Tiz the Law installed as favorite in 18-horse Kentucky Derby field

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Tiz the Law, seen winning the Belmont Stakes, was installed as 3-5 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby after drawing gate No. 17 in an 18-horse field. Photo courtesy of New York Racing Association
Tiz the Law, seen winning the Belmont Stakes, was installed as 3-5 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby after drawing gate No. 17 in an 18-horse field. Photo courtesy of New York Racing Association

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Eighteen 3-year-olds were entered Tuesday for the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, with three of the favorites in the outside gates.

Tiz the Law, with the Belmont Stakes already in his win column, drew No. 17 and was installed as the 3-5 favorite on the morning line, followed by Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. at 5-1 in stall 16 and Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic at 8-1 in the outside slot.


The others were listed at double-digit odds.

Art Collector, who would have been among the Derby favorites after winning the Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Ellis Park Derby, was withdrawn from consideration Tuesday morning with a minor foot injury.

"Your horse has to always come first," said trainer Tommy Drury, adding Art Collector is expected to be ready to contest the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Oct. 3.


The Derby has had a full field of 20 entries every year since 2003, although late scratches reduced the number of actual starters in some years.

No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby starting from the No. 17 gate, but the issue might not be as important this year as in the past since Churchill Downs will roll out a brand-new, 20-stall starting gate for Saturday's Derby.

The machine replaces the old, lashed-together double-gate configuration that made outside stalls more problematic.

"I kind of look at it as not 17 with the new starting gate," said Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Tiz the Law. "It's probably more like 13, 14, 15 maybe. It's a world new world that we are in with the starting gate."

Tiz the Law, a New York-bred son of Constitution from the Tiznow mare Tizfiz, enters the Derby with six wins from seven starts. The wins prior to the Belmont include the Grade I Champagne Stakes last year at Belmont Park, the Grade II Holy Bull and the Grade I Florida Derby.

His only loss, ominously, came at Churchill Downs when he finished third in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club last November. That race was run on a sloppy track -- his only time tackling off going.


"I just can't keep that bad race in my mind and worry about it," trainer Barclay Tagg said on a recent media conference call.

"He is just too honest a horse, but he, you know, he was trapped the whole way and he couldn't through and almost got through at the last part and got stopped again.

"Well, it wasn't all that bad race. Anyway, he was beaten three quarters of a length, you know, but it shocked me because I thought he was the best horse in that race, but still things happen. That's why we race them."

Trainer Bob Baffert, who had a string of potential favorites derailed by injuries, still has two chances to land a record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby win -- Authentic and Thousand Words. The latter will start from gate No. 10.

The Derby will be run for the first time without spectators at Churchill Downs. The track tried for months to work out a scenario that would allow a small crowd, but finally abandoned hope Aug. 21.

The field for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs, by post position, with jockey and morning-line odds:


1. Finnick the Fierce, Martin Garcia, 50-1

2. Max Player, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1

3. Enforceable, Adam Beschizza, 30-1

4. Storm the Court, Julien Leparoux, 50-1

5. Major Fed, James Graham, 50-1

6. King Guillermo, Sammy Camacho, 20-1

7. Money Moves, Javier Castellano, 30-1

8. South Bend, Tyler Gaffalione, 50-1

9. Mr. Big News, Gabriel Saez, 50-1

10. Thousand Words, Florent Geroux, 15-1

11. Necker Island, Miguel Mena, 50-1

12. Sole Volante, Luca Panini, 30-1

13. Attachment Rate, Joe Talamo, 50-1

14. Winning Impression, Joe Rocco Jr., 15-1

15. Ny Traffic, Paco Lopez, 20-1

16. Honor A.P., Mike Smith, 5-1

17. Tiz the Law, Manny Franco, 3-5

18. Authentic, John Velazquez, 8-1

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