Tiz The Law looks in a league of his own, so there is no case against him landing the 1m 2f Grade 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this Saturday.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, this Constitution colt is arguably the best three-year-old in training on his side of the Atlantic.
In Tiz The Law, connections have a horse heading into this unique Kentucky Derby off the back of a hat-trick at the highest level.
Following his winning return in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, he followed-up on that with a decisive success in the Florida Derby. That race has produced three subsequent Kentucky Derby winners since 2013.
Tiz The Law backed that up with another Grade 1 victory in the Belmont Stakes. Traditionally, that is the last leg of the US Triple Crown but the change in order and race distance proved no problem.
By this point, Tiz The Law was already a hot favorite for Kentucky Derby glory. He only enhanced that status with an even more impressive victory in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga last time out.
Clear and decisive wins at elite level mean he cannot be anything other than the market leader. Those who highlight Tiz The Law suffered his only career defeat at Churchill Downs are clutching at straws.
He really has taken his form to a new level since that loss when he still made the frame. On all known form, there is just no looking past Tiz The Law and his quest for Triple Crown glory.
Heading up the challengers are Santa Anita Derby scorer Honor A. P. and Authentic. Both holds a victory over the other and bring solid enough profiles into the race.
The former is trained by John Shirreffs and has never been out of the first two in five starts. Honor A. P. is a consistent sort by Honor Code, but goes into the Kentucky Derby off the back of a defeat.
That came in a Listed contest at Del Mar. It’s better not to read too much into that, however, as it was just a prep run for this.
Authentic, meanwhile, represents five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert. This Into Mischief colt has won three of his four career starts including the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park last time out.
Although only just holding on there, Authentic got the job done. Stepping up a further furlong in distance is a slight worry, given his speedy pedigree as he does like to race prominently.
As the market indicates, these are the best of the rest behind Tiz The Law. Both Authentic and Honor A. P. to improve on their best to stop him, but theirs is the duel for who chases him home.
Of those at bigger odds, Ny Traffic just failed in his bid to beat Authentic in the Haskell by a nose. Over a longer trip, it is not a stretch to think that the tables could be turned.
Trained by Saffie Joseph, this Cross Traffic colt has run a string of fine races in defeat. After showing and placing in Grade 2 company at Fair Grounds in Louisiana, he chased home Maxfield in a Grade 3 at the Kentucky Derby track.
That agonising narrow defeat last time out was a career best from Ny Traffic. Granted similar progress, that gives him a shout of making the frame once again here.
As Thousand Words upset Honor A. P. last time out, he too shouldn’t be discounted. Also trained by Baffert, this son of Pioneerof The Nile has four wins from six career starts.
Thousand Words won in Grade 2 company as a juvenile and has earned more black type since. He has clearly progressed since finishing a well-beaten fourth behind Authentic in the San Felipe Stakes.
While Thousand Words may have caught Honor A. P. on the hop when last in action, the Kentucky Derby demands plenty more for him to make the frame.
Given his trainer’s fine record in this feature race, that could easily happen. Thousand Words is another with each-way claims or for the show.