Funny Cide's Crowd Heading Down Derby Trail Again
Sunday, February 2, 2020
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Tiz the Law rolled to a three-length victory in Saturday’s $250,000, Gr. III Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, giving Sackatoga Stable’s Jack Knowlton and trainer Barclay Tagg a very serious prospect for a second Kentucky Derby victory.

    The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds highlighted a 12-race program that also featured four other stakes, three graded, for sophomores.

    Knowlton and Tagg were in the winner’s circle with Funny Cide following the 2003 Kentucky Derby and 2003 Preakness Stakes.

    Tiz the Law lived up to his 6-5 favoritism to add the Holy Bull to a resume that includes a debut victory, a Champagne Stakes score, and a troubled third-place on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Jockey Club, in which he lacked running room in heavy traffic.

    Tiz the Law broke alertly to take the lead into the first turn before Ete Indien and jockey Luca Panici made a sweeping move to the lead entering the backstretch. Ete Indien ran the first quarter in :23.31 seconds, pressed by Relentless Dancer and stalked by Clear Destination on the outside of Tiz the Law. Franco took a strong hold of Tiz the Law midway on the backstretch and managed to maneuver off the rail to get clear running room. Ete Indien continued to show the way into the far turn past a half-mile in :46.60 as Franco asked Tiz the Law for some run. The favorite responded with a three-wide move to engage Ete Indien and take the lead on the turn into the homestretch before drawing off to a popular victory.

    “His race was perfect," Tagg said. "We told [Franco], ‘Stay off the rail no matter what you have to do. Lose the ground and go around them. “It worked out perfectly.” The son of Constitution, like Funny Cide a New York-bred, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.04 over a fast track.

    “He ran like I expected him,” Franco said. “He got out of there and I was able to decide where I wanted to be. For a second, I had to make the turn and I was back on the rail, but when I saw those guys putting pressure on I was able to drop back and get outside where I wanted to be. After that, he jumped in the bit and I was traveling like I wanted.”

    Patrick Biancone-trained Ete Indien, the 4-1 third betting choice, continued gamely to finish second, 11 ½ lengths ahead of 8-5 second choice Toledo. Ete Indien was coming off a win over Toledo in an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream. "He ran good and I have no complaints at all,” Panici said. “He was relaxed in front. He likes to be in front. He ran a really, really good race. It was a good performance.”

   Gulfstream’s road to the Triple Crown continues on Feb. 29 with the 74th running of the $400,000, Gr. II Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth and on March 28 with the 69th running of the $1 million, Gr. I Florida Derby. Tagg, however, may not go that route, possibly opting instead for the Louisiana Derby. 


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