Therefore, if you’re planning to bet on this year’s Kentucky Derby, you have to prepare your list of top contenders that you think will take home the victory. To make it easier for you to choose, here are the top five horses who earned outstanding points, and one of them can be your best bet.
After the unforgettable performance of Funny Side, who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby, the Saratoga Stable is now back with a New York-bred horse named Tie the Law. Tie the Law remained undefeated in two starts and won the historic Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.
Because of his excellent performances in winning the Belmont and Travels Stakes, Tie the Law is now the new favorite of this year’s Kentucky Derby. Authentic of Market Stables LLC will make it to the top with his trainer Bob Affect.
Art Collector, handled by trainer Thomas Drug Jr., is at third rank in the Kentucky Derby, with 150 total gained points. Art collector recently won the Ellis Park Derby on Sunday and was ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr.
However, based on his score from the leaderboard, he still needs to train harder to surely win this prestigious race. Art Collector was able to build a strong race history, with four straight first-place wins in the Unhappy Ellis Park Derby and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes.
He also got a sixth place in the Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs last November 9, 2019. These are the top horses who earned outstanding points among other colts contenders in the upcoming 2020KentuckyDerby race.
Down 150,000 fans and three horses, the 146th Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, some four months delayed from its traditional running on the first weekend in May. While there might be fewer mint juleps and sun hats in the stands this year, as well as an eeriness to the first Run of the Roses outside of May since 1945, just be thankful there's going to be an actual horse race at Churchill Downs and not a televised digital simulation of one.
There's never been a better time, then, to embrace totally illogical superstition and bet on a horse based on nothing more convincing than its name. (Art Collector, King Guillermo, and the one-eyed colt Fin nick the Fierce have all been scratched from both the race and thus this ranking at the time of writing).
Still, that's pretty lame, especially when Major Fed's sire has one of the coolest horse names of all time: Ghost zapper. Analysis: Becker Island is the horse name equivalent of the word “moist,” by which I mean it is gross in a way I can't quite place.
Maybe it's because this horse is named after Richard Branson's private island in the British Virgin Islands, which is the sort of obnoxious status-obsessed allusion that only an uber-wealthy person could think was a good idea, or maybe it's because it's so close to “necking,” which is the second-worst slang term for “kissing” after “snogging.” (It's a shame about the name, too, because Becker Island's owner, Greg Habit, has one of the most interesting stories at the race this year).
In truth, South Bend was named by Under Armour owner Kevin Plank because he really likes Notre Dame football. But, okay, it's hard to be too down on Money Moves since his name comes from Cardi B lyrics.
“After winning bid was acknowledged, they played the Cardi B song 'Kodak Yellow' on the sound system,” inspiring the name, reports the Lexington Herald Leader. It slips instantly from the mind almost as soon as you hear it, like water off a duck's back.
Analysis: Seems kind of like tempting fate to stick the word “winning” in the name of your racehorse (not that it's ever stopped anyone). Still, calling a horse “winning” anything is a little like naming it Zoom zoom Fast animal: obvious and trying too hard.
Analysis: This academic overachiever has a name intended to trace his pedigree: It refers to his sire Honor Code, and his grand-sire, A.P. But stuck together as they are, the name sounds more like a highlight from an aspiring Ivy Leagues' resume.
The likelihood that I actually remember to attach documents before hitting “send” on a professional email? Analysis: I have a soft spot for horses with names that give away their aspirations to be major headlines, Suddenbreakingnews being an old favorite.
Still, I'm rooting for him to live up to his name, and I can't write off a horse that demands a proper honorific. While court storming is admittedly another instance of an unrelated sport making its way into horse racing, there's something rather perfect about the exuberant victory celebration it suggests.
Analysis: A Thousand Words is clearly hoping for a photo finish, but he got his name specifically because he's such an attractive horse. “He is gorgeous,” Brook dale Farm's Joe Sat told the Louisville Courier Journal.
We're all just quivering subjects in Tie the Law's kingdom: bow down to the best name of them all. However, the race still needs to be run, and with a large field of 16 horses, anything can happen, including a historic upset.
“I’m extremely excited about how he’s going to run in the Kentucky Derby,” said Hall of Fame trainer Steve Rasmussen, who recently took over training duties from Linda Rice. Saturday’s pace scenario could also help Max Player find the winner’s circle.
Authentic, one of the lone early speed horses in this race, should bolt to the front quickly and entice others to follow, so he isn’t loose on the lead. Plus, the scratches of Fin nick the Fierce and King Guillermo will leave starting gate stalls No.
Gave a career effort in his Santa Anita Derby win, setting highs for final speed and pace, per Brisket. No wonder he took a step back in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar, losing to A Thousand Words by three-quarters of a length.
His last two speed figures were at or above par for the Kentucky Derby, and the one he earned in the Santa Anita Derby (108) is the third fastest in the field. The 2020KentuckyDerby is scheduled to be run at 7:01 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Art Collector, the impressive Blue Grass Stakes winner, is undefeated this year with two victories over the Churchill Downs track. With Art Collector out, Tie the Law’s path to the roses seemingly becomes even easier.
He won his maiden race debut in June 2019 and has not crossed the finish line first in any of his eight starts since. The one-eyed gelding has spent the past couple of races chasing Art Collector, to no avail.
In his most recent run, Fin nick made a nice move on the far turn in the Blue Grass Stakes but couldn’t compete in the stretch. He fought to a third-place finish in one division of the Arkansas Derby before that, but he’s been no threat to win in any of his biggest starts.
Need to know: Previously trained by Linda Rice and now in the barn of Steve Rasmussen, this colt most recently finished third behind Tie the Law in the Travels and Belmont Stakes. Max Player’s style has been to go to the back of the pack and make a run at the end, something that might be more difficult Saturday with his inside post.
He’s likely not going to beat Tie the Law, but yet another step forward could very well be enough to get Max Player in the money. Need to know: Enforceable looked like a legit Derby contender after his win in the Grade 3 Become early this year, but his results since haven’t impressed.
His style is to make a run from the back of the pack, and his numbers suggest that he’ll need a performance far better than any in his past to compete Saturday. Need to know: It seems like years since Storm the Court shocked the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile field, winning at 45-1 odds and claiming 2-year-old champion honors.
Storm the Court has run against several of the contenders here over the past few months, and the results haven’t been great. Before that, he was forced to go way wide all the way around the Churchill track and ended up 10th and last in the Matt Win Stakes.
Major Fed also had wide trips in all three starts at Fair Grounds early in the year. The Kentucky Derby isn’t the place to bank on clean trips, but Major Fed would be an interesting play if he could just get a little luck.
He raced just once since: a respectable second-place finish to the now-injured Naval in one division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2 (the original date for the Kentucky Derby). The long layoffs had been by design, and King Guillermo was training spectacularly at Churchill Downs until Thursday’s bump in the road knocked him out of the race.
Still, if you’re hunting for long shots to bottom out the trifecta and perfecta tickets, he might be worth a longer look. His speed numbers have improved over his last four starts, culminating in a 97 Beyer and fourth-place finish behind Tie the Law in the Travels, his first race under Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won the Derby with Country House last year.
Another who will likely be trying to come from the back of the pack, Mr. Big News would need a good trip and a career effort just to hit the board. A Thousand Words, one of Bob Affect’s two trainees in the 2020Derby, boasts the second- the best Beyer Speed Figure in this field behind the favorite, Tie the Law.
A Thousand Words looked like a legit Derby contender for Bob Affect with a February win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, then finished a distant fourth behind Authentic, Honor A. P. and Storm the Court five weeks later. Need to know: He’s tried to come from the very back of the pack in his previous races, and that style couldn’t get him within 15 lengths of Tie the Law at the finish of the Belmont Stakes, where he was sixth.
Looked promising earlier in the year, but it’s difficult to trust him against this field coming off that Belmont performance, even at those long odds. Need to know: Trained by Louisville native Dale Romans, who is looking for his first Derby victory in his 11th try, Attachment Rate has finished behind Art Collector in his last two starts, but he keeps improving.
He had to go way wide in the Ellis Park Derby and looked good as the runner-up to Art Collector there. His sire, Hard Spun, was second in the 2007 Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, and his dam sire, Fleet Alex, won the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Completely dismissing Stewart with a Derby long shot seems unwise, but there’s no reason to think this gelding will be anywhere near the leaders at the end of Saturday’s race. Need to know: Past results say you know what you’re going to get with this gray colt, and that’s a gritty competitor who won’t give up in the stretch.
The outside post shouldn’t bother him, and Many Franco will be looking to get a clean trip all the way around, even if he has to give up ground away from the rail. Tie the Law has been training beautifully in New York for 2003 Derby winner Barclay Tag.
You can knock the competition he’s beaten, grasp at the fact that his only loss came at Churchill Downs (last November), or speculate that his epic summer might leave him with little left for Saturday. The eyeballs say he’s the best in this field by a pretty good margin, however, and a decent trip will make the Derby his to lose.
A string of injuries and defections has made him Bob Affect’s top contender for a sixth Derby win Saturday, but there are plenty of questions whether Authentic will handle the added distance. Mike Smith rode him in the Haskell, but he’s on Honor A. P., so two-time Derby winner John Velazquez rides for the first time.