The 2020 Kentucky Derby will take place on September 5 at Churchill Downs. The historic 1 1/4 mile race will be run without fans in attendance for the first time in its history. The best three-year-olds from New York, Florida, California, and Kentucky will gather in the starting gate at 6 pm Eastern time to find out who is the best young racehorse in the land. Keep reading to find out the best Kentucky Derby betting picks for the 2020 race.
Bet the Kentucky Derby online with your favourite sportsbook. Many sportsbooks are offering special 2020 Kentucky Derby bonus wagers with money-back opportunities, so make sure to select yours carefully.
Kentucky Derby Contenders
Handicapping the Kentucky Derby requires knowing a bit about the contenders. The Kentucky Derby favourite this year is Tiz the Law, who has won six of seven starts including four straight races this year. He won the Belmont Stakes (G1) and the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) to prep for this after taking the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) earlier this year. Barclay Tagg trains the son of Constitution, who was a $110,000 yearling purchase.
The second choice is Art Collector. The son of Bernardini is also unbeaten in four starts this year and has officially won five of nine. He crossed the finish line first in another race but was disqualified later. Tom Drury trains the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) winner, who took the Runhappy Ellis Park Derby to last out.
A lot of bettors will gravitate towards the Bob Baffert pair. This includes Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Authentic and $1 million purchase Thousand Words. Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby five times already, with Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, American Pharoah, and Justify. Authentic has only been beaten once, but that was by Honor A. P.
A son of Honor Code, Honor A. P. won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in June. The strapping colt is trained by John Shirreffs, who pulled off one of the biggest Kentucky Derby upsets in history when Giacomo won at 50-1 in 2005. Mike Smith was aboard that day and will be up on Honor A. P. as well.
The best Kentucky Derby longshot is King Guillermo. The son of Uncle Mo has been at Churchill Downs longer than any other Kentucky Derby contender and seems to love the track. He won the Tampa Bay Derby by almost five lengths as a 49-1 shot in March.
An unbeaten horse hailing from Woodbine Racetrack in Canada is Shirl’s Speight. Two for two, the son of Speightstown is being rushed to make the Derby off just one stakes win, but looks to have unlimited talent.
Kentucky Derby Free Bets
Tiz the Law is going to be a heavy favourite to win the Kentucky Derby, but he has never run his races so close together before. That makes him a vulnerable favourite.
- $10 Win/Place/Show: Honor A. P., King Guillermo, and Shirl’s Speight
- $5 Exacta Box: Honor A. P., King Guillermo, and Tiz the Law
- $1 Superfecta Box: Tiz the Law, Honor A. P., Shirl’s Speight King Guillermo, Storm the Court, and Major Fed
- Kentucky Oaks Contenders
Check out the list of top-tier sportsbooks, sign-up and place your bets.
Kentucky Oaks Valuable Bets and Picks
Another one of the biggest horse races of the year is the Kentucky Oaks, to be run Friday, September 4, is expected to be a showdown between two top fillies: Swiss Skydiver and Gamine.
Swiss Skydiver costs just $35,000 but has won four of seven starts this year. She reeled off wins in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), Fantasy Stakes (G3), and Santa Anita Oaks (G2) before taking on the boys in the Blue Grass. She finished second to Art Collector but came right back to win the prestigious Alabama (G1) at Saratoga.
She will have to face the Bob Baffert-trainee Gamine. The $1.8 million daughter of Into Mischief has crossed the finish line first in all four of her races but was disqualified later in her second start. She won the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park by more than 19 lengths and then added the Test Stakes (G1) by seven lengths. She will have to prove she can run the 1 1/8 mile distance.
The value play is Speech. The daughter of Mr. Speaker won the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland last out after running second behind Swiss Skydiver in the Santa Anita Oaks.
Kentucky Oaks Expert Picks
- $5 Win, Speech
- $10 Straight Trifecta – Swiss Skydiver, Speech, Gamine
Sportsbooks are starting to offer plenty of bonuses and promo offers for both big races, the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.
2020 Kentucky Derby Field
The field for the 2020 Kentucky Derby is expected to include between 18 and 20 horses. With their trainers and expected jockeys, the field is:
- Tiz the Law: Barclay Tagg / Manny Franco
- Art Collector: Tom Drury / Brian Hernandez, Jr
- Honor A. P.: John Shirreffs / Mike Smith
- Authentic: Bob Baffert / John Velazquez
- Thousand Words: Bob Baffert / Florent Geroux
- Caracaro: Gustavo Delgado / Javier Castellano
- King Guillermo: Juan Carlos Avila / Samy Camacho
- Max Player: Steve Asmussen / Ricardo Santana, Jr
- Dr Post: Todd Pletcher / Tyler Gaffalione
- Enforceable: Mark Casse / Adam Beschizza
- Ny Traffic: Saffie Joseph, Jr / Paco Lopez
- Shirl’s Speight: Roger Attfield / Corey Lanerie
- Attachment Rate: Dale Romans / Joe Talamo
- Finnick the Fierce: Rey Hernandez / Martin Garcia
- Major Fed: Greg Foley / James Graham
- Necker Island: Chris Hartmann / Miguel Mena
- Rushie: Michael McCarthy / TBA
- Sole Volante: Patrick Biancone / Luca Panici
- Storm the Court: Peter Eurton / Julien Leparoux
- Winning Impression: Dallas Stewart / Joe Rocco, Jr.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is one of the most important races of the year, and one of the richest races in the world. With a $6 million purse, the Grade 1 race is a 1 1/4-mile contest of the greatest horses in training.
Mighty Heart will attempt to become the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003 when he runs in the Breeders’ Stakes at Woodbine on October 24. The 1 1/2-mile race drew a field of 12.
Six group 1 races top a brilliant card at Longchamp in Paris, France on Sunday, October 4, headed of course by the 2020 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The great mare Enable is seeking to win her third Arc, a feat which has never been accomplished, after she ran second last year.
Free expert picks for the 2020 Woodbine Mile at Woodbine Racetrack on September 19. Preakness winner War of Will takes on unbeaten Shirl’s Speight in the one-mile turf race worth $1 million.