Kentucky Derby 2020: Complete Odds and Analysis for Top ContendersAugust 29, 2020
Typically, the Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May and is the start of the pursuit for horse racing's Triple Crown.
But the coronavirus pandemic means 2020's installment of the Run for the Roses is taking place on the first Saturday in September. And it's not the first Triple Crown race of the year, either, as the Belmont Stakes was ran in June. The schedule will end with the Preakness Stakes, which is set to take place the first Saturday in October.
Timing isn't the only change for this year's Kentucky Derby, as there will be no fans at Churchill Downs for one of the most prestigious sporting events of the year. Still, there should be plenty of excitement once this year's field heads to the gates Sept. 5.
Here's a look at the odds a week before the race, followed by a breakdown of the early top contenders.
2020 Kentucky Derby Odds
Tiz the Law (6-5)
Art Collector (7-1)
Honor A. P. (8-1)
Max Player (17-1)
Thousand Words (17-1)
Ny Traffic (17-1)
Dr Post (21-1)
King Guillermo (23-1)
Shirls Speight (46-1)
Sole Volante (53-1)
Attachment Rate (53-1)
Finnick the Fierce (53-1)
Storm The Court (53-1)
Winning Impression (61-1)
Necker Island (80-1)
Major Fed (80-1)
Odds via Vegas Insider.
Tiz the Law
It's no surprise that Tiz the Law is the early favorite after he raced to victory at the Belmont Stakes in June. He won by 3 ¾ lengths, becoming the first New York-bred horse to claim the crown at the Belmont since Forester in 1882.
Consequently, Tiz the Law is aiming to become the second horse in three years to win the Triple Crown after Justify accomplished the feat in 2018. And he enters with plenty of momentum, as he's won his past four races, including the Travers Stakes earlier in August, and has six victories in seven career starts.
However, Tiz the Law's lone loss came at Churchill Downs in November in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. But that may not be an issue.
"He's a much better horse now than he was last year," jockey Manny Franco said, according to Bob Ehalt of BloodHorse. "I'm not worried about the track, even if it rains. He got over the slop good. He'll run on anything."
With Tiz the Law's recent showings, it's hard to dispute that. And it seems likely that he will be one of the top contenders to win this year's Kentucky Derby.
Like Tiz the Law, Art Collector enters the Kentucky Derby with a lot of momentum. He didn't race in the Belmont Stakes, but he's won the past five races he's started, including four since May. That included a win at the Ellis Park Derby earlier in August.
"He's proven he's getting better and better with each race," jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said, according to Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier Journal. "He showed it again [at Ellis Park]. He put everyone away. He did it all on his own and ran away from there.”
Art Collector is an experienced horse, and projects to pose the biggest threat to Tiz the Law's Triple Crown chances. Plus, it would provide a great story, as he was bred in Kentucky and his owner and trainer (Bruce Lunsford and Tommy Drury Jr., respectively) have never had a horse in the Kentucky Derby before.
Hernandez has never won the Run for the Roses, either, so a strong showing by Art Collector could help him become a first-time Derby champion.
Honor A. P.
Honor A. P. didn't win the last race he was in, but on Sept. 5, he will have an experienced jockey who knows how to be successful at the Kentucky Derby. Mike Smith will be riding Honor A. P. two years after he rode Justify in all three of his Triple Crown victories.
Smith is a two-time Kentucky Derby winner, as he also rode 50-1 long-shot Giacomo to victory in 2005. This will be his 26th time participating in the Derby, which will tie Bill Shoemaker for the most all time.
Honor A. P. has finished first or second in all five of his career races, which includes a win at the Santa Anita Derby in June. He didn't race in the Belmont Stakes, with his most recent showing coming at the Shared Belief Stakes earlier in August, when he finished second to Thousand Words (who is also in the Kentucky Derby).
While Honor A. P. may not be the most decorated horse, he's trained by John Shirreffs, who also won the Derby with Giacomo in 2005. So there's an experienced team getting Honor A. P. ready for his biggest race yet.