Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Favored Tiz the Law Draws Post 17 for Derby; Eighteen Horses Entered for Saturday

By Jim Freer

Eighteen horses were entered on Thursday for the $3 million Kentucky Derby (Grade 1), which will be run Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Tiz the Law drew post 17 and was made the 3-5 morning line favorite by Churchill Downs linemaker Mike Battaglia. 

The Kentucky Derby will be the 14th race on Saturday, with scheduled post of 7:01p.m. Eastern.

NBC's over-the-air affiliates will have live coverage from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will include several stakes races on the undercard.

The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles on dirt for 3-YOs and this year is the second leg in the Triple Crown series, due to schedule changes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Preakness (Grade 1) will be run Oct. 3 at Pimlico in Baltimore.

Tiz the Law this year won three Grade 1 stakes--the Florida  Derby at Gulfstream Park, the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park and the Travers at Saratoga. 

Honor A.P. is second in the morning line at 5-1 and drew post 16. He won this year's Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1).

Authentic is in post 18 and is 8-1 in the morning line.

He has early speed and used it to beat the late-running Ny Traffic by a nose in the 1 1/8 mile Haskell (Grade1) on July 18 at Monmouth Park.

Ny Traffic is in post 15 and 20-1 in the morning line. We are among those who expect his odds will be lower at post time.

Ny Traffic's home track is Gulfstream.  He is trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., the leading trainer at Gulfstream's spring/summer meet and will be ridden by Paco Lopez, a long-time favorite of many Gulfstream fans.

Of the four horses in the outside posts, Authentic could be the one facing the most difficulty gaining position on the long run to the first turn. On the plus side, the savvy John Velazquez will ride for Bob Baffert.

King Guillermo, at 20-1, is another horse with early speed and has the favorable post 6--not too far inside or outside. He won this year's Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) at Tampa Bay Downs.

The Kentucky Derby can have a maximum field of 20.  This is the first year since 2003 when there have been fewer than 20 entrants. The field has been smaller than 20 twice during that span due  to scratches.

The rescheduling of this year's prep races has made it difficult for some trainers to map schedules to the Kentucky for their horses.

Two horses that likely would have been at low odds were late scratches for the Derby.

Art Collector, winner of the Blue Grass (Grade 2) at Keeneland, was scratched on Tuesday morning due to a foot injury.

Caracaro, the second place finisher in the Travers, suffered a leg tissue injury while training last Friday at Saratoga. Trainer Gustavo Delgado, based year-round at Gulfstream, told the Churchill Downs media office that he expects Caracaro will resume racing early in 2021.  

Later this afternoon and throughout the week, we will have Florida-focused coverage of the Kentucky Derby  and the Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) that will be run on Friday.

Spectators, other than owners, will not be allowed at Churchill Downs either day.

The morning line odds are a guide to bettors, with Battaglia projecting what he expects the odds will be at post time.

Eight horses are listed at 50-1 for the Derby.  For reasons too complex to explain here, that is the highest a horse can be listed in the morning line. We expect that several of those horses will go off higher than 50-1.

Spectators, other than owners, will not be allowed at Churchill Downs either day.

Here are  the post positions for the Kentucky Derby--with jockeys, trainers and morning  line odds:

1. Finnick the Fierce, Rey Hernandez, Martin Garcia, 50-1

2. Max Player, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1

3. Enforceable, Mark Casse, Adam Beschizza, 30-1

4. Storm the Court, Peter Eurton, Julien Leparoux, 50-1

5. Major Fed, Greg Foley, James Graham, 50-1

6. King Guillermo, Juan Carlos Avila, Samy Camacho, 20-1

7. Money Moves, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 30-1

8. South Bend, Bill Mott, Tyler Gaffalione, 50-1

9. Mr. Big News, Bret Calhoun, Gabriel Saez, 50-1

10. Thousand Words, Bob Baffert, Florent Geroux, 15-1

11. Necker Island, Chris Hartman, Miguel Mena, 50-1

12. Sole Volante, Patrick Biancone, Luca Panici, 30-1

13. Attachment Rate, Dale Romans, Joe Talamo, 50-1

14. Winning Impression, Dallas Stewart, Joe Rocco Jr., 50-1

 15. Ny Traffic, Saffie Joseph Jr., Paco Lopez, 20-1

16. Honor A.P., John Shirreffs, Mike Smith, 5-1

17. Tiz the Law, Barclay Tagg, Manny Franco, 3-5

18. Authentic, Bob Baffert, John Velazquez, 8-1

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