by Jeremy Plonk
March 30, 2020
Each Monday, I’ll select my Most Valuable Pony from the previous week’s racing action around the country. Who won the week? It could be a breakout performer, a known stakes commodity or the horse lifting the most loot. Chime in on Twitter @Xpressbet with your thoughts on who should be each week’s MVP.
March 23-March 29, 2020
MVP: Tiz the Law
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Jockey: Manny Franco
Performance: Tiz the Law left no doubt in the March 28 Grade 1 $750,000 Florida Derby who was the best 3-year-old at Gulfstream Park this winter/spring. He added to his Grade 3 Holy Bull victory with a widening, 4-1/2 length cruise over a field that included the 1-2-3 finishers in the Grade Fountain of Youth. His time of 1:50 flat was more than 1 length faster than the same-day Grade 3 Hal’s Hope for older horses. Tiz the Law, a son of fellow Florida Derby champ Constitution, firmly put himself atop the east coast’s sophomore class, though the 2020 Kentucky Derby tentatively awaits in September.
On Tap: The uncertainty of the 3-year-old calendar makes what’s next the most clouded Triple Crown trail in memory. Owner Sackatoga Stable has been public in its quest to return to the Kentucky Derby some 17 years after its success with Funny Cide. Obviously a run through Saratoga en route to September could be in the cards if the Travers date shifts, and any Triple Crown dates are on the radar in no matter which order they are presented, Tagg said.
Honorable Mentions: Mean Mary was fantastic in her wire-to-wire score March 28 in the Grade 3 Orchid. The Graham Motion trainee has developed into one of the top Filly & Mare Turf divisions prospects for the rest of the 2020 season. The return effort March 28 at Gulfstream Park by Vekoma to win the listed Sir Shackleton Stakes also caught the eye. Last year’s Blue Grass winner was off since a Kentucky Derby injury and shook off the rust to win over 7 furlongs in a rapid 1:21.92. If he can stay healthy, his versatility in distance makes him an interesting Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile division player.