(Tiz the Law / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Fair Grounds Media Team:

Seventeen years ago, Sackatoga’s Stables’3-year-old colt named Funny Cide finished fifth in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. He shipped to New Orleans and ran second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) in advance of another runner-up finish in the Wood Memorial (G1). Battle hardened throughout the spring, he eventually landed in the winner’s circle following the world’s most prestigious horse race on the first Saturday in May.

Fast forward to 2020, and trainer Barclay Tagg may have designs on a similar path with another Empire State star in Tiz the Law. After being steadied multiple times down the backside and losing position into the far turn, three-year-old son of Constitution was an impressive winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) this past Saturday at Gulfstream Park. It was his second graded stakes win from his three tries in such company, and it gave the colt his third tally in four lifetime starts overall.

Extended in distance to 1 3/16ths miles for this year’s 107th renewal, The $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2), will be run on March 21 at Fair Grounds.

“That’s on our radar screen,” managing partner of Sackatoga Stables Jack Knowlton told NYRA notes writer Ryan Martin. “The long stretch at Fair Grounds and the distance are the two things we find attractive about it. Obviously, we went there with Funny Cide and decided it was a good place to go. We ran a good third out there (placed second via the DQ of Kafwain) and he came back to run a good second in the Wood. It was a good experience and we really like the idea of a mile and three-sixteenths.”

“We’re going to follow the trend that less is more and to space your races out,” Knowlton continued. “We want to have a nice horse that will hopefully run through the Triple Crown series as well as Saratoga in the summer.


(Jockey Declan Carroll / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)


 With a little less than a month left in his apprenticeship, jockey Declan Carroll has shifted his tack back to Fair Grounds. He wasted no time returning to the winner’s circle, posting a pair of victories on Wednesday card, both for trainer Jose Camejo — 1st race with Strong Beauty (9-2) and 6th race with Miko (9-1).

Carroll won with 12 of his 176 mounts last season at Fair Grounds, and after riding primarily in Kentucky the rest of his young career, the son of Mark Casse’s top assistant David Carroll ventured to Aqueduct at the start of their fall/winter meet, posting seven wins from 74 tries. For his career, Carroll now has 59 wins from 619 mounts.

“New York was a great experience but I was ready to be back,” Carroll explained. “I like having my family around and being around people that I’ve known for a while, New York was very different, but it was a great experience. You ride day in and day out with what some would call the best jockey colony in the country so you can learn every day from those guys. It’s good to be here with different surroundings, new trainers, and hopefully I can pick up some new clients to go forward with down the road.”

“Being with those riders in New York, if there’s one thing I learned it’s that you have to be aggressive, in a safe way of course,” Carroll continued. “If you want that spot, you have to get the spot. You can’t back down from anything, you have to go and get it.”

According to Carroll, March 1st will be the young rider’s last day with the “bug”. Richie Price is his agent.

“Everyone loses the bug at some point,” “The Ortiz brothers, Florent Geroux, all of them had the bug at one point. It just goes to show you have to have the opportunity to showcase your hard work. I’m just going to try to feel it out. When you come here later in the meet its hard because everyone is already booked up, but I’m coming here to ride and we’ll see how we do.”

(Trainer W. Bret Calhoun / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)


 Bret Calhoun on multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Money who worked an easy three furlongs in: 37.60 on Monday February 3, as he begins working towards a return to the races for Allied Racing Stable LLC:

 “This was his first timed workout back,” Calhoun said. “He went really easily, although he did go a little faster than we wanted him too. We were hoping to go around: 39 flat but he did it all on his own and very easily. He came out of the work well and we were very pleased with it.”

“As of now we don’t have a clear plan on where he’s going to go,” Calhoun continued. “Hopefully he can be ready to go in about 60 days, but as far as a target we don’t have anything picked out just yet.”

David Carroll, Mark Casse’s assistant trainer and head of the New Orleans string, on Lecomte (G3) winner Enforceable’s work on Sunday (four furlongs in: 49.80 over a fast main track):

 “Just an easy half mile for him,” Carroll explained. “He did it beautifully and was very efficient. He had a really nice gallop out and right now we’re not looking for too much from him. He’s fit right now and in prime condition. We were happy with how he looked and is training well. Nothing too fancy at this stage, just about keeping him happy and healthy.”