Tiz the Law wins a very unusual Florida Derby at Gulfstream

MIAMI (AP) – If there is a Kentucky Derby this year, Tiz the Law has a chance to be there.

And if he runs like he did in the Florida Derby, he could very easily be a contender.

Tiz the Law ran away on Saturday leading up to easily win the Florida Derby and took a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points classification used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law’s win in Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than it takes to win Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby ends as planned in early September.

It’s a good feeling for a sport that needs one: Tiz the Law is owned by Sackatoga Stable, the upstate New York-based group that took the sport by storm when Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003.

“Man, I hope they’re very happy,” said winning jockey Manny Franco of the Sackatoga group led by Jack Knowlton, who watched the race from an apartment in Hallandale Beach, Florida, about a mile from the track. . “Their horse did a great job. ”

Franco said that before the race, he received telephone instructions from winning trainer Barclay Tagg, but that he didn’t have to do much work once the gate was opened.

“I give full credit to the horse,” said Franco.

Shivaree, a 80-1 long shot, came in second and took 50 points to probably win a spot in the field. Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien finished third in a very unusual race on Gulfstream, where fans were not allowed and even owners were told to stay off the track due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tiz the Law covered nine furlongs in a 1:50 condo and made $ 4.80, $ 3.60, and $ 2.80. Shivaree paid $ 42 and $ 13, and Ete Indien paid $ 3.40 to show.

Normally, Tiz the Law would now be the immediate target of the Kentucky Derby, as it would run in five weeks. But the pandemic has changed everything, and now it’s unclear when or where one of the top Derby contenders – including Tiz the Law now – will be performing again.

No major Kentucky Derby preparation is yet planned until May 2, when the Arkansas Derby is being run. Other important preparations – such as the Santa Anita Derby, the Wood Memorial and the Blue Grass – are all on hold.

“Maybe we can do a Travers-Derby double,” said Knowlton. At the moment, it’s a blank slate. Nobody knows what will happen where and when with everything that happens in the country. … All we know is that we have a horse that is very special, and it is quite exciting for us. ”

Many tracks are currently not running due to the pandemic; Santa Anita in California closed indefinitely on Friday, and Aqueduct, one of the three tracks from the New York Racing Association, canceled the rest of its winter and spring rallies on Saturday. State officials announced that Aqueduct would become a temporary hospital site to help some of the many affected in the New York area.

“Aqueduct Racetrack will serve as a safe haven for those recovering from this virus,” said NYRA CEO and President Dave O’Rourke. “We recognize that we all need to work together as a community to meet this challenge and get stronger. ”

The winter meeting of Aqueduct ended on Sunday and the spring meeting ran from April 2-19. NYRA’s next meeting is the 51-day schedule in Belmont Park, which is still to open on April 24.

Gulfstream’s championship game ends on Sunday. The spring-summer race is scheduled to start racing on Friday, usually four days a week until the end of September.

Florida overshadowed the 4,000 case mark on Saturday – with about half of those hailing from the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward, meaning Gulfstream Park is squarely within the state’s pandemic hotspot. Gulfstream is located in Hallandale Beach, in Broward County, just across the Miami-Dade border to the south.

Gulfstream announced on March 12 that it would continue live racing, but without fans. It has tightened the protocols at least twice since, first by closing the casino on site on March 16 and then moving to a ‘no guests, no exceptions’ policy on 19 March that banned the media and even owners from seeing races.

Staying open has even sparked the anger of some local politicians who insisted that the job should not be run with the area actually locked. But gamblers continued to pour in money through online and simulcast capabilities.

“ I think it’s critical to the racing economy that we keep racing if we can, ” said trainer Todd Pletcher, adding that his position is based on safety guaranteed for all involved.

The lack of circuit control and casino revenues forced Gulfstream to cut the Florida Derby wallet from $ 1 million to $ 750,000. The track also dropped the wallet for a number of other races on Saturday.

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