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Tiz the Law winning the Belmont Stakes
The 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), the "Run for the Roses" featuring the best 3-year-olds of 2020, will break several traditions due to coronavirus restrictions. For the first time ever, the race will be run without paying spectators (only essential horsemen, officials, and limited media will be allowed on the grounds). Traditionally run on the first Saturday in May as the first time the horses race over the 1 1/4 mile trip, this year's edition was postponed to the first Saturday in September, with several in the field coming from Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga which is also run at 10 furlongs. The Derby usually kicks off the Triple Crown but this year, the Belmont (traditionally the finale) started the series back in June, and will end with the Preakness in October. One more recent tradition that already ended will be the auxiliary starting gate, as last winter Churchill Downs purchased a custom-built 20-stall gate from Steriline Racing in Australia specifically for the Derby, eliminating the gap between posts 14 and 15. However, unlike the last few years, there will not be a full field of 20.
Update: King Guillermo will be scratched due to a fever Thursday and Finnick the Fierce was declared out of the race by his owners on Friday morning. The inside stall and 3 outside stalls of the new 20 horse starting gate will be left empty for the start of the race Saturday.
As expected Tiz the Law is the prohibitive 3-5 favorite in the field of 18 on Mike Battaglia's morning line, winner of all 4 starts this year - the Holy Bull (G3), Florida Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1), and Travers Stakes (G1). The New York-bred trained by Barclay Tagg for owner Sackatoga Stable gets regular rider Manny Franco from post 17. It is worth noting there has never been a Derby winner out of 17. In to challenge him include 5-1 second choice Honor A. P. from the barn of John Shirreffs. He ships in from California where he was second in the San Felipe (G2) before winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1), but disappointed in 2nd in the Shared Belief last out at Del Mar. Mike Smith retains the mount from post 16 for owner C R K Stable. Rounding out the top 3 is Bob Baffert trainee Authentic at 8-1. After finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) he shipped east to win the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park. New jockey John Velazquez picks up the assignment from the outside post 18 for owners SF Racing, Starlight Racing, and Madaket Stable. It it worth noting that the three favorites drew the 3 widest posts, with all horses inside them at double digit odds. Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner Art Collector was scratched by trainer Tom Drury before the draw due to a heel injury suffered during his Monday gallop, while trainer Bill Mott added Travers 4th place finisher South Bend at the deadline.
The Kentucky Derby will go off as the 14th race on Saturday, with an estimated post time of 7:02PM ET. NBC main network will air the Derby as well as the undercard stakes races from 2:30-7:30PM ET.
|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|
|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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