A total of 18 sophomores will travel 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs in the 146th Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday. Run as the middle leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in almost 90 years, the “Run for the Roses” is led by the once-beaten superstar Tiz the Law.

Derby Picks

  • #17 Tiz the Law
  • #16 Honor A. P.
  • #13 Attachment Rate
  • #15 Ny Traffic
  • #3 Enforceable

Derby Wagers

  • $8 Trifecta: 16,17 with 13,16,17 with 3,13,15,16,17
  • $.50-cent Superfecta: 17 with 3,13,15,16 with 3,13,15,16 with all

Derby Contenders

#1 FINNICK THE FIERCE (50-1) – Arkansas Derby (G1) third enters the Kentucky Derby off a seventh-place finish in the Blue Grass (G2) for Rey Hernandez. Gelded son of Dialed In finished in front of Tiz the Law when second in the 2019 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2), buthas not shown a lot of progression since. Martin Garcia will guide the longshot.

#2 MAX PLAYER (30-1) – Consistent late runner bagged the Withers (G3) in his 2020 debut prior to finishing third in both the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1). Now in the barn of Steve Asmussen, the well-built son of Honor Code has improved his Brisnet Speed rating with each lifetime performance, and another step forward would make him a dangerous player inside the final furlong. Ricardo Santana picks up the mount.

#3 ENFORCEABLE (30-1) Lecomte (G3) victor is a one-run closer who might shine going 1 1/4 miles on Saturday. Battle-tested son of Tapit has missed the board in his last pair of endeavors, but he is honest and could be rounding into a peak race in his return to Churchill. I like his chances to challenge for a placing late beneath Beschizza.

#4 STORM THE COURT (50-1) 2019 champion 2-year-old is winless in five outings following his upset at Santa Anita in November. Eurton trainee has shown life in his last pair of graded races when hitting the board in each, but he needs to prove that he will prosper running 1 1/4 miles against a field of this stature. Julien Leparoux takes the call.

#5 MAJOR FED (50-1) Greg Foley pupil has displayed a solid turn-of-foot while earning a pair of graded placings along the way. Ghostzapper colt has fired off a pair of bullet morning drills in his last three works, and the dark bay could be sitting on a lifetime-best showing with Graham riding.

#6 KING GUILLERMO (20-1) Wildcard in the field will attempt to earn Kentucky Derby glory in just his third try of the season, and first run since May. Speedy son of Uncle Mo has early pace in a field without an abundance of front-runners, and he could be sitting in a good spot to the top of the lane in his Kentucky debut. Samy Camacho will ride the talented 3-year-old, who will be dangerous if fit enough.

#7 MONEY MOVES (30-1) Lightly-raced son of Candy Ride is a neck shy of being unbeaten from three races for Pletcher. Improving bay ran well at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga last time out, but winning the Derby in a graded debut is a very tall order. Javier Castellano picks up the mount.

#8 SOUTH BEND (50-1) Hard-knocking colt was no factor when a distant fourth in the Travers (G1) in his latest endeavor. Mott trainee is 2-for-3 at Churchill Downs, but will need a big step forward to make the frame on Saturday. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the stirrups.

#9 MR. BIG NEWS (50-1) Oaklawn S. upsetter was outrun when sixth in the Blue Grass in his final prep run for the Derby. Giant’s Causeway colt has never run fast enough to compete at this level, and he would be a surprise from off the pace. Gabe Saez has the call.

#10 THOUSAND WORDS (15-1) – Two-time graded winner from the Baffert shedrow comes off arguably his best performance to date in his Shared Belief S. triumph at Del Mar. The $1 million colt has the tactical speed to be in range early on, and if he has further improvement in him, the son of Pioneerof the Nile could be well-placed turning for home on Saturday under Geroux.

#11 NECKER ISLAND (50-1) – Outsider has never won a stakes race, but he comes in with a pair of third-place showings in advance of his toughest test to date. Hard Spun colt owns both of his career wins on the surface, and he will also run with blinkers off in the Derby. Miguel Mena will take the reins.

#12 SOLE VOLANTE (30-1) – Talented gelding from the Biancone barn has enjoyed stakes success on both the dirt and turf. Karakontie sophomore failed to fire in the Belmont Stakes (G1) most recently, but he could be a contender for a top-four finish with something resembling his prior best under Luca Panici.

#13 ATTACHMENT RATE (50-1) – Chestnut son of Hard Spun ran his best race to date when a clear runner-up in the Ellis Park Derby last time out for Romans. Virginia-bred is unplaced from two tries at Churchill, but he could be rounding into a peak showing third time off the short break. Joe Talamo will be up atop the tactical colt.

#14 WINNING IMPRESSION (50-1) – Gelded son of Paynter is 1-for-9 lifetime and has gone unplaced in a trio of successive races in preparation for the Derby. Dallas Stewart pupil is training in fine fashion locally, but he would be a major surprise from well off the early tempo.

#15 NY TRAFFIC (20-1) Contender has been consistently very good since joining the Joseph barn in 2020. Cross Traffic gelding has placed in four consecutive graded stakes races, led by a game runner-up result in the Haskell (G1), and he will challenge for a top-three finish in the Derby with even slight progression. Paco Lopez retains the mount.

#16 HONOR A. P. (5-1) – Prime challenger to the favorite has been first or second in each lifetime race for Shirreffs, with a win in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) among them. Long-striding dark bay regressed some in the recent Shared Belief, but he’s trained well since and appears to be one who will thrive with the added ground beneath the Twin Spires. Kentucky-bred will have the services of regular pilot Mike Smith in the Run for the Roses.

#17 TIZ THE LAW (3-5) – Tagg trainee has been sublime this season with a trio of stylish Grade 1 tallies in succession leading up to Saturday. Bay son of Constitution is 6-for-7 in his career and most recently posted a mammoth 115 Brisnet Speed rating in the Travers (G1) at this distance. The race goes through the New York-bred and jockey Manny Franco.

#18 AUTHENTIC (8-1) – The second for Baffert held on late in his Haskell (G1) victory to move his lifetime line to 5-4-1-0. Into Mischief colt has an abundance of early speed to help offset drawing widest of all, and he has been training in swift fashion to ready for the historic race. Kentucky-bred bay will be sent from the start by pick-up pilot John Velazquez.

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