Tiz the Law clear favorite on Kentucky Derby odds


Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

The first Saturday in May is well known from a sports perspective as the annual running of the biggest horse race in North America, the Kentucky Derby. However, that sport wasn’t immune to the coronavirus pandemic and the “Run for the Roses” was pushed back to this Saturday, September 5.

tiz-the-law-clear-favorite-on-kentucky-derby-oddsIt’s the first time since 1945 (moved to June that year due to World War II) that the first leg of the Triple Crown will not be run on the first Saturday of May. It’s also not the first leg of the Triple Crown this year as the Belmont Stakes, usually the last leg, was run June 20 and won by favored Tiz the Law. He became the first New York-bred horse to win the Belmont since Forester in 1882.

Against a fairly weak field, Tiz the Law won by 3 3/4 lengths with jockey Manny Franco aboard in his first Triple Crown ride. Usually, the Belmont is run at 1 1/2 miles but was shortened to 1 1/8 miles this year.

To little surprise, Tiz the Law is the clear-cut -150 favorite to win the 146th Kentucky Derby, which will be run at its normal 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs in Louisville and only open to 3-year-olds like all Triple Crown races. Derby officials had planned to allow fans to about 14 percent of capacity but then reversed course with a surge of COVID-19. There were no fans at the Belmont, either.

Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg, has just one loss in his career, coming in third in the Kentucky Jockey Club in November 2019 – also held at Churchill Downs. However, Tiz the Law enters having won three straight Grade I races and Tagg won the Derby with Funny Cide in 2003. It should be noted that the past five post-time favorites at less than +200 odds failed to win this race. Also, Tiz the Law starts from Post 17 – the only post position to never have a Derby winner.

Art Collector had been the second favorite, but the colt suffered a minor injury on Sunday and will not race – now being pointed to the Preakness Stakes. Art Collector is the son of Bernardini, who was the U.S. champion male 3-year-old in 2006 when he won the Preakness Stakes and a few other races.

Now the second favorite is Honor A. P. at +650. Trained by John A. Shirreffs, the colt won the Grade I Santa Anita Derby in June and skipped the Belmont. He comes off a second-place finish at the Shared Belief Stakes in early August. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has won the Derby twice, last in 2018 when he steered Justify to the Triple Crown.

Honor A.P. starts from Post 16 in the 18-horse field. Third-favorite Authentic (+1000) starts from Post 18, meaning the three favorites are on the far outside.