reunited with jockey Jose Lezcano, who was aboard for his debut effort.
"I'll let Jose use his judgment. He rides that turf course well," said Klesaris.
Belmont Week 6 stakes probables
Saturday, October 24
$175,000 Empire Classic
Probable: Bankit (Steve Asmussen), Captain Bombastic (Jeremiah Englehart), Chestertown (Asmussen), City Man (Christophe Clement), Danny California (Orlando Noda), Evaluator (H. James Bond), Mr. Buff (John Kimmel), Sea Foam (Clement)
Possible: Bluegrascat's Smile (Gary Sciacca), Winston's Chance (David Donk)
$175,000 Empire Distaff
Probable: Forever Changed (Charlton Baker), Ice Princess (Danny Gargan), Lucky Move (Juan Guerreo), Makingcents (J. Englehart), Mrs. Orb (Michael Miceli), Ratajkowski (H. Graham Motion), Singular Sensation (Mark Hennig)
Probable: Cross Border (Mike Maker), Dot Matrix (Brad Cox), Gucci Factor (Clement), Opt (Robert Ribaudo), Rinaldi (Bond), Somelikeithotbrown (Maker), Therapist (Clement)
Possible: Klickitat (Jimmy Jerkens)
Probable: Classic Lady (Clement), Myhartblongstodady (Jorge Abreu), Niko's Dream (Barclay Tagg), War Canoe (Chad Brown), Wegetsdamunnys (Clement)
Possible: Kilkea (Mark Hennig)
$150,000 Sleepy Hollow
Probable: Blue Gator (Maker), Brooklyn Strong (Daniel Velazquez), Hold the Salsa (Richard Lugovich), Masked Marauder (Rob Atras)
Possible: Eagle Orb (Rudy Rodriguez), Half Right (Clement), Thin White Duke (Phil Gleaves)
$150,000 Maid of the Mist
Probable: Infringement (Hennig), Laobanonaprayer (Velazquez), Part's At Page's (J. Englehart)
Possible: Cara's Dreamer (Mitchell Friedman), Frost Me (Kimmel), Mashnee Girl (Henning)
Probable: Arthur's Hope (Marco Salazar), Big Engine (Linda Rice), Captain Bombastic (J. Englehart), Dugout (Larry Rivelli), Foolish Ghost (Ray Handal), My Boy Tate (Michelle Nevin), T Loves a Fight (Noda), Tribecca (Chris Englehart)
Probable: Bertranda (Noda), Critical Value (J. Englehart), Fair Regis (Atras), My Roxy Girl (Charlton Baker), Newly Minted (Rice), Office Hutchy (Atras), Spin a Yard (Chris Progno), Timely Tradition (Ray Handal)
Sunday, October 25
$100,000 Athenia (G3)
Probable: Call Me Love (Clement), Chaleur (Mott), Feel Glorious (Clement), Story Time (J. Kent Sweezey), Sweet Bye and Bye (Tony Dutrow), two expected entrants from Chad Brown
Possible: Lagom (Niall Saville), No Mo Lady (Michael Trombetta), Our Bay B Ruth (Eddie Kenneally)