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Kentucky Derby: Tiz the Law beats the rain with fast five-furlong drill

By David Grening, Tribune News Service on

Published in Horse Racing

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Mother Nature fought the Law and the Law won.

Before the rain came Saturday morning in upstate New York, Tiz the Law completed his major preparation for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby by working a fast five furlongs in 58.96 seconds over a fast Saratoga main track.

Owing to the threat of wet weather this weekend in upstate New York, trainer Barclay Tagg wasn't sure if he would be able to work Tiz the Law on Saturday or Sunday. When forecasted overnight rain did not come to fruition, Tagg took advantage of a back-raked but dry main track to work Tiz the Law at about 5:45 a.m.

Not much can be seen at that time other than Tiz the Law's white blaze and exercise rider Heather Smullen's white jersey and white cap.

Accompanied by Tagg atop a stable pony, Tiz the Law backed from the six-furlong gap to the eighth pole. After standing briefly - during which Tagg gave a playful pat on the head to Tiz the Law and Smullen - Tagg let Tiz the Law go at the finish line, and he galloped, with his head cocked, before disappearing into the dark around the clubhouse turn.

Tiz the Law broke running at the five-furlong pole, and Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch caught his first three furlongs in 35.97. With Smullen really not doing much on the horse, Tiz the Law came home in 22.99. Welsch caught him galloping out in 1:11.89.

 

"Barclay said make sure he runs down the stretch," Smullen said. "I came off the turn I'm like I'm not doing anything at this point in time, he's already running, so I just sat there."

Said Tagg: "I didn't really want him to go quite that fast, but I don't mind either. Fast horses work fast. When he came around that upper turn, he looked like a machine running around there."

Tagg said while he would have preferred to work Sunday, he was relieved to get the work in over a dry track.

"I'm very happy now, I was glad to get it in, glad he came out of it good, I was glad I could be there to watch it," Tagg said.

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