Classic winner Tiz the Law was named the 2020 New York-Bred Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male during the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ annual New York Divisional Championship Awards show April 5, with his connections also receiving state awards during the virtual event.
Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, previously crowned the 2019 New York-Bred Horse of the Year, won four consecutive starts during his 3-year-old campaign last year. He opened with victories in the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, then, in an out-of-order Triple Crown due to rescheduling because of COVID-19, won the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Belmont Park by 3 3/4 lengths. The Belmont Stakes, run at 1 1/8 miles instead of its traditional 1 1/2 miles last year, kicked off the 2020 Triple Crown in late June.
Tiz the Law then rolled in the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course and dominated by 5 1/2 lengths. He also placed second in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs.
The now 4-year-old son of Constitution closed out his racing career with a sixth in the Nov. 7 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland. He is standing his first season at Ashford Stud in Kentucky for a fee of $40,000.
Those connected to Tiz the Law that also received awards were Barclay Tagg, the New York-Bred Trainer of the Year; Manny Franco, the New York-Bred Jockey of the Year who rode Tiz the Law in eight of the colt’s nine career starts; and Twin Creeks Farm, the New York Breeder of the Year.
A pair of graded stakes-winning juveniles of 2020 swept the 2-year-old categories.
Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing, and Nehoc Stables’ Simply Ravishing was named champion 2-year-old filly following victories in the off-the-turf P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga and then the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, where she romped by 6 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion.
Simply Ravishing wins the 2020 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland
Mark Schwartz’ Brooklyn Strong earned the champion 2-year-old male title after rallying for a neck victory in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack in December. He also took the Sleepy Hollow Stakes against fellow New York-breds last fall at Belmont.
Barry Schwartz’ Sharp Starr , who broke through the graded ranks with a dueling win in the Go for Wand Handicap (G3) in December at Aqueduct, was named champion 3-year-old filly.
Champion older dirt female honors went to Ten Strike Racing’s Lucky Move , who closed out the year with back-to-back scores in the Empire Distaff Stakes at Belmont and the Bay Ridge Stakes at Aqueduct.
Chester and Mary Broman’s veteran Mr. Buff claimed the title of champion older dirt male. Last year at age 6, he collected victories in the Jazil and Haynesfield stakes at Aqueduct early in the season, and notched another win in the Empire Classic Handicap during Belmont’s fall meet.
Mr. Buff wins the 2020 Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont Park
Jim and Susan Hill’s Lead Guitar took home two awards. A winner in five of seven starts last year, she was named champion turf female and champion female sprinter. She closed out 2020 with four consecutive victories, including her final two wins in the Floral Park Stakes at Belmont and the Autumn Days Stakes at Aqueduct.
Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Somelikeithotbrown , the champion turf male, scored the top victory of his career last summer when he wired the Bernard Baruch Handicap (G2T) at Saratoga. He also won the Mohawk Stakes in the fall at Belmont.
Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable, and Swick Stable’s Funny Guy opened and closed his 2020 season with stakes wins to earn champion male sprinter honors. He began last year with wins in the Commentator Stakes at Belmont and John Morrissey Handicap at Saratoga, finished second in the Vosburgh Stakes (G2) back at Belmont, and ended the year with a victory in the Thunder Rumble division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series at Aqueduct.
The New York Divisional Championship Awards are traditionally held at a banquet each April, but the NYTB moved to a virtual setting for 2021, as they did a year ago, in light of ongoing restrictions on public events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NYTB expects to return to an in-person format in 2022.
New York-Bred Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male:
Tiz the Law (Constitution—Tizfiz, by Tiznow)
Breeder: Twin Creeks Farm
Owner: Sackatoga Stable
Trainer: Barclay Tagg
Champion 3-Year-Old Filly
Sharp Starr (Munnings —Mindy Gold, by A.P. Indy)
Breeder: Stonewall Farm
Owner: Barry Schwartz
Trainer: Horacio DePaz
Champion Older Dirt Female
Lucky Move (Lookin At Lucky —Quiet Mover, by Quiet American)
Breeders: Maltese Cross Stables and Stonegate Stables
Owner: Ten Strike Racing
Trainer: Juan Carlos Guerrero
Champion Turf Female and Champion Female Sprinter
Lead Guitar (Maclean’s Music —Eleadora, by Finality)
Breeder: Windylea Farm
Owners: Jim and Susan Hill
Trainers: Eddie Kenneally, George Weaver
Champion Male Sprinter
Funny Guy (Big Brown—Heavenly Humor, by Distorted Humor )
Breeder: Hibiscus Stables
Owner: Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable, and Swick Stable
Trainer: John Terranova
Broodmare of the Year
Tizfiz (Tiznow—Gin Running, by Go for Gin)
New York-Bred Trainer of the Year
New York-Bred Jockey of the Year
New York Breeder of the Year
Twin Creeks Farm