2020 Kentucky Derby Predictions
Saturday at an empty Churchill Downs is the running of the 146th Kentucky Derby, “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. Last year at the Kentucky Derby we saw Maximum Security get disqualified for interference, and Country House, the second-longest shot at 65-1, won the race.
2020 has been a weird horse racing season as the Kentucky Derby is running in September and the Belmont Stakes already ran. The Preakness was moved to October 3, so this Saturday if the Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law wins the Derby, then in October we could see another Triple Crown contender.
Saturday’s Kentucky Derby edition features 18 entrants, and this 1 1/4 mile race is going to be very entertaining. If you didn’t notice, there are eight horses that are 50-1 or higher, and the last three years there were a total of nine. But don’t forget, we are still in 2020, and anything can happen in this wacky year. I believe a small handful of horses could hit the board. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see another possible chance to see a Triple Crown winner? Here are the highlights of the field and some 2020 Kentucky Derby predictions (Odds are the morning line track odds).
- Finnick the Fierce (50-1)
Finnick the Fierce is a nice horse, and if this wasn’t the Derby I might take a closer look. Fierce did finish 3rd in the Arkansas Derby, but his latest workouts and performances tells me he will struggle on Saturday.
- Max Player (30-1)
A little shocked here that Max Player is 30-1, and I will be completely shocked if this horse stays at 30-1 when the gate gets lifted early Saturday evening. A change of trainer should be good, and during some big Stakes Races this horse has shown tons of improvement. I’m not saying that this horse can pull off the upset, but it wouldn’t shock me if he hits the board.
- Enforceable (30-1)
This horse has a great pedigree with notable parents (Tapit and Justwhistledixie), but he performed well early and has been fading. Enforceable will like the Derby distance, but I see this horse getting lost in the mix.
- Storm the Court (50-1)
If this was 2019, then I might take a shot with Storm the Court. However, since this horse is winless in 2020 and not on the turf, I’m throwing this horse to the side.
- Major Fed (50-1)
I know this horse finished 2nd in the Indiana Derby, but the field in that race is not even close, and no way Major Fed hits the board.
- King Guillermo (20-1)
Cashed with this horse at the Tampa Bay Derby, and here is another horse that will not go off at 20-1 when the gate is lifted. King Guillermo should be fresh with the four-month layoff, and I know this horse doesn’t have the speed like other horses in this race. However, King Guillermo could easily hit the board.
- Money Moves (30-1)
Not much to write up about this horse! Money Moves has never run a Stakes race, and in his last race he finished 2nd at Saratoga. Here is another throw out horse in my eyes.
- South Bend (50-1)
South Bend ran well at the RunHappy Travers but only finished in 4th place. And with an almost perfect run there without a win, it doesn’t give me confidence for Saturday. If this was a football Saturday with Notre Dame playing, I might throw a small play on him in a Trifecta or Superfecta, but I’m throwing this horse to the side.
- Mr. Big News (50-1)
At the Blue Grass Stakes, Mr. Big News stumbled and got lost in the traffic. Again on Saturday this horse will get lost with the high Derby traffic. If they did the Derby draw on Monday, this horse wouldn’t be even in this race, so again another throw away horse in the middle of the pack.
- Thousand Words (15-1)
Here is a Bob Baffert horse that could be in the running to steal this race. Thousand Words won the Shared Belief Stakes and has had some really good workouts. I believe he’s a big threat to Tiz the Law and should stay around double-digit odds all Saturday long.
- Necker Island (50-1)
This horse has not one but two 3rd place showings (Ellis Park Derby & Indiana Derby), and he will need to run a perfect race to hit the board on Saturday. Out of all the 50-1 shot horses in this race, this horse could shock some bettors and again hit the 3rd place money. Keep an eye out for Necker Island money to come in late.
- Sole Volante (30-1)
Sole Volante started the year looking very promising, but then he raced at Belmont and that was awful. If this horse runs like he did at the Grade 3 Sam F. Davies Stakes, then watch out, because he won that race and he does have the speed to shock the bettors.
- Attachment Rate (50-1)
Some of the people I respect in this industry tell me not to throw away this horse. Attachment Rate finished 2nd in the Ellis Park Derby and could catch Art Collector. However, if jockey Joe Talamo can have a perfect ride, this horse can easily hit the board. No way this horse goes off at 50-1.
- Winning Impression (50-1)
Winning Impression will be one of the biggest long shots on the Kentucky Derby betting board and has no shot of winning or hitting the board.
- Ny Traffic (20-1)
This horse has tons of potential and ran well and the Haskell Invitational, finishing in 2nd place, and look for jockey Paco Lopez to ride him well on Saturday. No way this horse goes off at 20-1, and this horse will be a popular bet for exactas and trifectas.
- Honor A.P. (5-1)
The distance will not bother this horse, and he has had great trips in some big Stakes races this year. Honor A.P. has the speed and has veteran jockey Mike Smith riding him. Therefore, if we do see an upset Saturday early evening, this could be the horse.
- Tiz the Law (3-5)
What more can you say about the big Kentucky Derby favorite?! He won the Belmont Stakes and dominated the field in the Travers. The distance won’t bother him, and we know about the close speed Tiz the Law has. Therefore, at the end of the day, it wouldn’t shock me to see the big favorite win the 2020 Kentucky Derby.
- Authentic (8-1)
Still blows my mind that the winner of the Haskell Stakes is 8-1 and the bettors will be all over this horse to beat the big favorite. Why you ask? Authentic is a Bob Baffert horse with jockey John Velazquez riding him. And if he runs like he did at the Haskell and San Felipe Stakes, we could be cashing some big Derby tickets. Here is another horse that will not go off at 8-1, and it wouldn’t shock me to see Authentic close around 5-1 or 6-1.
2020 Kentucky Derby Free Pick
$2.00 Trifecta Box = $120
(Not in order)
(6) – King Guillermo
(10) – Thousand Words
(16) – Honor A.P.
(17) – Tiz the Law
(18) – Authentic
Raphael Esparza is one of the best handicappers in all sports. This weekend Esparza will have plays from Horse Racing, NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, MLB, WNBA, Korean Baseball, Soccer, Boxing and UFC. Saturday Esparza will have a full card at Churchill Downs and Esparza will be releasing a 7-Unit Head-to-Head Kentucky Derby matchup. New clients can take advantage of Doc's no-hassle $60 free picks offer and get Esparza's weekday picks .
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