The roses are already wilting as the 2020 Kentucky Derby draws near, booted to the dog days of summer from its traditional spot in the spring by the coronavirus. US horse racing betting sites will offer odds and bonuses (best offers below). Here is our potential favorites preview.
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When it is finally run on Sept. 5, it will be part sports spectacle and part science experiment, with about 23,000 fans allowed to attend and try to maintain social distancing in the relatively cozy confines of Churchill Downs.
But even if gazing into a human petri dish isn’t your idea of a good time, the 146th running of the classic American race for 3-year-olds will be well worth watching due to the presence of what could be an equine superstar.
Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg and owned by Sackatoga Stables – the same connections that produced the 2003 Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide – will deservedly one of the heaviest Derby favorites in years, most likely lower than even odds, if he continues training well.
The Constitution colt is four for four this in stakes races – the Grade 3 Holy Bull and the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, all Grade 1s — and has dispatched the competition in each easily. He also won two of his three starts last year, bringing his overall record to six of seven.
Among his attributes: He breaks alertly out of the gate and has a high cruising speed that enables jockey Manny Franco to position him in a perfect stalking position behind the front-runners. He delivers his knockout punch turning for home, kicking into another gear that immediately discourages his closest pursuers and finishing up strongly to hold the closers at bay.
The field is still taking shape, but it appears all 20 stalls in the new expanded Derby starting gate will be occupied.
Kentucky Derby 2020 Horses Preview
With the last Derby prep races in the books, these are the horses (with jockeys if known) with enough Derby points for a spot if they want one (betting odds will be added later):
- Tiz the Law (Franco);
- Authentic (John Velazquez);
- Art Collector (Brian Hernandez Jr.);
- Honor A.P. (Mike Smith);
- Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez);
- King Guillermo (Samy Camacho);
- Thousand Words (Florent Geroux);
- Dr Post (TBD);
- Max Player (TBD);
- Caracaro (Javier Castellano);
- Pneumatic (TBD);
- Enforceable (TBD);
- Swiss Skydiver (TBD);
- Rushie (TBD);
- Major Fed (James Graham);
- Storm the Court (TBD);
- Attachment Rate (Joe Talamo);
- Sole Volante (Luca Panici);
- Finnick the Fierce (TBD);
- Winning Impression (Joe Rocco Jr.).
Kentucky Derby 2020 Predictions
If there are defections, Jesus’ Team, who is not Triple Crown nominated, meaning his connections to pay a hefty supplemental fee to run him, and Necker Island are the first two alternates that would draw into the field. At least one withdrawal is expected, as the connections of the sensational 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver have indicated they are likely to run her in the Kentucky Oaks on Sept. 4 rather than the Derby.
The usual shuffle of jockeys ahead of the race will be more complicated this year because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
Many top riders in the tough New York jockey colony have said they will not travel to Louisville because they would be forced to quarantine for 14 days upon their return before they could resume riding, which would force them to miss the final week of the Saratoga meeting and possibly the beginning of the fall meeting at Belmont Park.
Among those on the list of expected no-shows are Irad Ortiz Jr., and his brother Jose, both Eclipse Award winners who are currently locked in a battle for the Saratoga riding title, Joel Rosario and Luis Saez. Jose Ortiz rode possible Derby starter Finnick the Fierce in his last start. Rosario has been riding expected starters Max Player and Enforceable.
Some top California-based riders also seem likely to stay home. Flavien Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, also has said his client is likely to remain behind for the last few days if the Del Mar meet, which ends Sept. 7. Prat, winner of last year’s Derby aboard long shot Country House via disqualification of Maximum Security, has been the regular rider of expected Derby entrant Storm the Court in all but one of the colt’s nine career starts.
The smoke should clear over the next week or two, as the lineup firms up and riders are secured. The field will be set in stone – except for the possibility of late scratches — at the post position draw at Churchill Downs on Sept. 1.
AmericanGambler.com will provide a detailed handicap and information on riding assignments, odds and much more in the week before the race. Be sure to check back ahead of the race famously labeled “the fastest two minutes in sports.”
2020 Kentucky Derby Odds & Free Bets
Bet on Kentucky Derby 2020 in 35+ U.S. states with bonus offers and free bets promos. American Gambler recommends AmWager horse betting site with good odds, free picks and betting predictions by popular experts and TVG app for NJ and NY. Use codes, get bonuses.
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