2020 Kentucky Derby Predictions & Preview
Kentucky Derby 146th Running
Saturday, September 5th
Churchill Downs – 1 ¼ Miles – Main Track
The stage is set for the 146th Kentucky Derby and while virtually nothing about the year 2020 has been normal, we can take solace in the fact that twenty of the very best three-year-old horses will line up in the starting gate beneath the majestic twin-spires of Churchill Downs this Saturday evening.
While the COVID19 pandemic caused the date of the world’s most recognized race to be delayed by 4 months, it also forced additional time to be taken for these top contenders to develop and that should make for an even more competitive race.
The Triple Crown, typically run in the order of: Kentucky Derby-Preakness-Belmont Stakes has been mixed up this year with the Belmont Stakes having already taken place in late June. Saturday’s Kentucky Derby will be leg #2 of the elusive Triple Crown series and the Preakness will be the final leg. That race will be run at Pimlico Racetrack in Maryland on the first Saturday in October. Post positions will be drawn later on this week and a morning-line odds board will be created and after that we’ll simply wait in anticipation for this postponed classic.
The Triple Crown is on the line, but unlike almost every Kentucky Derby prior to this, there’s only one horse with a chance to win the Triple Crown this year and that’s Sakatoga Stables’ Tiz The Law. Tiz The Law won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes as a two-year-old before beginning this year with wins in the Holy Bull Stakes and the Florida Derby before DOMINATING the Belmont Stakes prior to BLASTING away from the field in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Tiz the Law will likely go to the post as the favorite this Saturday and while he’s the only colt who can still win the Triple Crown, he’s far from the only contender to win the Kentucky Derby this year.
Authentic, might be the west coast’s best chance at taking this year’s running of the Kentucky Derby. Trained by two-time-Triple-Crown-winning-trainer Bob Baffert, Authentic won the Sham and San Filipe Stakes before getting denied in the Santa Anita Derby by Honor AP. Authentic came back to take the Haskell Invitational by a nose over NY Traffic and certainly rates a top chance this Saturday based on his top notch connections alone.
If there’s such a thing as “home field advantage” in this year’s Kentucky Derby than Art Collector rates a strong chance. He’s had four starts under the storied twin-spires of Churchill Downs and while his two-year-old season wasn’t as strong as a few contenders in here, he more than made up for it with a BANG-UP 3-year-old season where he’s gone undefeated winning, among others, the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and the Ellis Park Derby.
If Authentic is coming into the Kentucky Derby as the west coast’s top contender, Honor A.P. isn’t far behind. Never worse than 2nd in his 5 race career, Honor A.P. easily handled that one in the Santa Anita Derby before coming up ¾ of a length short against Thousand Words in the Shared Belief Stakes. Honor A.P. has the kind of stride that makes us think he’ll have no problem with the 1 ¼ distance of the Derby and rates a long look here.
Ny Traffic is another contender who didn’t show much as a two-year-old but has blossomed as a three-year-old. While Ny Traffic hasn’t yet won a stakes race, he’s finished second in his last three races to top three-year-olds: Authentic, Maxfield and Welles Bayou. Ny Traffic hails from low profile connections and will likely offer generous odds for a horse who’s always right in the thick of it at the end of his races.
Another live-longshot from low-profile connections is King Guillermo. From the barn of Juan Avila, King Guillermo upset the Tampa Bay Derby at odds of 49-1 prior to running second in the Arkansas Derby. He should be forwardly placed and will be one they’ll have to run down to win.
Those are the top contenders for this year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby but there are plenty of more contenders who rate a chance to upset the field for the roses. As the week goes we will take a closer look at the rest of the field as we try to build our exotics wagers as the excitement begins to build towards Saturday.
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