Tiz The Law strengthened his Kentucky Derby claims with an impressive success in the Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Representing the connections that struck gold at Churchill Downs in 2003 with Funny Cide, the Barclay Tagg-trained colt enjoyed a perfect trip in the hands of Manny Franco.
Tracking the pace set by Shivaree and Ete Indien, the son of Constitution drew level rounding the bend into the straight, going much the best, and duly found plenty when asked.
Stretching clear, a confident Franco had lots in hand over the outsider Shivaree, who ran a huge race in second, just ahead of Ete Indien and the running-on Gouverneur Morris.
Bookmaker reaction was immediate, with a number of firms making the once-beaten winner the 5-1 favourite for the ‘Run for the Roses’ – which will this year be run on the first Saturday in September – ahead of the Bob Baffert-trained trio of Charlatan, Authentic and Nadal.
Six horses have won both races since the turn of the century – and that would have been seven had Maximum Security not been controversially disqualified from first place at Churchill Downs last year.
Elsewhere on the card, there was a surprise in the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks, with the Kenny McPeek-trained Swiss Skydiver making all under a masterful ride from Paco Lopez.
Market leaders Tonalist’s Shape and Spice Is Nice were both disappointing.