Tiz the Law Tabbed as Strong Favorite After Post Position Draw for Belmont Stakes

Posted on: June 17, 2020, 09:21h. 

Last updated on: June 18, 2020, 09:54h.

Florida Derby winner Tiz the Law drew the eighth post on Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade I Belmont Stakes. He became, as expected, the heavy morning-line favorite for the first Triple Crown race of the season.

Tiz the Law Belmont
Tiz the Law, seen here winning the Florida Derby in March by more than four lengths, is the morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. In the post position draw, the Barclay Tagg-trained horse drew the eighth gate. (Image: Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

Oddsmakers at Belmont Park in New York installed the Barclay Tagg-trained colt at 6-5 odds, leading a field of 10 horses. The Belmont will be Tiz the Law’s first race since his dominating run at Gulfstream Park nearly three months ago in the Florida Derby. He has four wins and five career starts and seeks to go 3-for-3 this year.

COVID-19 has already made the 2020 Triple Crown a historic affair, as the virus forced all three races to move. As a result, the Belmont – typically the final leg in the series – leapfrogs the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, which will run Sept. 5 and Oct. 3 respectively. The Belmont also will be run at 1-1/8 miles instead of its traditional 1-1/2-mile distance.

But more history is on the line Saturday. Tiz the Law can become the first New York-bred horse to win the prestigious race since 1882. He can also give trainer Tagg a career Triple Crown with a win.

You don’t get top contenders all the time,” Tagg said. “He’s a nice horse. Hopefully he’s as good as we think. You work every day, seven days a week, you just hope nothing happens and nothing goes wrong. But so far, so good. We’re pleased with the way he’s been doing and we’re ready for the race.”

Manny Franco, who has been the top jockey on the New York circuit for the past two years, gets his first Belmont mount aboard the favorite.

With a win, Tiz the Law would almost certainly cement his status as the bonafide favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Like most tracks across the country, Belmont Park will be closed to fans Saturday as part of the precautions to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Primary Challenger Coming Off Short Rest

Tiz the Law’s primary challenge will likely come from Sole Volante. The winner of the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs came off a three-month layoff last Wednesday to win an allowance race at Gulfstream Park.

While trainer Patrick Biancone admits Tiz the Law is justifiably the favorite, he said his horse, a winner in four of six career starts, has earned this opportunity.

“He’s very talented,” Biancone said. “He’s been very good for us and trains his best all the time. We’ll see how good he is Saturday.”

Sole Volante will break from the second gate and has 9-2 morning-line odds.

The third choice on the morning-line odds is Dr Post at 5-1. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the colt is 2-for-2 this year. But the Belmont, where he will break ninth, marks his graded stakes debut. Tap It to Win, trained by Mark Casse, also has two wins this year, though both have come in allowance races. He drew the inside post and starts at odds of 6-1.

Two other horses also have graded stakes wins. But Max Player hasn’t raced since winning the Grade III Withers at Aqueduct in February. Modernist won the Grade II Holy Bull at Fair Grounds Race Course in February, but hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Grade II Louisiana Derby at the New Orleans track a month later.

Max Player, trained by Linda Rice, and Modernist, trained by Bill Mott, will break from the third and fourth gates, respectively. Both start with odds of 15-1.

Grade I Belmont Stakes
Belmont Park
Saturday, 5:42 pm ET, NBC

PP Horse M-L Odds Jockey Trainer
1. Tap It To Win 6-1 John R. Velazquez Mark E. Casse
2. Sole Volante 9-2 Luca Panici Patrick L. Biancone
3. Max Player 15-1 Joel Rosario Linda Rice
4. Modernist 15-1 Junior Alvarado William I. Mott
5. Farmington Road 15-1 Javier Castellano Todd A. Pletcher
6. Fore Left 30-1 Jose Ortiz Doug O’Neill
7. Jungle Runner 50-1 Reylu Gutierrez Steven M. Asmussen
8. Tiz The Law 6-5 Manny Franco Barclay Tagg
9. Dr Post 5-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd A. Pletcher
10. Pneumatic 8-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steven M. Asmussen

Betting Available in Vegas, Offshore

Horse players at tracks, off-track betting parlors, and various online pari-mutuel sites – such as NYRABets, TwinSpires, and TVG – will set the final odds you’ll see on Saturday’s broadcast. However, there will be other ways people can bet on the race.

In Las Vegas, Circa Sports has posted odds on the race as well. Unlike the pari-mutuel odds at the track, which will change based on betting behavior, Circa’s odds are fixed. So, when you snag Modernist at 20-1, you’ll keep those odds, even if his odds shorten ahead of the race.

As of Wednesday night, Circa offered Tap It to Win at +595, Sole Volante at +495, Max Player +2200, Modernist +2000, Farmington Road +2000, Fore Left +4500, Jungle Runner +5000, Tiz the Law -135, Dr Post +675, Pneumatic +1700.

For comparison purposes, if you bet $135 on Tiz the Law at Circa, you’d get $235 back ($100, plus your wager). If Tiz the Law’s pari-mutuel odds at post time are 6-5 (and I’ll give you 6-5 right now that that won’t be the case), you’d get about $297.

Circa also offers two-way betting on the four horses with the lowest odds. The odds to win are the same. The odds for the horses not to win are: Tiz the Law +105, Sole Volante -765, Tap It to Win -990, and Dr Post -1150. The sportsbook also told Casino.org Wednesday night they will offer more betting options, including matchups, later this week.

For those offshore, USRacing also offers betting on the Belmont. The site’s odds are nearly identical to the Belmont morning-line odds, with the only difference being Tiz the Law currently at even money.