KENTUCKY DERBY: TIZ THE LAW MADE STRONG FAVORITE
Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, dominating winner of the Travers (GI) and Belmont Stakes (GI) has been installed as the 3-5 morning line favorite in a field of 18 horses entered for Saturday’s 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).
The 1 ¼-mile Run for the Roses will highlight a 14-race program that begins at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern). Post time for the Derby, which will be carried by NBC in its 2:30-7:30 p.m. telecast, is 7:02.
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: December 3, 2023We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
Tiz the Law is the lowest-priced morning line favorite since 1989 when the entry of Easy Goer and Awe Inspiring was 3-5. Morning line oddsmaker Mike Battaglia also made Honest Pleasure (1976) and Spectacular Bid (1979) 3-5 and Seattle Slew was the 1-2 program choice in 1977.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law has won six of seven career starts with the lone blemish coming at Churchill Downs in last November’s Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) in which he finished third over a sloppy track.
The New York-bred son of Constitution is four-for-four in 2020 with his other victories coming in the Holy Bull (GIII) and Florida Derby (GI). Manny Franco, who has ridden Tiz the Law in his past six starts, has the call Saturday and will break from post position 17. No Derby winner has come from post 17.
Tiz the Law will try to give Tagg a second Kentucky Derby victory to go with the 2003 triumph by Funny Cide for Sackatoga.
“I like being on the outside, I didn’t particularly want to be out that far but he seems to handle everything that’s thrown at him so we’ll just have to leave it up to him,” trainer Barclay Tagg said. “It gives you a chance, if you have any speed at all, it gives you a chance to get a better position.”
Second choice on the morning line at 5-1 is C R K Stable’s Honor A. P. who will break from post 16.
Trained by John Shirreffs and ridden by Mike Smith, Honor A. P. has compiled a 5-2-3-0 career mark highlighted by a Santa Anita Derby (GI) over Kentucky Derby rival Authentic.
Second to Derby rival Thousand Words in the Shared Belief at Del Mar in his most recent start, Honor A. P. will attempt to add to the Derby records of Shirreffs and Smith who teamed to win the Derby in 2005 with Giacomo. Smith won his second Derby in 2018 with Triple Crown winner Justify.
Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing’s Authentic, winner of the Haskell (GI) in his most recent start, is the third choice on the morning line at 8-1.
A winner of four of five career starts, Authentic is one of two entrants for five-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert. Also entered for Baffert is Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Thousand Words.
Authentic, who will break from post position 18, will be ridden by two-time Derby winner John Velazquez. Velazquez previously won with Always Dreaming (2017) and Animal Kingdom (2011).
Thousand Words (15-1) will be ridden by Florent Geroux and break from post position 10.
A victory by Authentic or Thousand Words would give Baffert a record-tying sixth Derby victory to equal the mark of Ben Jones.
Baffert has won a Derby in each of the past three decades: Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002), American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).
Also looking to add to his Kentucky Derby victory total are two-time winner Todd Pletcher and Bill Mott, who won last year’s Derby with Country House.
Pletcher, who saddled the Derby winner in 2010 (Super Saver) and 2017 (Always Dreaming), will send out Robert LaPenta and Bortolazzo Stable’s Money Moves.
Listed at 30-1 on the morning line, Money Moves has won two of three career starts and will be making his graded stakes debut in the Derby. Breaking from post seven, Money Moves will be ridden by Javier Castellano.
Mott will send out South Bend for the ownership of Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Peter Deutsch and Pantofel Stable. Tyler Gaffalione has the mount on the 50-1 morning line proposition and exit post position eight.
The field for the 146th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve, with riders and morning line odds from the rail out, is: Finnick the Fierce (Martin Garcia, 50-1), Max Player (Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1), Enforceable (Adam Beschizza, 30-1), Storm the Court (Julien Leparoux, 50-1), Major Fed (James Graham, 50-1), King Guillermo (Samy Camacho, 20-1), Money Moves (Javier Castellano, 30-1), South Bend (Tyler Gaffalione, 50-1), Mr. Big News (Gabriel Saez, 50-1), Thousand Words (Florent Geroux, 15-1), Necker Island (Miguel Mena, 50-1), Sole Volante (Luca Panici, 30-1), Attachment Rate (Joe Talamo, 50-1), Winning Impression (Joe Rocco Jr., 50-1), Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez, 20-1), Honor A. P. (Mike Smith, 5-1), Tiz the Law (Manny Franco, 3-5), Authentic (John Velazquez, 8-1). All starters will carry 126 pounds.