America’s biggest horse race has finally arrived, after the 2020 Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from its “first Saturday in May” slot.
Churchill Downs will host the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday, Sept. 5, but no fans will be allowed at the historic racetrack during the pandemic due to coronavirus restrictions. However, the $3 million race has a race favorite expected to inspire the fan base and generate record wagering to win. That’s Tiz the Law, with historically-low odds of 3/5 leading into the Kentucky Derby.
In an unusual and unsettling year, the 2020 Kentucky Derby and racing season has a different complexion due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5, and a number of top racehorses on the Derby trail were sidelined in recent months and sent to the barn with injuries.
Then on Sept. 1, the leading contender expected to challenge Tiz the Law was not entered when Art Collector suffered a minor foot injury while training at Churchill Downs. Two more horses were scratched after the post position draw on Sept. 1, with King Guillermo and Finnick the Fierce pulling out of the Derby with minor injuries.
All this happens as the 3-year-old runners continue to mature and the trainers try to get their colts in peak form for America’s greatest horse race. The steady force and shining star for an industry looking for stable footing has been Tiz the Law, who has won six of his seven starts, including all four races in 2020.
That includes the opening leg of the 2020 Triple Crown Belmont Stakes in June and the Travers Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths in early August, contested at the same 1 1/4 mile distance as the Kentucky Derby. And Tiz the Law won those races and the earlier Florida Derby all by more than 3 lengths.
KENTUCKY DERBY FIELD AND PARI-MUTUEL ODDS
The 2020 Kentucky Derby odds were set by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia Sept. 1 following the post position draw. The odds will adjust as bets are made at leading online platforms like TVG and Twinspires, the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby.
|1||Finnick the Fierce||M. Garcia||Scratched|
|2||Max Player||R. Santana Jr.||30-1|
|4||Storm the Court||J. Leparoux||50-1|
|5||"Major Fed"||J. Graham||50-1|
|6||King Guillermo||S. Camacho||Scratched|
|7||Money Moves||J. Castellano||30-1|
|8||South Bend||T. Gaffalione||50-1|
|9||Mr. Big News||G. Saez||50-1|
|10||Thousand Word||F. Geroux||15-1|
|11||"Necker Island"||M. Mena||50-1|
|12||Sole Volante||L. Panici||30-1|
|13||Attachment Rate||J. Talamo||50-1|
|14||Winning Impression||J. Rocco Jr.||50-1|
|15||Ny Traffic||P. Lopez||20-1|
|16||Honor A. P.||M. Smith||5-1|
|17||Tiz the Law||M. Franco||3-5|
LOWEST ODDS ON KENTUCKY DERBY FAVORITES
The Kentucky Derby field has been limited to 20 starters since 1975 – the year after 23 horses contested the 100th anniversary of the Derby in 1974. In 1979, the sensational Spectacular Bid won the Derby at 3/5 odds, but was challenged by just nine other runners, the smallest field in the last 40 years. At least 20 horses have entered the race every year since 2004, but not all entries make it to post due to injuries or situations that caused a horse to scratch, like two entries in this year’s 2020 race.
When Tiz the Law enters the starting gate and holds at odds of 3/5 or less, he’ll be the shortest-priced favorite in more than 40 years. Here’s a list of the Kentucky Derby horses with the shortest post time odds and results.
- 2018: Justify (2.90 – 1) Winner – Triple Crown
- 2016: Nyquist (2.30 – 1) Winner
- 2015: American Pharoah (2.90 – 1) Winner – Triple Crown
- 2014: California Chrome (2.50 – 1) Winner
- 2008: Big Brown (2.40 – 1) Winner
- 2001: Point Given (1.80 – 1) 5th
- 2000: Fusaichi Pegasus (2.30 – 1) Winner
- 1994: Holy Bull (2.20 – 1) 12th
- 1992: Arazi (0.90 – 1) 8th
- 1989: Easy Goer (0.90 – 1) 2nd
- 1979: Spectacular Bid: (3/5) Winner
In 1973, Secretariat beat 12 rivals to win the Kentucky Derby at 3/5 odds and set the track record covering 1 1/4 miles in 1.59.40. Other short odds-on favorites have run in the Derby when fewer runners contested the race, including the dominant Native Dancer. He won 21 of 22 starts but came up short in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, finishing second at 3/5 odds in a 11-horse field.
Tiz the Law can make wagering history Saturday in the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. Watch and wager Sept. 5 and see if Tiz the Law becomes the seventh favorite in the past eight years to win the Kentucky Derby.