Analysis: Play a Kentucky Jockey Club contender under Tiz the Law

November 28, 2019 02:20pm
Analysis: Play a Kentucky Jockey Club contender under Tiz the Law
Photo: Bee Buck Photography
You can't always go against the favorite, as talent can justify some low odds. One example is Tiz the Law in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Even though Tiz the Law sits at 7-5 on the morning line, it seems too difficult to beat him. He hits many checkmarks that make him stand out in the 1 1/16-mile event on the Kentucky Derby trail.

To start off, Tiz the Law is 2-for-2 for trainer Barclay Tagg and Sackatoga Stables, with both of those victories impressive visually.

For example, in his Aug. 8 maiden win at Saratoga, Tiz the Law galloped away from a nice New York-bred in Dream Bigger to win by 4 ¼ lengths. He earned a 112 TimeformUS Speed Figure, adjusted down from a raw 116.

Next, Tiz the Law attempted the Champagne Stakes (G1) off his debut victory. He won by an easy four lengths.

Tiz the Law not only recovered from a slow start, but he still made his move after not settling well behind horses on the backside. For a 2-year-old making his Grade 1 debut after only one race, some greenness is fine. 

Once tipped out in the clear for the stretch run, Tiz the Law displayed his superiority and drew away late. He beat a decent horse in Green Light Go, who held on for second over the Monmouth invader Big City Bob.

Yes, Tiz the Law needs to tighten up his mechanics a bit, especially when going around two turns for the first time. Regardless, the fact Tiz the Law won in dominant fashion anyway is a great sign.

He “only” earned a 105 on the Timeform scale for the Champagne. But considering the poor start and the fact he needed to wait behind horses, a that's a solid number. It's also the best last-race TimeformUS figure in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

While no horse is ever a 100% lock, Tiz the Law is close in Saturday's race. None of his 2-year-old rivals give the feeling of a potential star. Tiz the Law is picking up the game quickly and could rise to the top soon.

South Bend is the morning line second choice off his one-length victory over Fighting Seabee in the local Street Sense Stakes on Oct. 27. However, South Bend enjoyed a ground-saving trip in that race and did not win by huge margin, while Fighting Seabee went at least four-wide on the turn.

Considering Fighting Seabee covered more ground, it is not clear whether South Bend is more talented than him, or if he only got lucky.

With that in mind, given South Bend is 9/5 on the morning line and Fighting Seabee is 8-1, it makes more sense to use Fighting Seabee underneath.

Another alternative to South Bend in the second slot is Enforceable.

After losing his first three starts, one of them on turf, Enforceable broke his maiden in a nine-furlong dirt race at Saratoga, winning by ¾ of a length. For the maiden win, he earned a modest 95 TimeformUS Speed Figure.

The connections backed him up a bit when attempting the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, where he made a mild bid to finish third, six lengths behind the highly-touted Maxfield and only half a length behind Gouverneur Morris.

It is a slight negative that Enforceable lost ground to Maxfield and failed to pass Gouverneur Morris for second despite taking dead aim. But he deserves another shot from bettors to move forward for trainer Mark Casse.

His pedigree is royal as a full brother to Mohaymen and Kingly, and a half-brother to New Year's Day. Fans will recognize the dam, Justwhistledixie.  On the downside, his pedigree could hurt the price.

The rest of the field isn't too interesting for the top two spots. But the longshot Finnick the Fierce gets a brief mention in this analysis for running a closing fourth in a local Nov. 9 allowance race, losing by 1 ½ lengths to Self Taught.

For what it is worth, Self Taught previously broke his maiden at Delaware Park,
the second-place Mr. Tip came off a maiden win as well at Arlington, and the third-place Lykan broke his at Keeneland, giving the race some credit.

From watching the replay, it is clear Finnick the Fierce is green. Yet, he is the kind of late-clunking horse that can blow up superfectas.

This is not the kind of race to overthink, however, in the win slot. Tiz the Law is the best horse in this race by a few lengths, and given a clean trip, he will show it. But underneath, the race becomes more open to creativity.

One idea is to watch which of Enforceable or Fighting Seabee offers a higher payoff underneath Tiz the Law and bet the straight exacta accordingly.


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Meet Reinier Macatangay

My first time at the racetrack came as a 5-year-old kid at Santa Anita Park. For most of my younger life, that was the only track I attended other the occasional visit to Hollywood Park. 

Years later, after graduating California State University, Stanislaus with an English MA, I began writing for Lady and the Track. From late 2014-2016, my articles were seen on a weekly basis and covered handicapping, interviews with well-known racing personalities, fashion and more. 

The handicapping style I use concentrates on pace analysis. Some horses are compromised by the pace. Others are helped. Handicappers just starting out cannot easily see how pace affects the finish, so with this blog, I hope to help those unsure of how to apply pace into their handicapping and post-race analysis. 

On an unrelated note, I enjoy video games and attending anime or comic-book conventions. I am currently based in Kentucky, but spend a lot of time traveling between there and California.

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