Belmont winner Tiz the Law won’t run in Preakness

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Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law won’t run in next month’s Preakness, spoiling what would have been a highly anticipated rematch with Kentucky Derby winner Authentic.

The Preakness on Oct. 3 at Pimlico concludes this year’s reconfigured Triple Crown series, which was run out of order because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Tiz the Law, tweeted that it’s “disappointing Tiz the Law will not be able to run in the Preakness.”

“Our primary interest is doing what’s right for the horse & in this case he’s not ready,” Knowlton wrote on Tuesday. “We look forward to training him up to the Breeders Cup Classic on 11/7.”

Knowlton had made it known since Tiz the Law finished second to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 that he would like his colt to make the Preakness. After the Derby, trainer Barclay Tagg said his preference would be to skip the Preakness.

However, with no chance for Tiz the Law to sweep the Triple Crown, he can be freshened to run in the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in Kentucky on Nov. 6-7.

Tiz the Law lost to Authentic by 1 1/4 lengths in the Derby. Tiz the Law went off as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite, the biggest Derby choice in 31 years. The colt won the shortened Belmont Stakes in New York on June 20 to open the Triple Crown series.

By skipping the Preakness, Tiz the Law will have 63 days between the Derby and the BC Classic, which is worth $6 million. The colt has run well off long layoffs. He’s won four races this year by a combined 16 1/2 lengths. In all, Tiz the Law has six wins in eight career starts, with both his losses coming at Churchill Downs.

Authentic and Thousand Words, scratched shortly before the Kentucky Derby after rearing up and falling on his side, are both set to run in the Preakness, according to trainer Bob Baffert.

Art Collector, knocked out of the Derby because of a minor injury before he could be entered, is likely to be among the favorites for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness.

Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs has modified paths to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, awarding points to the top five finishers in qualifying races and increasing significance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and late prep season events.

Most Derby prep races during the qualifying series for 3-year-olds will award points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding scale after using a 10-4-2-1 system since 2013. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, run during the season-ending championships on Nov. 4 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, will increase points from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3 to differentiate the Grade I event from others during prep season.

Select prep races for the 20-horse Derby field have elevated points from a 10-4-2-1 scale to 20-8-6-4-2 to increase their importance and motivate hopefuls to begin their 3-year-old campaigns earlier in the season, track officials stated in a release.

“We believe these modifications adhere to and amplify our goal of assembling the finest group of 3-year-olds in the starting gate for a race at the classic distance of 1\ miles on the first Saturday in May,” Churchill Downs vice president/general manager Mike Ziegler said.

The 149th Kentucky Derby and Oaks for fillies will be held on May 5-6, 2023. Derby qualifying season begins with Saturday’s $300,000, Grade III Iroquois for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

The point changes apply to Oaks qualifiers.

Elevated Derby preps include the Lecomte at Fair Grounds in Louisiana; Southwest at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Withers at Aqueduct in New York; Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park in Florida; Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in California; Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs; and John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in Kentucky.

Bob Baffert wins record 16th Del Mar Futurity with Cave Rock

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Cave Rock won the $302,000 Del Mar Futurity by 5 1/4 lengths, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record 16th victory in the Grade 1 race in which he finished 1-2.

Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Cave Rock ran seven furlongs in a stakes-record time of 1:20.99 on closing day at the seaside track north of San Diego. He lowered the old mark of 1:21.29 set by Declan’s Moon in 2004.

Baffert tied Phil D’Amato for the trainers’ title with 19 wins each at the 31-day summer meet. It was Baffert’s eighth title at Del Mar, but his first since 2003.

Hernandez won the jockeys’ title.

Havnameltdown, also trained by Baffert, finished second in the race for 2-year-olds. Skinner was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third.

Longtime Baffert clients Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman own the first and second-place finishers.

Cave Rock paid $2.80 to win as the 2/5 favorite. He earned $180,000 for the win.