Shifman: Tiz the Law deserves Horse of the Year consideration

Shifman: Tiz the Law deserves Horse of the Year consideration
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

In the NTRA Poll of April 20 of this year, I took a stand and put Tiz the Law in the No. 1 position in both the Top 3-Year-Old poll and the overall Top Thoroughbred poll. That was certainly a position that went against the majority of the voters who had Midnight Bisou as the top Thoroughbred in the country.

Since then, I have stuck to the notion that Tiz the Law had achieved the most on the track and would be my choice for Horse of the Year if the vote was taken each of the subsequent weeks.

Tiz the Law lived up to my lofty expectations in the Belmont Stakes and did what I expected him to do, which was win easily and impressively. The New York-bred handles himself with such confidence out on the track, and that translates to a horse that left no doubts in the first leg of the Triple Crown.


Trainer Barclay Tagg felt that Tiz the Law did just what was expected in the Belmont.

"It looked to me like everything just went like clockwork,” Tagg explained. “That's the way the horse likes to run, and that's the position the horse likes to be in. Manny [Franco] knows the horse very well. We discussed it quickly before I put him up on the horse, and I felt very confident Manny would ride him that way. I felt pretty solid about halfway down the lane. It's a good feeling."

Now Tiz the Law has two Grade 1s and a Grade 2 victory, and he has a chance to win the unique 2020 Triple Crown. Currently, he owns the best resume of any horse in competition and the prestige of a Belmont Stakes win.

As a result, Tiz the Law got 38 of the 39 No. 1 votes in this week’s Top 3-Year-Old Poll, and I was joined by four other voters who put him in the top spot in the
Top Thoroughbred poll and moved him up to No. 7 overall.

Looking ahead, the Travers (G1) is next for Tiz the Law on Aug. 8 at Saratoga. That would be another prestigious victory for the 3-year-old and his trainer.

"I've never won the Travers, and I want to win it," Tagg said. "It's very important to me."

Should Tiz the Law succeed in the Travers and the win the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in September, it would be hard to argue with his Horse of the Year credentials.


 Consensus Top 10

 Matt Shifman's Top 10

 1. Midnight Bisou (25)

 1. Tiz the Law

 2. By My Standards (1)

 2. Honor A. P.

 3. Mucho Gusto

 3. Code of Honor

 4. Code of Honor (4)

 4. Midnight Bisou

 5. Tom’s d’Etat

 5. By My Standards

 6. Zulu Alpha

 6. Tom’s d’Etat

 7. Vekoma

 7. Vekoma

 8. Tiz the Law (5)

 8. Mucho Gusto

 9. Improbable

 9. Improbable

 10. Maximum Security (4)

 10. McKinizie

Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Recently, Matt helped launch Derby Day Racing, a new 2-year-old racing partnership, that just purchased a promising Lookin At Lucky filly named Sooner Schooner.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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