Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings Presented By Keeneland: Knowlton’s Million-Dollar Stretch For Tiz The Law

Since we’ve already examined the purchase of Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law from the perspective of consignor Sequel New York in this series – which can be read here – this time around, we’ll look at the transaction from the viewpoint of Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg.

Anytime someone whispers “one more time” in the ear of the person beside them at a Thoroughbred auction, the goal is to not become the unfortunate person that let the next great racehorse slip away over a few thousand bucks.

Most of the time, that “one more time” bid isn’t the one that saves a superstar from the clutches of another owner, but Jack Knowlton’s $10,000 stretch over budget to land Tiz the Law at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton New York-Bred Yearling Sale swung the fate of a future Belmont Stakes winner and earner of more than $1.1 million to date.

Knowlton entered the Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion that day with a $100,000 budget targeted for Hip 311, a first-crop Constitution colt out of the Grade 2-winning Tiznow mare Tizfiz. The colt had passed every physical, pedigree, and veterinary test that trainer Barclay Tagg and assistant trainer Robin Smullen put before him, and trusting a partnership that spans 25 years, Knowlton decided to bid on Tiz the Law one more time.

“We went to $95,000, and we were going to lose him when the other guy went to $100,000,” Tagg said. “Jack didn’t really want to go over $100,000, and then I looked over at him and he said, ‘Go $10,000 more.’ I’m glad we did…Turned out, it was a pretty good price.”

Though it was more than he planned to spend, Knowlton said the hammer price on Tiz the Law was safely within the $50,000 to $150,000 range of a normal Sackatoga Stable purchase. Based out of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the operation buys New York-bred yearlings and 2-year-olds almost exclusively, making Fasig-Tipton’s New York-Bred Yearling Sale a destination event every year.

The Sackatoga operation tends to have about four horses in the stable at any given time, so with two fillies already on the team, Knowlton sent Tagg and Smullen looking for a colt at the New York-Bred Sale. The duo was responsible for Sackatoga’s private purchase of dual classic winner and champion Funny Cide as a 2-year-old, which has earned them Knowlton’s unflinching trust in the bloodstock realm.

“They have many, many decades of knowledge,” Knowlton said. “I have not tried to become an expert, because I have them at my side. My role is to make sure I can raise the capital to pay for the horses they pick out. I’ve learned I can go through the catalogs and we’ll compare notes, but because I’m pretty much using the methodology that I learned from them, most of the time, we’re on 80 or 90 percent of the same horses.”

Tiz the Law was stabled in consignor Sequel New York’s usual corner of Barn 6 on Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sales grounds. Tagg said he does not have a cookie-cutter picture of what he looks for in a horse at auction, but strong conformation and athleticism are musts.

“We just really liked him because he had such good bone on him, and his conformation was very correct,” Tagg said about a yearling Tiz the Law. “When you’re trying to buy horses, you’re trying to get the best conformation and the soundest-looking ones you can get, and they also have to have some pedigree to go with it, depending on what you’re looking for.”

The colt was one of about four horses that passed muster with Tagg and Smullen after physical inspections. After the veterinarian’s report came back with high marks, he was pegged as one of Sackatoga’s primary targets in the catalog. It took a little bit more than expected to get the hammer to fall, but the result was life-changing.

Looking to the future, Tiz the Law would have easily qualified for the Kentucky Derby if it had been held in May, following a dominant spring campaign, but the 272 qualifying points that the colt sits on for the rescheduled classic in September all but guarantees him a spot in the gate. Tiz the Law’s class-leading number of qualifying points also put Sequel New York safely on top in the latest Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings all on his own.

It’s an exciting time for Tiz the Law’s connections, but there is little time to rest on one’s laurels in horse racing – especially on the accelerated calendar brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not long after rounding the first turn in his chase for a Triple Crown, Knowlton said he and Tagg will be headed to Timonium, Md., next week for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, with the aim of finding the next great New York-bred to team with the best New York-bred going today.

 

The post Kentucky Derby Consignor Standings Presented By Keeneland: Knowlton’s Million-Dollar Stretch For Tiz The Law appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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