ELMONT, N.Y., June 20 (Reuters) - It was an unusual year for the Belmont Stakes, running first instead of last in the Triple Crown due to scheduling upheaval because of the pandemic, in front of empty stands, with fans barred from the stadium.
By the day's end, winner Tiz the Law had added another oddity to the list: Becoming the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont since 1882.
"It's tremendous," said owner Jack Knowlton. "We buy New York-breds, that's our game, and we don't spend a lot of money."
Of course, Knowlton and trainer Barclay Tagg know quite a bit about waiting: The pair were also together in 2003 when their horse Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to be denied Triple Crown glory at the Belmont.
"For a lot longer before (Funny Cide ran it) I was hoping to win the Belmont," said Tagg. "Funny Cide got us close anyway and we topped it off with Tiz the Law here today."
Tiz the Law is expected to stay in-state for his next race, August's Travers Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course, before looking to round out the Triple Crown at the Kentucky Derby in September and the Preakness Stakes in October, which were pushed back due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
"I'm in good hands," jockey Manny Franco said. "(Knowlton and Tagg) know what they're doing and the horse is really good." (Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Sandra Maler)