Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: Churchill Downs - Kentucky Derby Preview

Neil Morrice: Churchill Downs - Kentucky Derby Preview

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

$3 Million Grade 1 Kentucky Derby



HEAVILY bet favourite TIZ THE LAW seeks to rewrite the history books in Louisville today as he attempts to become the first horse in the race’s history to prevail from Post 17, while extending his magnificent sequence of victories in 2020 to five. The son of Constitution has proved utterly dominant in his division this year, with his coming of age a joy to behold.

The Barclay Tagg-trained colt, who has already prevailed over the Derby distance of a mile and a quarter, will be the first contender since Arazi in 1991 to start odds-on but will need to have his trapping boots on if he’s to eradicate the disadvantage such a wide draw provides on the run to the Clubhouse turn.

His ten furlongs triumph happened in the Runhappy Travers Stakes where he made a big move on the turn to go from third to first, before asserting in the home stretch to score by five and a half lengths. He had previously turned the longer Belmont Stakes into a procession in New York, man’s to the relocation in the calendar of the ‘Run For The Roses’ those triumphs give him an unprecedented record which sets him apart from his rivals.

Manny Franco will need to be super alert as the gates open, with the jockey pressing forward to try to obtain a stalking position for the run down the backstretch. If he can achieve that, he knows he has a potent force underneath him to get the job done.

Following the defection through a foot problem of ante-post second-best Art Collector, roughie SOUTH BEND has jumped in to ensure 18 colts go to post. It’s the first time since 2003 that fewer than the 20-horse maximum was entered in the Derby.

The new second favourite is HONOR A P, representing John Shirreffs, trainer of the legendary Zenyatta, while Bob Baffert fields AUTHENTIC and THOUSAND WORDS who are respectively 8-1 and 15-1 with Hollywoodbets. The problem with this trio is that they’ve spent the year chasing each other’s shadows, while their post positions are not favourable for horses that rely on tactical speed.

Given that Honor A P, Authentic and Thousand Words have beaten each other there’s room for an upset in the exacta and trifecta departments. The colts to include for the places are the Saffie Joseph-trained NY TRAFFIC and SOLE VOLANTE, the latter tutored by Patrick Biancone and a closer that will be suited by the speed injection of the Baffert pairing.

But to envisage a defeat for Tiz The Law is a bit like tilting at windmills. He has the points already on the board, and the weapons in his armoury to confirm his champion status.

Prediction
1st TIZ THE LAW
2nd Sole Volante
3rd Ny Traffic
4th Authentic
5th Honor A P
6th Thousand Words

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