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Kentucky Derby entry Tiz the Law runs during a workout at Churchill Downs, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5th. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Tiz the Law opens as favorite for 146th Kentucky Derby

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday afternoon from Churchill Downs. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the ‘Greatest Two Minutes in Sports’ back from its usual start on the first Saturday in May.

Despite the delay and ban on fans at the event, trainers, jockeys and bettors anxiously await the most famous horse race in the world.

Tiz the Law

FILE – In this June 20, 2020, file photo, Tiz the Law (8), with jockey Manny Franco up, crosses the finish line to win the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes horse race in Elmont, N.Y. The Belmont Stakes winner ]completed his final workout on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, with a week to go before he’s expected to compete as the probable favorite in the Kentucky Derby. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Out of the No. 17 post for Saturday afternoon is Tiz the Law. Currently at odds of 3-5, Tiz the Law is the clear favorite by many to win the Kentucky Derby.

Out of seven races, Tiz the Law has six wins, including 2020’s first Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes.

Among those that put Tiz the Law as their favorite is Dick Jerardi. Jerardi, a longtime sports reporter and writer who focuses mainly on horse racing, joined WRUF’s Steve Russell today to discuss the Kentucky Derby.

Due to the delays to the running of the Kentucky Derby, no horse has come into Churchill Downs with a resume as polished as Tiz the Law. Jerardi says this year’s favorite is even better than his record shows as he wins his races convincingly.

The No. 17 post might actually benefit Tiz the Law’s racing style. Jerardi claims that if Tiz the Law and jockey Manny Franco can get to around fourth position after the first turn, they will be in great shape for a win.

The Rest of the Field

It seems harsh to be putting the rest of the field in a totally separate category than Tiz the Law, but it seems that is the way the race is shaping up.

Looking at the most likely challengers to a second win in the race for the Triple Crown, the bookies like Honor A. P. (8-1) and Authentic (9-1). Honor A. P. has two first-place finishes and three second-place finishes in his five career starts.

Trainer Bob Baffert watches at horses workout at Churchill Downs, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5th. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Jerardi is more keen on Authentic, the only horse starting in a post outside of Tiz the Law on Saturday. Jerardi argues that Authentic could do well under certain circumstances, meaning if the race is not too intense at the beginning, he could make a move in the back half of the race to steal a win.

However, Jerardi says some of the fanfare surrounding Authentic comes from his trainer Bob Baffert, who won triple crowns in 2015 (American Pharoah) and 2018 (Justify).

Therefore, if any horse has a chance of challenging, keep an eye on Honor A. P. and Authentic to push Tiz the Law.

Triple Crown Potential

Traditionally, the Kentucky Derby is the first race in the Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. In the unpredictable nature of 2020, the Belmont Stakes was the first race in the three. Tiz the Law won that race in late June.

The three Triple Crown races usually take place over an eight-week span, not over more than three months. For that reason, some may look at Tiz the Law’s remarkable 2020 season with doubt. These extended periods without races allow for the horses to rest for more time than is usually allotted.

Jerardi claims that it should be hard to detract from Tiz the Law’s season if he goes on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes because of what he has accomplished this year as a whole.

The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby will start Saturday afternoon, with coverage beginning at 3 p.m.

About Kyle Fansler

Originally from Seminole in the Tampa Bay area, Kyle is a contributor for ESPN Gainesville as well as local NPR and PBS affiliate WUFT. Kyle wants to get into sports with a lofty dream of being a sports broadcaster. He was raised playing soccer and baseball while watching hockey and football, so the knowledge about various sports is fairly extensive.

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