New-Look 3-year-old Season Schedule Revolves around Tiz the Law
By Noel Michaels
TIZ THE LAW stands as the clear leader of the 3yo division based on his nearly flawless record
that now includes a powerful win the Belmont Stakes, which this year was run as the first leg or
horseracing’s Triple Crown. If the Kentucky Derby were run tomorrow, he would be the odds-on
The 2020 running of the BELMONT STAKES is in the books, and the winner was New York-
bred TIZ THE LAW, ridden by Manny Franco, trained by Barclay Tagg, and owned by
Sackatoga Stable, reuniting the trainer/ownership team that brought us Funny Cide, who won the
2003 Derby and Preakness.
Tiz the Law pressed a solid pace in the Belmont Stakes, took over at the top of the stretch, and
powered clear to a 3 3/4-length win in 1:46.2 for the 1 1/8 miles over a field of 10. He now adds
the Belmont Stakes to his list of victories that also includes a win the Holy Bull (G3) at
Gulfstream this winter followed by a tour de force victory last time out in the Florida Derby,
where he effortlessly crushed the field. He is now a multiple Grade 1 winner at Belmont,
including last fall’s Champagne Stakes, where he also demolished the field.
Not to take anything away from Tiz the Law, but all of his best competition up until this point –
Nadal, Charlatan, Maxfield, Wells Bayou – are all inured and off the Triple Crown trail, leaving
Tiz the Law to Stand alone head and shoulders above the rest of the current 3yo crop.
DR POST, a lightly-raced up-and-comer from the Todd Pletcher barn, finished best of the rest in
second in the Belmont, and it was another length-and-a-half back to MAX PLAYER, who
closed late for third for trainer Linda Rice. There’s no reason that duo will not continue on the
Triple Crown trail the rest of this season. Meanwhile, the likes of the plodding FARMINGTON
ROAD, Bill Mott’s Risen Star winner MODERNIST, Patrick Biancone’s Sam F. Davis winner
SOLE VOLANTE, and Mark Casse’s fast Belmont allowance winner TAP IT TO WIN, all
The Triple Crown and entire 3-year-old picture has been re-shuffled in 2020, and the Belmont
Stakes was shortened from 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles in order to become the first leg of this
season’s Triple Crown. This was necessitated, of course, when the date of the KENTUCKY
DERBY was postponed by Churchill Downs from its original scheduled date on May 2 to its
new date on Sept. 5. Rounding out this year’s Triple Crown will be the PREAKNESS STAKES
on October 3. At this point, there’s no reason to think that Tiz the Law won’t be there going for it
all the way, even though this year’s Triple Crown no doubt will come with an asterisk attached to
The next races on the road to the Triple Crown will include the Blue Grass Stakes at the special
one-week Keeneland meet on July 11, followed by the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July
18, and Del Mar’s new Derby prep, the Shared Belief Stakes on August 1.
Saratoga’s stakes schedule was released last week, and the big news there is that the TRAVERS
STAKES was moved to a new date to accommodate the Kentucky Derby. The Travers will be
run four weeks ahead of the Derby on Saturday, August 8. The Travers is reportedly the next
stop on the agenda for Tiz the Law.
Here is the schedule of major 3-year-old stakes the rest of the season:
July 11 Blue Grass Stakes Keeneland
July 18 Haskell Invitational Monmouth
Aug. 1 Shared Belief Stakes Del Mar
Aug. 8 Travers Stakes Saratoga
Sept. 5 The Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs
Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes Pimlico
Kentucky Derby hopefuls will also have chances to earn points toward qualifying for the Derby
in lesser races, such as the Ohio Derby on June 27 at Thistledown, the Los Alamitos Derby on
July 4, and the Indiana Derby on July 8.
So with Belmont winner Tiz the Law squarely on top of the division at this moment, and so
many others hurt, who is likely to be the top competition the rest of the season?
The clear number two horse as of now looks like Santa Anita Derby winner HONOR A.P.
trained by John Sherreffs, who looked good at Santa Anita and should only get better at 1 ¼
miles in the Kentucky Derby. His next race will be the Shared Belief at Del Mar.
Bob Baffert lost major contenders Nadal and Charlatan, but he’s still in the Derby mix with the
likes of Santa Anita Derby runner-up AUTHENTIC, whose next start will be in the Haskell.
Baffert also trains a pair of promising recent maiden winners, UNCLE CHUCK and
Tampa Bay Derby winner and Arkansas Derby runner-up KING GUILLERMO, trained by
Juan Carlos Avila, is likely to train up to the Kentucky Derby. The Blue Grass Stakes is expected
to draw a deep and competitive field that includes Derby hopefuls like the Steve Asmussen-
trained Hopeful (G1) winner BASIN, Todd Pletcher’s Arkansas Derby third-place finisher
GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, the Saffie Joseph-trained Matt Winn third-place finisher NY
TRAFFIC, the Mark Casse-trained Louisiana Derby fifth-place finish ENFORCEABLE, and
the Tom Drury-trained impressive Churchill allowance winner ART COLLECTOR.