Kentucky Derby Predictions 2020: Odds, Picks, & Handicapping

Michael Sherman, Last Updated: September 3rd, 2020 Horse Racing Sites Plus Sign Up Bonuses
Kentucky Derby Predictions 2020: Odds, Picks, & Handicapping

The Kentucky Derby normally kicks off the Triple Crown Series every year, but 2020 is no ordinary year. COVID-19 has changed the order in which the races will be run, and in the case of the Belmont Stakes, it also changed the length of the race.

Now, the Kentucky Derby is set for September 5th, and will be the second leg of the Series. The length of the race remains the same at 1 1/4 miles.

This year's Kentucky Derby includes 18 horses, including Tiz the Law who won the Belmont Stakes on June 20th. Let's take a look at the odds, handicap the race, and make some Kentucky Derby predictions.

Kentucky Derby Odds

The latest odds, as well as post positions for the 2020 Kentucky Derby are as follows:

Post position

Horse

Morning line odds

1

Finnick The Fierce

50-1

2

Max Player

30-1

3

Enforceable

30-1

4

Storm The Court

50-1

5

Major Fed

50-1

6

King Guillermo

20-1

7

Money Moves

30-1

8

South Bend

50-1

9

Mr. Big News

50-1

10

Thousand Words

15-1

11

Necker Island

50-1

12

Sole Volante

30-1

13

Attachment Rate

50-1

14

Winning Impression

50-1

15

NY Traffic

20-1

16

Honor A.P.

5-1

17

Tiz The Law

3-5

18

Authentic

8-1

Kentucky Derby Betting

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Kentucky Derby 2020 Predictions

The Kentucky Derby will go as the 14th race at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in, uh...September? This year has thrown all sports into unprecedented territory, but the Triple Crown trail continues with this years' second leg, the Kentucky Derby.

This year's Derby features an 18-horse field but this race is all about Tiz the Law who won the first leg of this year's Triple Crown, the Belmont on June 20. He then followed that race with an even better performance in the Travers at today's distance, 4 weeks ago.

When Tiz the Law wins, (he is 6 for 7 lifetime), he usually makes the lead before the eighth pole and literally runs away from the field. If he is in that position here in the Derby, which is highly likely, he will prevail.

My objective in handicapping this Derby is to determine perhaps several ways in which Tiz the Law does not run his race. He is far and beyond the horse to beat and outclasses this field. There are only three horses in this derby who ran in the Belmont and Tiz the Law was 6 lengths better than Max Player that day and 15 lengths better than Sole Volante.

Kentucky Derby Handicapping

Additionally, there are plenty of new faces with opportunities in prep races leading up to this event. I also tend to look at more lightly raced horses with room for growth potential, or, to envision a scenario that does not benefit and is at the detriment of Tiz the Law (17).

One such scenario that could unfold is the potential for an easy, uncontested lead with soft fractions. Now, with that being said, this is an 18-horse field but these horses will run over 1/4 mi before the first turn, essentially allowing horses ample opportunity to make early bids and establish position going into that turn.

Authentic (18) is a new face that I am interested in and I believe has one of the better-upset chances of Tiz the Law. Authentic is breaking directly outside of Tiz the Law and he can certainly be the pacesetter, but he will have to clear the 17 other horses. Authentic is a lightly raced 3yo who is 4/5 lifetime, 3 of those wire to wire wins.

Authentic has beaten several of these today and has not had easy races with having to run significantly faster fractions within his wire to wire wins. He can build off of his new career beyer (speed figure) and has prepped with a bullet work going 6f. If he clears this field and establishes the easy lead into the first turn, he can be tough for Tiz the Law to rundown late.

Another scenario that may potentially hinder Tiz the Law's chances is if the outside pace scenario does not develop in which he can essentially stalk Authentic and any challengers and then subsequently run them down at top of the stretch. If the outside pace factor of Authentic does not develop, I look to a nice longshot towards the inside in King Guillermo (6).

He is another lightly raced colt who always is on or near the pace or has excuses. In moving into his 3yo campaign and transitioning turf to dirt, he upset the field in the TB Derby. He did that from an outside post position and after the leader got a breather in the second quarter, he overtook that field in the stretch and won going away.

Upon stretching out, King Guillermo was forced to run faster early as the race went several seconds faster and he was going longer. He was unmatched for the unbeaten Baffert trainee Nadal that day, but he did beat a nice field with the pace potentially absent or in question, he figures to have a say in the early goings with a good break and aggressive move early.

For those who may doubt his fitness given the layoff, consider that he was away a similar amount of time from '19-'20. Also, he has been training well over this track for the past month with two bullet works mixed in. If the scenario above develops then Money Moves (7) could potentially stalk and have the type of trip that Tiz the Law needs for his best chance to win. This is a major step up in class for another lightly raced 3yo with tons of upside and beyer (speed) figures which could make him competitive and a big price with dynamics that could work in his favor.

Kentucky Derby Prediction

I have just given you three horses with which under certain circumstances could disrupt Tiz the Law's chances. The question is how to play this race. It is difficult to take an odds-on horse in an 18-horse field where just too much can happen.

If Tiz the Law wins and runs his race in the style I would anticipate, he would have to overtake Authentic in the stretch. I would begin my wagering for this race with a big Exacta Box 17-18. Authentic could wire this field and leave Tiz the Law chasing him. If Authentic is 4-1 or higher I think he is worth a win bet.

NY Traffic (15) is a horse who has picked up checks in big races running second throughout so I would not be leaving him off any Exacta tickets with the first two.

I would include Max Player (2), who did run behind Tiz the Law and could do the same, and Storm the Court (4), Who has class and has run behind some of these, perhaps could work out some magic.

Exactas: 17,18/2,4,6,15

Win: 18

Exacta Breakdown:

  • 17-2 (Tiz the Law, Max Player)
  • 17-4 (Tiz the Law, Storm the Court)
  • 17-6 (Tiz the Law, King Guillermo)
  • 17-15 (Tiz the Law, NY Traffic)
  • 17-18 (Tiz the Law, Authentic)
  • 18-2 (Authentic, Max Player)
  • 18-4 (Authentic, Storm the Court)
  • 18-6 (Authentic, King Guillermo)
  • 18-15 (Authentic, NY Traffic)
  • 18-17 (Authentic, Tiz the Law)

Additional Bets:

To capitalize on some potential other scenarios, I would play King Guillermo (6) to win and place and play exactas 6-17 and 6-18.

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Feel free to read more about horse race handicapping.

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About
Michael Sherman

Michael Sherman is BonusSeeker's lead horseplayer pundit. He takes joy in handicapping from the Daily Horse Racing Form and picking winners since the age of eight. Michael is also a proud husband and father of two young children. His other interests include cooking and being a Dead Head.

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