by Jeremy Plonk
June 22, 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.
June 15-21, 2020
MVP: Tiz the Law
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Jockey: Manny Franco
Performance: The 2020 Triple Crown series kickoff was over at the coin toss. Tiz the Law towered over the entries as the 6-5 morning line favorite, and the public choice at 4-5 looked like a winner every step of the June 20 Grade 1 $1 million Belmont Stakes. Tiz the Law overtook Tap It to Win and Fore Left at the top of the stretch and quickly widened to score by 3-3/4 lengths. The pace players were defeated 14 and 22-3/4 lengths in this first-over trouncing from the 2019 Champagne and 2020 Florida Derby champ.
On Tap: With the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby the obvious calendar circle on September 5, expect to see New York-bred Tiz the Law reappear next in the recently announced August 8 Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga. It’s a home-game for the ownership group there, where a Travers score means a lot personally. Depending how the next few steps turn out, races like the Oct. 3 Grade 1 Preakness could fit the playbill.
Honorable Mentions: Arguably tops this week, Gamine crushed the Grade 1 $300,000 Acorn on the Belmont Stakes undercard by 18-3/4 lengths, and in some opinions stole the show. Her time of 1:32.55 set an Acorn Stakes record by more than a full second. Meanwhile, Jean Elizabeth won for the eighth straight time when she tallied the June 21 Grade 3 $125,000 Whimsical at Woodbine. She’s now 15-for-21 lifetime with 19 exacta finishes for trainer Larry Rivelli. And Collusion Illusion remained perfect when sprinting, tallying his fourth victory in the June 20 Grade 3 $100,000 Laz Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita on closing weekend.