While Tiz the Law‘s managing owner Jack Knowlton said he “listened to the horse” in deciding to forgo the Oct. 3 Preakness and its $1.5 million purse, he also knows the rest of the equation.
“We felt it didn’t make sense,” he said. This was because the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in Lexington features a $6 million purse — the richest it has ever been. The Breeders’ Cup Classic winner will collect $3.3 million of that prize pool.
To give Tiz the best chance at the Breeders’ Cup, Knowlton told PlayPennnsylvania he chose time off over a shot at both races.
“We believe this is the right decision — what’s right for the horse.”
News of time off for Tiz broke on Twitter
Knowlton made the announcement about skipping the Preakness on Tuesday via Sackatoga Stable‘s Twitter account:
Tiz the Law officially skipping #Preakness – Disappointing that Tiz will not be able to run in the Preakness, our primary interest is doing what’s right for the horse & in this case he's not ready. We look forward to training him up to the Breeders Cup Classic on 11/7. ~ Jack K. pic.twitter.com/vRn5tkrgzB
— Sackatoga Stable LLC (@sackatogastable) September 22, 2020
Since Tiz finished second at the Kentucky Derby after winning the Belmont, his status for the race at Pimlico has been iffy.
Speaking to Bloodhorse, Knowlton added:
“So we said we don’t have to go to the Preakness. We have a bigger prize at the end of the year at the Breeders’ Cup. We know he runs very well off long layoffs, so that’s the decision we made. It’s off to a new chapter, and we have a $6 million race to look forward to, which is great for a small stable like ours.”
Only two losses for Tiz the Law
The loss was just the second for Tiz in eight career starts, with both occurring at the Louisville track. The horse’s first loss was a third place at the same Churchill Downs track.
Trainer Barclay Tagg had expressed reservations about going to the Preakness as soon as the Sept. 5 Derby concluded.
While Derby odds heavily favored Tiz, trainer Bob Baffert‘s Authentic edged Tiz out by 1 1/4 lengths. Tiz got out of the gate strong but didn’t exhibit his typical late burst down the stretch.
Breeders’ Cup it is for Tiz
Knowlton said that while the Preakness was on their list, the reality is Tiz “wasn’t ready” to race again so soon.
“And he’d be running against Authentic and Art Collector,” two strong horses, added Knowlton.
Knowlton believes Tiz will ship to Kentucky around Halloween, giving the horse time to work on the Keeneland track before the big event.