Tiz the Law’s victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 20 made him the first grandson of multiple leading sire Tapit to win a classic, and the colt’s success cemented his sire, Constitution, in a special place as the sire of the first classic winner from the freshman stallion crop of 2019.
Those horses include Horse of the Year American Pharoah (by Pioneerof the Nile), who was the leading freshman sire of 2019 over Constitution, with the Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice (Curlin) and the speedy Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) and Tapiture (Tapit) filling the first five spots.
In addition to getting multiple graded stakes winners last year, Constitution was represented by Grade 1 winner Tiz the Law, who won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, and the sire’s stock has shown considerable improvement through the early months of 2020, even with the limited racing available to them.
Constitution has three stakes winners this season and six stakes-placed, and the overall success of his racers has put him in first place among the second-crop sires of 2020 with earnings of $2.4 million, ahead of Honor Code (A.P. Indy) and American Pharoah in virtually the same slot with progeny earnings of $1.269 million and $1.262 million. Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist sits fourth with $1.2 million and fifth-place Khozan (Distorted Humor) fifth at slightly less than $1.2 million.
Tiz the Law leads all racers by Constitution with $1,133,300 in earnings this season.
The blaze-faced bay colt was bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm and sold for $110,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton sale of select New York-bred yearlings at Saratoga. Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable was the buyer.
Six years earlier, Twin Creeks had bought the Kentucky-bred Constitution from WinStar Farm for $400,000 at the 2012 Saratoga select yearling sale conducted by Fasig-Tipton. WinStar retained a portion of the colt, who won the G1 Florida Derby and Donn Handicap, then retired to stand at stud on WinStar Farm outside Versailles, Ky.
“Constitution was a star yearling; in every way, he was so complete a package as potential racehorse that we wanted him badly enough to pay the price,” said Twin Creeks’ Randy Gullatt. “At Saratoga, he had the presence and the pedigree to be a horse that you stretched for. He was just wonderful and then showed it on the racetrack.”
As a buyer Gullatt said, “I’m attracted to the well-muscled, good-sized, lengthy yearlings who are not overly heavy and who aren’t soft in the pastern. I’m essentially looking for two-turn speed horses. American racing is geared around the 3-year-old prep season, and if you have a horse who’s good at the end of his 2-year-old season, then he’s likely to be able to progress and improve at three to challenge for the classics through the early-season preps.”
That’s what Constitution did, and although he missed the classics himself, the scopy bay son of classic sire Tapit has marked out some Triple Crown territory for himself with Tiz the Law.
In comparing the sire and the son, Gullatt said, “Constitution was a very different horse early on from Tiz the Law. Constitution was a big, grand-looking yearling. In contrast, Tiz the Law was a little smaller. He was an average-sized yearling and stands 15.3 3/4 [hands], I was told over the weekend. He was a really smart young horse who never had a bad day, was very willing to learn, very easy to work with, possessed a great mind and attitude.
“However, Tiz the Law wasn’t the typical star yearling that buyers spend a ton of money on at the sale. That’s what a lot of the Constitutions were like at the sales; as a result, they sold well but not outside of the norm of expectations.”
The Belmont Stakes winner himself sold for $110,000, which ranked him 15th among the 82 sales yearlings by Constitution, and his price compared quite favorably to the sire’s yearling average of $68,152 in 2018.
Those numbers will be adjusting noticeably in 2020.
From a first-season stud fee of $25,000 live foal, Constitution stood for $40,000 for the 2020 season, and there’s no question that demand for the stallion will rise following his current-year successes.
When Twin Creeks partnered with WinStar to race Constitution, then send the horse to stud, the Twin Creeks organization also acquired mares to help support their interest in the horse. Gullatt said that Twin Creeks retains nine shares in Constitution and that the operation bought the Belmont Stakes winner’s dam, Tizfiz (Tiznow) because “she was value and was an outcross to all our stallions,” Gullatt noted. “Physically, she was a stocky mare about 15.3, which is where Tiz the Law got his size, I’d guess. She looked like a Tiznow sprinter but was a Grade 2 winner who could go long. Just the sweetest, classiest mare to be around.”
Purchased in 2014 for $125,000 at the Keeneland November sale in foal to Horse of the Year Mineshaft (A.P. Indy), Tizfiz produced the Belmont winner as her second foal (fifth overall) for Twin Creeks. Since then, she has a 2-year-old filly named Angel Oak and a yearling colt by the Twin Creeks sire Mission Impazible (Unbridled’s Song). Tizfiz is in foal to Constitution for 2021.
On the racetrack, Tizfiz won the G2 San Gorgonio Handicap and three other stakes, and she placed third in the G2 Buena Vista Handicap. The 16-year-old mare is a full sister to Fury Kapcori, winner of the G3 Precisionist Stakes and second in the G1 Hollywood Futurity. Their dam is by Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin (Pleasant Tap) and is out of a stakes-placed half-sister to Horse of the Year Favorite Trick (Phone Trick).