Shifman: Why Tiz the Law tops this voter's NTRA ballot

Shifman: Why Tiz the Law tops this voter's NTRA ballot
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Even without an important race in the division, the sophomores stayed in the national spotlight over the last week when NTRA Top 3-Year-Old Poll leader Nadal sustained an injury that's likely to send him to retirement and a career at stud. As a result, Tiz the Law is back on top of the rankings.

Tiz the Law received 27 of the 35 first-place votes cast this week. However, the voters were unsure how to handle Nadal. Overall, he dropped down to the No. 7 spot. But while five people ranked him No. 1, others removed him from their top 10 altogether.

To me, Nadal’s 2020 campaign -- a 4-for-4 record with three graded wins -- deserves recognition. I placed him fifth given the horses that are still active ahead of him have a chance to make a significant impact on the new Kentucky Derby trail and in the Triple Crown races.

In addition to shifting Tiz the Law back to the top spot in the 3-year-old rankings, I placed him No. 1 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll as well.

Feeling that no older horse has yet to make a strong claim for first, I deferred to the winner of both the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby (G1). Others are likely to follow if Tiz the Law prevails in the June 20 Belmont Stakes.

This weekend, Grade 1 racing resumes in earnest with the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1), along with the Santa Anita Oaks (G2). Ranked horses such as Honor A. P., Authentic and Swiss Skydiver are all expected to run in the 3-year-old events, while the Gold Cup could influence the Top Thoroughbred Poll depending upon which older horse prevails going 1 1/4 miles; last year, the race produced eventual champion Vino Rosso.

At Belmont Park, turf stars Rushing Fall and Got Stormy are set to face off on opening Wednesday in the Beaugay (G3). The first Grade 1 race of the year in New York will then run on Saturday with the Carter (G1) featuring Mind Control, Firenze Fire, Vekoma and Performer, among others, while the 4-year-old Code of Honor makes his 2020 debut in the Westchester (G3).

 Consensus Top 10

 Matt Shifman's Top 10

 1. Midnight Bisou (27)

 1. Tiz the Law

 2. Mucho Gusto

 2. Midnight Bisou

 3. By My Standards (2)

 3. Mucho Gusto

 4. Zulu Alpha

 4. By My Standards

 5. Tom’s d’Etat (1)

 5. Tom’s d’Etat

 6. Maximum Security (5)

 6. Raging Bull

 7. Monomoy Girl

 7. Owendale

 8. Raging Bull

 8. Zulu Alpha

 9. Ce Ce

 9. Monomoy Girl

 10. Mr Freeze

 10. Mind Control 

Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. 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

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

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

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.

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

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