Kentucky Derby 146: Tiz the Law Tops the Field, But Others Await Their Chance

Posted on: September 5, 2020, 09:21h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2020, 02:03h.

Tiz the Law enters Saturday’s Kentucky Derby as the massive favorite. The Barclay Tagg-trained colt is the 3-5 morning-line selection, and early pari-mutuel betting from Churchill Downs has moved those odds just a little – to 4-5 as of 10:30 a.m ET.

Tiz the Law Derby
Tiz the Law undergoes paddock schooling at Churchill Downs on Thursday. Bettors Saturday will likely make the BarclayTagg-trained colt the heavy favorite for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

With a field of 16, he’s very likely to become the first horse in nearly three decades to go off at less than even-money odds. Yet, as we were reminded by Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Shedaresthedevil’s stunning upset, anything can happen.

On Friday, Tagg laid out his vision for how the race unfolds.

I’d like for us to be laying third all the way around until we get down for business,” Tagg said. “I’m very confident in our horse. He’s a very nice colt. I hope he wins it. He’s a good horse, good horses do good things.”

It’s a formula that’s worked well for the stalking Tiz the Law, as he’s used it in all four wins this year. In last month’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes, Manny Franco had the colt take the lead going into the final turn and as they hit the stretch, he kicked it into gear and pulled away.

Three Behind the Favorite

One factor that will help Tiz the Law is his outside starting position, which should help him avoid getting boxed in by traffic at the start.

With 16 horses, Tiz the Law will break from the 16th post in the special gate Churchill Downs provides, big enough to accommodate up to 20 horses that will debut for this year’s Derby. The far inside and the three outside spots will be left vacant after King Guillermo and Finnick the Fierce were scratched.

Kentucky Derby 146
PP Horse Jockey M-L Odds
1 Finnick the Fierce SCRATCHED
2 Max Player Ricardo Santana Jr. 30-1
3 Enforceable Adam Beschizza 30-1
4 Storm the Court Julien Leparoux 50-1
5 Major Fed James Graham 50-1
6 King Guillermo SCRATCHED
7 Money Moves Javier Castellano 30-1
8 South Bend Tyler Gaffalione 50-1
9 Mr. Big News Gabriel Saez 50-1
10 Thousand Words Florent Geroux 15-1
11 Necker Island Miguel Mena 50-1
12 Sole Volante Luca Panini 30-1
13 Attachment Rate Joe Talamo 50-1
14 Winning Impression Joe Rocco Jr. 50-1
15 Ny Traffic Paco Lopez 20-1
16 Honor A. P. Mike Smith 5-1
17 Tiz the Law Manny Franco 3-5
18 Authentic John Velazquez 8-1

But if it’s not Tiz the Law’s day, then who else may find themselves wearing the garland of roses Saturday evening? There are three horses in that next tier, and two of them, Honor A.P. and Authentic, will flank Tiz the Law at the starting gate.

Authentic, one of two Bob Baffert-trained horses in the race, has wins in four of his five career starts, including July’s Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. His lone defeat came when he ran second to Honor A.P. in June’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Honor A.P. is coming off a second place showing in the Shared Belief Stakes last month at Del Mar to Thousand Words, who earned his first win in six months in that race. Thousand Words, Baffert’s other entry, will break from the ninth gate.

“When you get to this level, they all look good,” Honor A.P. trainer John Shirreffs said Friday.

Others Derby Horses to Consider

Of the 16 entries, 11 got morning-line odds of 30-1 to 50-1. Let’s look at three horses in this pack that probably won’t win, but should be in contention to finish in the money. These are all horses who, while not winning their last races, have shown a penchant for getting on the board.

Since winning the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct in February, Max Player has reeled off back-to-back third place showings in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, which Tiz the Law won, and Travers. He’ll break from the inside post, so he might have to run a little harder at the start to avoid getting bunched.

Ny Traffic hasn’t won since an allowance race at Gulfstream Park in January. But he has three second place and a third place showing in the four starts since. That includes chasing down a tiring Authentic in the Haskell after stalking him for the entire 1-1/8th mile race. He lost that race by a nose.

Like Ny Traffic, Attachment Rate’s lone win this year is at Gulfstream. He’s finished in the money five times in seven starts, including a second place showing behind Art Collector in the Ellis Park Derby last month.

Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 7:01 p.m. ET. NBC will air the race.