Saratoga Springs, New York is the home of the Mid-Summer Derby, a nickname that sounds much more pleasant than “The Graveyard of Champions.”
The dark nickname is more than 100 years old. The term “Upset” comes from the name of the horse that handed legendary Man o’War its only loss, one that came at Saratoga Race Course. A decade later Jim Dandy was 100-1 when it defeated Gallant Fox, just the second thoroughbred to ever win the Triple Crown. In 1973 Secretariat lost the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga and in 2015 American Pharoah finished second to Keen Ice in front of a record crowd in the Travers Stakes. We could see another Triple Crown winner falter in the 2020 edition of the Travers Stakes.
Tiz the Law is the 1-1 favorite in Saturday’s race of 1 1/4 miles. Barclay Tagg’s winner of the shortened Belmont Stakes will use this race as its only competitive tune up before Kentucky Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.
Undefeated as a three-year-old, Tiz the Law has only lost once since it debuted in the fall of 2019. Poised to sweep through the rescheduled Triple Crown, there are a few horses that plan for Saratoga to live up to its nickname.
Chad Brown’s Country Grammar (6-1) is less than a month removed from the Grade III Peter Pan Stakes at Saratoga. Bob Baffert’s Uncle Chuck (5/2) has won its only two starts, most recently cruising through a four-horse field in the Los Alamitos Derby. Max Player (6-1) is no stranger to Tiz the Law, finishing third in the Belmont Stakes, a race where Linda Rice’s horse closed hard, but far too wide to make up for lost ground.
Will another headstone be added to The Graveyard of Champions? We’ll find out tonight at 6:15 pm ET on Fox.