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Most Valuable Pony (August 3-9): Tiz the Law

by Jeremy Plonk

August 10, 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.

August 3-9, 2020

MVP: Tiz the Law

Owner: Sackatoga Stable

Trainer: Barclay Tagg

Jockey: Manny Franco

Performance: The odds-on favorite left no doubt who was best in the Aug. 8 Grade 1 $1 million Travers. Jockey Manny Franco sent him after pacesetting Uncle Chuck midway down the backstretch, put that one away in upper stretch and coasted home by a widening, 5-1/2 length margin. Tiz the Law stopped the clock for one mile and one-quarter in 2:00.95, one of the five-fastest Travers editions ever. It was the fourth straight win on the campaign, adding to his Grade 1 scores in the Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes. Tiz the Law became the first horse since Summer Bird in 2009 to win the Belmont and Travers.

On Tap: Tiz the Law heads to the Kentucky Derby as likely the heaviest favorite since Arazi was 4-5 in 1992. Depending on the result there, he could continue on to October’s Preakness with a chance at a Triple Crown sweep, or a potential date in November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland. All three races remain on the table for what could be a remarkable, single-season resume.

Honorable Mentions: Also at Saratoga, Serengeti Empress outlasted blistering early fractions for a memorable, front-end score in the Aug. 8 Grade 1 Ballerina over Bellafina. Most any other week, this could take top billing, and arguably still could. Gamine blew away the Grade 1 Test Stakes field on Aug. 8 at Saratoga by 7 lengths in a sizzling 1:20.83 for 7 furlongs. Meanwhile, Jackie’s Warrior ran away with the Aug. 7 Grade 2 Saratoga Special for Steve Asmussen, stamping himself as the east’s top 2-year-old to date with 6 furlongs in 1:09.62. Art Collector solidified himself as a top 2-3 contender for the Kentucky Derby with his wire-to-wire romp in the Aug. 9 Ellis Park Derby.