Belmont winner Tiz the Law takes Travers in Derby tuneup

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Jockey Manuel Franco rode Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law to victory on Saturday in the Travers Stakes, a tuneup race for next month's Kentucky Derby

Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law captured the $1 million Travers Stakes on Saturday, the three-year-old colt securing his place as the favorite for next month's Kentucky Derby.

Tiz the Law won his first race at the 1 1/4-mile distance, the same length he will face when he runs the second race of American flat racing's Triple Crown on September 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

"Couldn't feel better. Just what we were hoping for. It was a great prep for the Kentucky Derby," said Jack Knowlton, managing partner of the horse's Sackatoga Stable ownership group.

"I think that today he showed the world that he absolutely is the best three-year-old in training in this country and a deserving early favorite for the Kentucky Derby."

The Barclay Tagg-trained horse, ridden by Manuel Franco, covered the 10 furlongs in 2:00.95 at Saratoga Springs, New York.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a shuffle of the usual Triple Crown lineup, postponing the Derby from May 2 to September 5 and delaying the Preakness from May 16 to October 3 at Pimlico in Baltimore.

The Belmont, usually the last of the treble, this year was the first, staged in suburban New York on June 20, two weeks later than originally planned.