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2020 Kentucky Derby Picks, Predictions and Odds

 


Kentucky Derby
Betting Resources

Handicapping the Field
Kentucky Derby

Morning Line Odds are created by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.

(Kentucky Derby Career Record)

1) Finnick the Fierce - Scratched

  • Morning Line Odds: 50-1
  • Trainer: Rey Hernandez (Debut)
  • Jockey: Martin Garcia (0-4)

He’s only crossed the wire first once in nine tries with his other victory coming by way of disqualification. Finished far behind Art Collector, the second choice in this up until a foot injury prevented him from running, in his last two starts. Would need to run the race of his life to even get a piece. Not for me.

2) Max Player

  • Morning Line Odds: 30-1
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen (0-20)
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr. (0-5)

Will be making his first start since being transferred from trainer Linda Rice off a pair of third place finishes in both The Belmont and Travers where he was making up ground at the end. This will be his third start off a 139-day layoff and if he continues to improve like he has in each of his five previous starts he’s poised to run a big one.

Biggest issue is his running style, as one-run closers almost always have an issue in this event. I think he’s one of the live longshots in this and will be on all of my exotic tickets.

3) Enforceable

  • Morning Line Odds: 30/1
  • Trainer: Mark Casse (0-7)
  • Jockey: Adam Beschizza (Debut)

Since breaking his maiden going nine furlongs in the fourth start of his career last summer at Saratoga he’s faced nothing but graded stakes foes. After winning his seasonal debut in the Lecomte at the Fair Grounds he was unable to overcome the speed biased course there in both the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby.

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Fourth in the Blue Grass in a race in which the two speed horses ran first and second, he falls into the same boat as Max Player as he is a deep closer. Still, I believe he is going to run a big one at a huge price. Another longshot who’ll be on all my exotic tickets.

4) Storm the Court

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Peter Eurton (0-1)
  • Jockey: Julien Leparoux (0-11)

Play along for a minute. Imagine it’s November 15, 2019. I walk up to you and say the upset Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and eventual Two-Year-Old Eclipse Award winner would be winless in five starts since that score but he would still make it to the Derby starting gate…..in September.

What a wild ride this has been. And perhaps, the most “2020” thing that would happen is that he wins this. Unfortunately for him that chaotic theory is likely the only way he can win this. Toss out.

5) Major Fed

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Greg Foley (Debut)
  • Jockey: Jimmy Graham (0-1)

He’s winless in four stakes tries since breaking his maiden at second asking. Eligible for an entry-level allowance contest and I’m not sure I’d bet him in one of those races. Pass.

6) King Guillermo - Scratched

  • Morning Line Odds: 20/1
  • Trainer: Juan Avila (Debut)
  • Jockey: Sammy Camacho (Debut)

This year’s “wiseguy” horse. He’ll be making his first start since finishing second in the Arkansas Derby just over four months ago. He did win the Tampa Bay Derby in his only other start this season off a three-month layoff but there is a HUGE difference between a derby in March in Florida and THE Derby. Getting conflicting reports as to how he is training, as well. I think he’ll take money and has way too many questions to answer for me. I’ll pass.

7) Money Moves

  • Morning Line Odds: 30/1
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher (2-54)
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano (0-13)

One of the last to commit to the field after the defection of Art Collector, he’s the only runner who’s taken on older horses and he almost came away with a win but fell a neck short last out in Saratoga. I’m not a big fan of last-minute decisions in races like this and his connections will get him some attention at the windows. With that said, I wouldn’t be shocked if he grabbed a minor award so I will use him in bottom end of tris and supers.

8) South Bend

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Bill Mott (1-9)
  • Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione (0-2)

Another last-minute entrant, he finished fourth in the Travers, his first start for Mott who got his Derby win in the most controversial fashion with Country House last year. This guy started his career with three wins on dirt, including the Street Sense over this course before spending most of the winter on turf. He is usually gaining ground at the end of his races, always a good thing when it comes to this event. I’ll use him on bottom end of tris and supers.

9) Mr. Big News

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Bret Calhoun (0-1)
  • Jockey: Gabriel Saez (0-3)

Upset the Oaklawn at over 46-1 before finishing sixth in the Blue Grass three months later. Like the two starters to his inside, he joined this fray late in the game. Another bad case of Derby Fever here. Not for me.

10) Thousand Words

  • Morning Line Odds: 15/1
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert (5-32)
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux (0-4)

It’s rare to see a comeback on the Derby Trail. Usually a precocious two-year-old falls off and is never heard from again or excels at sprint distances. B.C. Sprint winner Trinniberg comes to mind. And then you have your late bloomers, like Arrogate and West Coast, both trained by Baffert.

This colt was on everyone’s list going into 2020 but fell off after a couple of really poor performances. He showed signs of life two back then ran the fastest race of his career when he took the Shared Belief at Del Mar on the front end, beating Honor A.P. in the process. I feel like the latter wasn’t fully cranked for that and that this horse had everything go his own way.

Would make for an interesting story, and most people are reticent to toss his trainer in these spots, but he’s not for me.

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11) Necker Island

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Chris Hartman (Debut)
  • Jockey: Miguel Mena (0-1)

Former claimer finished third in both the Indiana and Ellis Park Derbies since being taken for $100K three back. Adds blinkers for this and stirred up the karma police by switching jocks for no reason. Not on any of my tickets save when I hit the ALL button.

12) Sole Volante

  • Morning Line Odds: 30/1
  • Trainer: Patrick Biancone (0-3)
  • Jockey: Luca Panici (Debut)

One of the more interesting horses on this year’s Derby Trail. Starts his career with a pair of easy turf tallies, upsets the Sam F Davis at Tampa before finishing second when racing against the track bias when second in their Derby….all good.

He won an allowance race at Gulfstream when he had everything go his way before shipping to NY and running dismally in the Belmont just 10 days later. I can’t get that effort out of my head because it felt like as soon as he faced some tougher competition he didn’t fire. Passing.

13) Attachment Rate

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Dale Romans (0-10)
  • Jockey: Joe Talamo (0-2)

He’s eligible for an entry-level allowance contest and his lone victory in eight starts came over a sloppy track at Gulfstream going a mile. He’s lost ground in the stretch in all of his races beyond a mile. I think he has a chance to be a nice horse but at shorter distances. Not for me.

14) Winning Impression

  • Morning Line Odds: 50/1
  • Trainer: Dallas Stewart (0-5)
  • Jockey: Joe Rocco, Jr. (0-1)

Another with just one win, his three stakes tries haven’t been good. I know his trainer finished second with Golden Soul in 2013 and Commanding Curve the following years at big prices but this would be miraculous.

15) Ny Traffic

  • Morning Line Odds: 20/1
  • Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr. (Debut)
  • Jockey: Paco Lopez (0-1)

After winning an entry level allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream when making his first start for this trainer, he’s run in and hit the board in four graded stakes. Looked like he was done for in the stretch of the Haskell when Authentic had a three-length lead in deep stretch but he made it really close and lost by a head bob.

I believe it was more the leader stopping than it was this colt closing but I could be wrong. He’s often right around the money but hardly ever grabs the brass ring. I’ll use him on bottom of some tris and supers.

16) Honor A.P.

  • Morning Line Odds: 5/1
  • Trainer: John Shirreffs (1-4)
  • Jockey: Mike Smith (2-25)

Your morning line second choice comes into this off a curious effort in the Shared Belief. Many, including myself, believe he wasn’t completely cranked for that race and he wound up finishing second as the 1-5 chalk to Thousand Words. I didn’t expect him to win and expected him to get beat by a horse on the lead. What I didn’t expect was my reaction to the effort.

The outcome was exactly what I expected yet I was underwhelmed by the effort and I don’t love the fact that he prepped for this with a race at 1 1/16 miles. He’s been treated with kid gloves throughout his career and in a year like this I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

There was a brief time earlier this year where I thought he was Tiz the Law’s biggest threat but that time has passed. I’ll use him in all of my exotics based on his talent but I’ll be hoping some of my bigger prices beat him.

17) Tiz the Law

  • Morning Line Odds: 3/5
  • Trainer: Barclay Tagg (1-5)
  • Jockey: Manny Franco (0-2)

There really isn’t much left to be said about him right now. He’s the best of this crop and it’s not even close. Tagg has done an amazing job keeping him happy and healthy and I still think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. That comes later. As for this, he’ll break, stay outside and move on the turn like he always does. I think he’ll beat this field like a drum. The pick to win Kentucky Derby 146!!!

18) Authentic

  • Morning Line Odds: 8/1
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert (5-32)
  • Jockey: John Velazquez (2-21)

If I were his Hall of Fame connections I would be blasting off and trying to run them off their hooves. His post draw likely forces their hand but they still won’t be aggressive as I would like. It may not matter. Distance has always been a big question with him and when Tiz the Law comes calling I expect he’ll call it a day. I’m tossing both Baffert runners this year and hoping I’m right.

146th Kentucky Derby Predictions

Editor's Note: As of Friday afternoon, two horses have been scratched for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby.

  • 1 Finnick the Fierce
  • 6 King Guillermo

If Things Go Well...

Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta Picks:

  • Exacta: 17-3
  • Trifecta: 17-3-2
  • Superfecta: 17-3-2-16

Projected Order of Finish

146th Kentucky Derby Finish Prediction
PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
17 Tiz the Law Barclay Tagg Manny Franco 3/5
3 Enforceable Mark E. Casse Adam Beschizza 30/1
2 Max Player Steven M. Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 30/1
16 Honor A. P. John A. Shirreffs Mike Smith 5/1
8 South Bend William I. Mott Tyler Gaffalione 50/1
15 Ny Traffic Saffie A. Joseph, Jr. Paco Lopez 20/1
7 Money Moves Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 30/1
1 Finnick the Fierce Rey Hernandez Martin Garcia 50/1
6 King Guillermo Juan Carlos Avila Sammy Camacho 20/1
18 Authentic Bob Baffert John Velazquez 8/1
10 Thousand Words Bob Baffert Florent Geroux 15/1
12 Sole Volante Patrick L. Biancone Luca Panici 30/1
14 Winning Impression Dallas Stewart Joe Rocco 50/1
4 Storm The Court Peter Eurton Julien Leparoux 50/1
13 Attachment Rate Dale L. Romans Joe Talamo 50/1
11 Necker Island Chris A. Hartman Miguel Mena 50/1
5 Major Fed Gregory D. Foley James Graham 50/1
9 Mr. Big News Bret Calhoun Gabriel Saez 50/1

If All Hell Breaks Loose...

Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta Picks:

    Exacta: 18-6
    Trifecta: 18-6-10
    Superfecta: 18-6-10-17

Projected Order of Finish

146th Kentucky Derby Finish Prediction
PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
18 Authentic Bob Baffert John Velazquez 8/1
6 King Guillermo Juan Carlos Avila Sammy Camacho 20/1
10 Thousand Words Bob Baffert Florent Geroux 15/1
17 Tiz the Law Barclay Tagg Manny Franco 3/5
2 Max Player Steven M. Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 30/1
3 Enforceable Mark E. Casse Adam Beschizza 30/1
7 Money Moves Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 30/1
16 Honor A. P. John A. Shirreffs Mike Smith 5/1
4 Storm The Court Peter Eurton Julien Leparoux 50/1
8 South Bend William I. Mott Tyler Gaffalione 50/1
13 Attachment Rate Dale L. Romans Joe Talamo 50/1
9 Mr. Big News Bret Calhoun Gabriel Saez 50/1
1 Finnick the Fierce Rey Hernandez Martin Garcia 50/1
5 Major Fed Gregory D. Foley James Graham 50/1
12 Sole Volante Patrick L. Biancone Luca Panici 30/1
14 Winning Impression Dallas Stewart Joe Rocco 50/1
15 Ny Traffic Saffie A. Joseph, Jr. Paco Lopez 20/1
11 Necker Island Chris A. Hartman Miguel Mena 50/1


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