Tiz the Law Favored in Kentucky Derby
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The 2020 Kentucky Derby is finally here after being delayed from the first Saturday in May to September 5. The 1 ¼-mile race at Churchill Downs is for three-year-olds with a purse of $3 million and a chance at immortality. For the first time, the Kentucky Derby comes just two months before the Breeders’ Cup, which will be run November 6 and 7 at Keeneland.
Tiz the Law heads the field of 18 Kentucky Derby contenders, with morning line odds of 3-5 following his wins in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) this summer. The son of Constitution also won the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in March. Trainer Barclay Tagg has won the Kentucky Derby before, in 2003 with New York-bred gelding Funny Cide. Tiz the Law is also a New York-bred, and looks to make history repeat itself on Saturday.
Challenging him are 17 rivals headed by Honor A. P. The winner of the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) in June, Honor A. P. is a flashy son of Honor Code trained by John Shirreffs, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2005 with longshot Giacomo. Mike Smith, who was aboard in 2005, will also be aboard Honor A. P.
The horse who defeated Honor A. P. in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar last out was Thousand Words. He is the first of trainer Bob Baffert’s two Kentucky Derby horses, and was originally the more highly regarded. A $1 million purchase, Thousand Words was the winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) in December, followed by the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3).
Baffert’s other entrant is Authentic, who won the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park in July. The son of Into Mischief has only lost once, and that was to Honor A. P. Trainer Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby five times to date.
Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo has been training at Churchill Downs longer than any other Derby rival. Second in the Arkansas Derby (G1), King Guillermo is trained by Juan Carlos Avila and will be ridden by Samy Camacho. The son of Uncle Mo was a $150,000 juvenile purchase in 2019.
Ny Traffic was beaten just a nose in the Haskell by Authentic. Another New York-bred, Ny Traffic is trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr. The son of Cross Traffic has earned over $565,000 to date, and was second in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) here in late May.
The Kentucky Derby is the last of 14 races on the card, with a local post time of 7:01pm. There are six other graded stakes races preceding it. Its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks, will be run Friday, September 4.
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