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Kentucky Derby 2020: Early Look at Favorites in the Field and Latest Vegas Odds

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Flavien Prat on Country House, left, races against Luis Saez on Maximum Security, third from left, during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. Maximum Security was disqualified and Country House won the race. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

With the 2020 Kentucky Derby just over a week away, the field of 20 thoroughbreds and their chances at galloping down the 1¼-mile track to victory at Churchill Downs is starting to take focus.

Tiz the Law—who took first at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga, New York, and has 372 points—has emerged ahead of the pack as the heavy favorite.

Challenging the New York-bred gelding in the run for glory is Authentic, the Barclay Tagg-trained charge who won the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park, New Jersey. Authentic is 4-1 in five starts and has 200 points.

The third-ranked colt leading up to the greatest two minutes in sports is Art Collector, who has 150 points and is unbeaten in four starts.

And while this year's event will be held on Sept. 5 and staged without fans in attendance, there will still be plenty of excitement for the bettors when it comes to the 146th annual Run for the Roses.

Here's a quick look at favorites and the latest odds for the second leg of the iconic Triple Crown, per VegasInsider.com.

       

Tiz the Law 4-5

Art Collector 9-2

Honor A.P. 7-1

Authentic 10-1

Thousand Words 12-1

King Guillermo 24-1

Enforceable 28-1

Ny Traffic 30-1

Dr Post 35-1

Caracaro 40-1

Max Player 40-1

Sole Volante 50-1

Storm the Court 60-1

Attachment Rate 65-1

Major Fed 75-1

Finnick the Fierce 125-1

Necker Island 150-1

Rushie 150-1

Winning Impression 150-1

                

The drawing of post positions is important when it comes to a colt's chances of winning Derby 146, because where a contender starts makes all the difference.

For instance, it's extremely hard to overcome posts No. 1 and No. 2 in such a large field, and springing out of the starting gates on the far inside or far outside can make it difficult to optimize a horse's strengths as a racer.

Outside of starting position and talent, the difference between winning and losing comes down to the horses' owners, trainers and jockeys.

Additionally, how these contenders fared in their most recent race weighs heavily on how they will do at the Derby.

Tiz the Law will stride into Churchill Downs in Louisville with three straight Grade 1 victories, including the Belmont Stakes, which in the 2020 order of the Triple Crown served as the buzz-builder that puts everyone else on notice.

With that race, it may have cemented itself as the best three-year-old horse in the field.

The Barclay Tagg-trained charge also took Travers Stakes in a dominant win earlier this month, which gave him an extra push as the first odds-on favorite for the Run for the Roses since Arazi in 1992.

Overall, the horse overwhelmingly looks like it has a chance to win the Triple Crown based on its devastating late kick and resemblance to former winners American Pharoah and Justify.

Art Collector appears to be a worthy contender to Tiz the Law based on its 2020 debut.

Owner Bruce Lunsford has helped it to four straight wins, including a seven-furlong dirt race back in May.

And while this colt hasn't won a Grade 1, it comes with an impressive lineage and pedigree.

It's sire, Bernardini, has quite a few notable wins on its resume, including the 2006 Preakness Stakes, 2006 Travers and 2006 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Distorted Legacy is the dam for this colt and earned more than $420,000 during her racing career.

Art Collector has a running style that lends itself to early front-end speed, and "Louisville's horse" easily won the Ellis Park Derby in Kentucky. He is also unbeaten in four starts.

Rounding out the top three is Authentic, who is guided by high-profile trainer Bob Baffert.

With a win in the Haskell (G1), which is a key prep run, under its belt, the colt with world-class speed is looking to take the 10 furlongs at Churchill Downs.

The only rub against Authentic is its lone career loss in the Santa Anita Derby, which lends itself to the notion that the horse can't handle the added distance.

       

Follow Maurice Bobb on Twitter, @ReeseReport  

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