Belmont winner Tiz The Law is aiming to redeem his 2020 Kentucky Derby place run to Authentic by taking the lion’s share of the 2021 Pegasus World Cup, the rich winter feature begun by the Stronachs in 2017. Admirably, in the face of all that has happened in 2020 to racing and to every other sport, Gulfstream is, for the moment anyway, counting on being able to allow racegoers, which would be a very bright spot indeed as we watch the $3 million pot for the race change hands.
Code of Honor seems to be shaping up as Tiz the Law’s main rival in the probables, and an honest, if occasionally beleaguered one at that. After a great run as a three-year-old, he did not live up to his year four expectations. Despite a lackluster fourth in the Whitney, trainer Shug McGaughey is high on his horse, especially after a bracing second in the Grade 1 Clark. He remains pointed at Hallandale.
The vulnerability of Tiz The Law, trained by Barclay Tagg, is that he does not seem to like drawing the rail, as he did during the recent Breeders’ Cup, finishing a worrisome seventh. The theory is not simply that he doesn’t like breaking from the rail slot; it is, also, that he doesn’t much like getting dirt thrown in his face, as he did in November.
One has great hopes for Tax, the 2019 Jim Dandy winner and Pegasus veteran, back for his second go at the pot. Put another way, his last year’s Pegasus try resulted in a forgettable ninth place, but trainer Danny Gargan has claimed that his charge is bigger and stronger, and that his handy Harlan’s Holiday win earlier in December was no fluke. He’ll have to step up to get in Tiz The Law’s business.