Tiz the Law’s trainer and owners had their piece of history in the Belmont Stakes.
Manny Franco had none.
But the 25-year-old jockey made his Belmont Stakes debut in emphatic fashion Saturday, riding Tiz the Law just as the team planned a victory in New York’s jewel’s 152nd run.
“Early in my career, to win this kind of race, just do everything,” Franco said. “This is the race that is any jock’s dream. So I’m really happy and I’ll enjoy the moment. “
Franco and Tiz the Law broke from the No. 8 post position and watched as the speedy Tap It to Win sprinted out to the early lead. He stayed in a stalking position until asking his horse to make its move.
“I asked him passing the ³ / ₈ pole to the 5/16,” Franco said. “I asked him a little bit, to not let [Tap it to Win] go away too much. I knew I needed another horse to beat. The horse was there for me the whole way. ”
By the time they started down the final stretch, Tiz the Law had answered the call and broken into the lead. Franco voluntarily got to hear the roar of the crowd as he raced to the finish, with no fans allowed in, but cherished the win nonetheless.
“This is the moment we live in right now, so we gotta take it,” Franco said. “We are happy to be racing.”
Though Franco was elevated onto the big Triple Crown stage Saturday, he was no stranger to New York racing. The Puerto Rico native was NYRA’s leading rider in 2018 and 2019 with a combined 456 wins to go with 2019 riding titles in the Aqueduct spring and winter meet and the Belmont fall meet.
Franco has gotten some help from Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., who has trained him long after winning his own Belmont Stakes on Bold Forbes in 1976.
“[Franco] is a good little kid, ”Tiz the Law trainer Barclay Tagg said. “It’s a natural rider. It’s got a natural feel for a horse. “