By Ed McNamara
He’s earned nearly $3 million for Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah, who doesn’t need it, and may have cost bettors a lot more. Meet the champion money burner of his generation, a regally bred colt who’s lost nine of his last 10 races, starting with the 2019 Kentucky Derby. He’s failed five straight times as the favorite, a role he won’t be saddled with in the loaded Classic.
Tacitus, your name should be Teaser, because it always looks as if your next race will be the breakthrough, but it never is. Last October, Juddmonte Farms racing manager Garrett O’Rourke agreed with me that calling Tacitus a disappointment “was the understatement of the year,” but that it was unfair to criticize him because “he runs his eyeballs out every time.”
Five straight losses later, tell that to the bettors.
Not many, including me, think he can win the Classic. He’s 1-for-6 at 1 1/4 miles, 0-for-6 in Grade 1’s, and never has faced this tough a field. I’ve blown hundreds on him, but I won’t get fooled again. Neither should you.
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Trainer: Bill Mott
Owner: Juddmonte Farms
Career record: 14-4-4-3
Career earnings: $2,947,500
Top Equibase speed figure: 110
Pedigree: Tapit-Close Hatches, by First Defence
Running style: Stalker
Notes: Mott on Tacitus, who’s healthy and sound: “There’s no reason not to take him to the Classic. If the setup works in his favor, he’s going to get a piece of it. He’s always subject to jump up and win one if things work out.” Hope springs eternal … Tacitus’ only victory in five starts this year came in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap on July 4 at Belmont Park, where he dominated a weak field as the even-money favorite. … He worked 5 furlongs in 1:00 under exercise rider Felipe Castro at Keeneland on Sunday, running in company with Channel Maker.
|2||Tiz the Law||Manuel Franco||3-1|
|3||By My Standards||Gabriel Saez||10-1|
|4||Tom’s d’Etat||Joel Rosario||6-1|
|5||Title Ready||Corey Lanerie||30-1|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||20-1|
|7||Global Campaign||Javier Castellano||20-1|
|8||Improbable||Irad Ortiz Jr||5-2|
|10||Maximum Security||Luis Saez||7-2|
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.