Wide draw for Tiz The Law

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Tiz The Law
June 20, 2020; Elmont, NY, USA: Manuel Franco finishes first with Tiz the Law in the152nd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Michael Karas/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz The Law will have to defy the weight of history after being drawn in stall 17 for the Churchill Downs contest.

No horse has won the ‘Run for the Roses’ from this draw, which will surely be a concern for trainer Barclay Tagg following the post-draw on Tuesday.

Having won the Belmont Stakes in June, Tiz The Law butchered his Grade 1 opposition with an ultra-impressive display in last month’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

He represents the same connections who won the Derby and Preakness in 2003 with Funny Cide but will now have the weight of Kentucky Derby history against him.

Also, his only career defeat came at Churchill Downs in November last year, leaving him with another trend to buck.

Intriguingly, Tiz The Law‘s principle rivals in the betting are drawn either side of him, with the John Shirreffs-trained Honor A.P. in stall 16 and Authentic, who is in the care of Bob Baffert, in gate 18.

Hall of Fame trainer Baffert is bidding for a sixth Kentucky Derby win and has further claims with Thousand Words, who was drawn in gate 10.

The other main news ahead of the draw came when Blue Grass winner Art Collector was forced to be withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby after picking up a minor foot problem.

Reflecting on the draw, Tagg wasn’t downcast on the position of Tiz The Law.

“I like being on the outside, I didn’t particularly want to be out that far but he seems to handle everything that’s thrown at him so we’ll just have to leave it up to him. It gives you a chance, if you have any speed at all, it gives you a chance to get a better position.”

On the fact that no horse has won the race from stall 17, he added: “I just put those kind of things out of my mind. There are a lot of horses who didn’t win the Derby so frankly I’m not that worried about it.”

Tagg has seen his share of good animals in his career but Tiz The Law is, in his opinion, almost certainly something completely different.

“I keep pinching myself because he’s such a unique horse,” Tagg continued. “Everything we’ve asked him to do he just does it. He’s a strong horse, he’s not flighty but he’s on the muscle all the time.

“He’s so exciting in his races. You think he’s gotten in trouble here, in trouble there and next thing you know, he’s in front. He’s a pretty amazing horse. I don’t know if I’ve seen a horse like him.”