The 146th Kentucky Derby is finally upon us on Saturday. If you haven’t been paying attention, this is actually the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes was in June, with Tiz the Law winning in relatively easy fashion. The winner of that race was never really in doubt. If you have a Kentucky Oaks/Derby double ticket and are still alive, then congrats, because Shedaresthedevil won in an upset.
It wasn’t just a win for Shedaresthedevil, as she won in record time. If you played her in a single, you would have collected $32.20 on a $2.00 wager. There weren’t a lot of tickets with her name on it. Gamine and Swiss Skydiver were left watching from behind Shedaresthedevil. It was a 2 for 3 day for us on Oaks Day at Churchill Downs despite failing to hit the Kentucky Oaks.
Just some things to note on the 146th Kentucky Derby field. This was supposed to be a field that was going to feature the likes of Nadal, Charlatan, and Art Collector. Art Collector was the latest casualty, as he’ll sit out with a minor foot injury. Tiz the Law still has to deal with talented horses, but it would have been a lot more of a challenge if even two of those horses were racing in the Derby. Shirl’s Speight was also scratched in August, though his odds to win were much bigger. And just recently in on Friday, King Guillermo and Finnick the Fierce will be scratched.
Along with the Kentucky Derby, there are six other stakes races today at Churchill Downs. The $1,000,000 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (Gr. 1) is the biggest race outside of the Derby on Saturday. A total of $6,901,000 is available at Churchill Downs on Saturday. We have three picks on Derby Day, including the 146th Kentucky Derby. Head below for our free Kentucky Derby pick and Churchill Down selections for September 5, 2020.
Rest up, Major Fed. You've got a big day tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Fq4OIUoLND
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) September 5, 2020
Race 10 – Iroquois Stakes
Post Time: 2:34 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile
Our first selection on Derby Day at Churchill Downs is Race 10, otherwise known as the Iroquois Stakes (Gr. 3). This is a Grade 3 race featuring an 11-horse field on the main track for a $200,000 purse.
Super Stock and Therideofalifetime should both put a good charge into this race. They are likely both going to be involved in the stretch. Super Stock might be getting overlooked by track officials with a morning-line price of 6/1.
Super Stock has shown great improvement, and might be open to more improvement on Saturday in the Iroquois Stakes. He finished 10th as a first-time runner on July 9 at Keeneland in a $70,000 maiden event. That just wasn’t a good go of it for Super Stock, with a lot more expectations than that effort.
Nevertheless, rookie runners can sometimes get a bit anxious in the gate and never live up to expectations. Super Stock came back on August 8 for another maiden entry and looked much better. He placed 2nd behind Game Day Play by 2 lengths to miss out on the top prize.
Super Stock showed his best form in his most recent outing on August 11 in the $113,600 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity (Black Type) to win by 3 ½ lengths over Lucky Promise. If Super Stock continues to show strides forward, then expect him to play a role in this one. Therideofalifetime might need an off day for Super Stock to get the win, though.
Therideofalifetime is 1 for 3 in his career as well, but he was much more competitive in his losses. Therideofalifetime has finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd in his career, with a win by 8 ¼ lengths over Swill in a $80,000 maiden event on July 11. He responded to place 2nd in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (Gr. 2) on August 2. Therideofalifetime faces slightly easier company on Saturday in the Iroquois Stakes. Similar form should be enough here.
Race 11 – Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes
Post Time: 4:39 p.m. EST
Our final selection on the undercard before the Kentucky Derby, the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Gr. 1) is a Grade 1 event on the grass. Juliet Foxtrot and Newspaperofrecord are going to be tough runners to compete with in this one. Juliet Foxtrot is 4 for 16 in her career with some good form in tough events dating back to last April. She has finished in the top-3 in 7 of her last 8 entries.
Her last win, though, was on July 13, 2019 at Arlington in the Modesty Handicap (Gr. 3), so it’s been a minute since Juliet Foxtrot has been able to pop, though. She is winless in five straight events. However, several of those were really tough races, including the First Lady Stakes (Gr. 1), Matriarch Stakes (Gr. 1), and Jenny Wiley Stakes (Gr. 1) most recently on July 11 at Keeneland.
Juliet Foxtrot finished in the top-3 in all of those races. She was competitive and was within reach of a win. In her most recent performance, Juliet Foxtrot finished 3rd in the $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (Gr. 1). Rushing Fall was just too much in that race. We had Rushing Fall in that race and she performed as expected.
Newspaperofrecord is searching for a hat-trick at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. She is a back-to-back winner in the $100,000 Intercontinental Stakes (Gr. 3) on June 6 and $250,000 Just a Game Stakes (Gr. 1) on June 27.
That was a 3 length easy win for Newspaperofrecord at the $250,000 level. The biggest win of her career was in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Gr. 1) in 2018. She can run with the big girls. Overall, Newspaperofrecord is 5 for 8 in her career, with four graded wins. As long as Newspaperofrecord doesn’t get catch a bad break or gets blocked, she should clear this field in the stretch.
Race 14 – Kentucky Derby
Post Time: 7:01 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ¼ Miles
The wait is finally over in Kentucky. The 146th Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday evening following a delay that goes back to the first Saturday in May. The intention was to have fans in attendance, but that plan was halted after Churchill Downs likely didn’t want to deal with the negative news and liability if an outbreak were to happen. The public won’t be there to see a potential Triple Crown horse, but it won’t change anything on paper. That said, Tiz the Law and Manny Franco can’t take anything for granted.
If you are looking for an upset from one of the many underdogs, I’d look towards Ny Traffic. Ny Traffic has been getting close, and placed 2nd in each of his previous three performances. He finished 2nd in the Louisiana Derby (Gr. 2), Matt Winn Stakes (Gr. 3), and most recently 2nd in the $1,000,000 Haskell Stakes (Gr. 1). He was an electric rod in the stretch in the Haskell Stakes on July 18. Despite playing from behind, he came up right beside Authentic to make it a photo finish.
Ny Traffic might need to catch a break, but at 20/1, you might be interested in taking a shot on him. Authentic, who was more highly regarded earlier in the year, is going to have a chance to win for Bob Baffert. He is 4 for 5 in his career, with wins in the Sham Stakes (Gr. 3), San Felipe Stakes (Gr. 2), and Haskell Stakes (Gr. 1). Authentic lost the Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) on June 6 by 2 ¾ lengths to Honor A. P.
The knack with Authentic in this event is his ability to run 1 ¼ miles. He weakened in the stretch in the Santa Anita Derby, and then nearly got caught in the Haskell Stakes by Ny Traffic. Authentic is a beast at a mile, but hasn’t liked running at longer distances. In any case, all Baffert needs is to get Authentic to run it for one race. Authentic completed a mile workout with a time of 1:38.60 on August 25, and then 6 furlongs in 1:12.40 on August 30 in his final tune up.
Honor A. P. is the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1) on June 6. He edged out Authentic to win by 2 ¾ lengths. His next outing was a disappointment, though. Honor A. P. placed 2nd in the Shared Belief Stakes to lose by ¾ lengths against Baffert’s Thousand Words. Not a good effort, but capable of much more. If he does run to his full potential, then Tiz the Law might have something to worry about.
Tiz the Las has steamrolled the competition. The Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1) winner has a Triple Crown in his sights. Tiz the Law is 6 for 7 in his prestigious career, with wins in the Champagne Stakes (Gr. 1), Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3), Florida Derby (Gr. 1), Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1), and most recently the Travers Stakes (Gr. 1) on August 8.
I’ve been tailing Tiz the Law since the Florida Derby and it has paid off. He was a 5 ½ length win over Caracaro in the Travers Stakes just under a month ago. His morning workouts have been in good order, with times of 59.47 and 59.1 seconds at 5 furlongs in prep work for the Kentucky Derby. For a $110,000 investment in 2018, Tiz the Law has been a budding success. I don’t think Tiz the Law is done yet, though.
With Charlatan, Nadal, and Art Collector all removed from the equation, expect Tiz the Law to win the Kentucky Derby to set up a Triple Crown opportunity in October in the Preakness. The only minor concern I have is that a horse has never won from the No. 17 post position, though. It’s the only post position in history that hasn’t resulted in a winning horse. That said, a horse like Tiz the Law likely won’t be bothered.