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Tiz the Law a standout in Florida Derby

Tiz the Law a standout in Florida Derby

Friday, March 27, 2020 // By NY Hot List Staff

Amid a world fighting a pandemic, there will be a nice diversion Saturday afternoon Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park.

A stellar 14-race card has been assembled with 10 stakes, topped by the last race of the day, the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby.

Normally an often accurate barometer of success in the Kentucky Derby, Saturday’s stakes has a new meaning with the Run for the Roses shifted to Sept. 5. It’s still a rich stakes for 3-year-olds but rather than focus on what will happen in May, from the comfort of their homes, fans should enjoy a lively betting affair with 12 starters.

The race attracted a stellar field led by 6-5 favorite Tiz the Law, who has won three of four starts, including the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park by three lengths in his lone 2020 start.

“He certainly proved in his last race that he can run off a layoff,” said Jack Knowlton, whose Sackatoga Stable owns Tiz the Law. “so I don’t think there’s any question about that. He showed he liked the track there at Gulfstream. Probably the top competitor there is a horse that we beat in Ete Indien. We beat him going a mile and a sixteenth and I think our horse is absolutely well suited to go more than a mile and a sixteenth,” Knowlton said. “A mile and an eighth to him, I don’t think is any challenge to him at all.”

Ete Indien was second to Tiz the Law in the Holy Bull then came back to win the Fountain of Youth by 8 ½ lengths in his last start.

A major obstacle for Ete Indien will be post 12, forcing swift action by jockey Florent Geroux in order to avoid being carried wide on the first turn.

“I don’t think he has a problem with stamina. He’s very manageable. The other day (in the Fountain of Youth), we had to ask him to get out of a bad hole. When he got the lead, he relaxed immediately and he was very manageable. Florent said he came back to him very nicely. He slowed down and relaxed,: trainer Patrick Biancone said. “The horse keeps improving from race to race. Hopefully, he’ll keep improving and we should have a really good horse in the summer.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has won the Florida Derby five times, will seek No. 6 with the uncoupled duo of Gouverneur Morris and Candy Tycoon.

Gouverneur Morris was second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at two and won a Tampa Bay allowance race to kick off 2020

“I thought it was a good comeback. It wasn’t a cupcake field. He finished up well and seemed to come out of it and has trained strongly since then. We weren’t 100 percent sure what his next start was going to be, but based on the strength of his last breeze and the fact that the Florida Derby is right in front of us we felt like we better go ahead and go now,” Pletcher said. “He’s training as well as ever. I thought in particular his last breeze was the one we were hoping for and kind of sold us on the time to go is now.”

Candy Tycoon was second in the Fountain of Youth.

“The last race was an improved performance by him. He’s one that we’ve kind of had high hopes for. He’s kind of frustrated us a little bit because he trained a little better than he had been running in the afternoons but that was kind of the first time he settled off the pace a little bit. He seemed to make a move forward doing that,” Pletcher said. “This race on paper appears to have plenty of pace so it could be a good setup for him, but once again he needs to step up and make another move forward to get a piece of it.”

Independence Hall tried two turns for the first time in the Sam F. Davis Stakes and finished second as a 3-5 favorite. He will try to atone for that setback Saturday.

The rest of the field include As Seen On Tv, Shivaree, Disc Jockey, Soros, Ajaaweed, My First Grammy and Sassy But Smart. Rogue Element is on the also-eligible list.