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"Derby" Bill Watson's Kentucky Derby picks for the 2020 race

"Derby" Bill Watson's Kentucky Derby picks for the 2020 race

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From Derby DQ to doping, a chaotic year in horse racing

Tiz the Law, with jockey Manny Franco up, approaches the finish line on his way to win the Belmont Stakes. A victory in the Derby on Saturday would put the colt bred in upstate New York in position to become racing’s 14th Triple Crown winner going into next month’s Preakness.

“Derby” Bill Watson predicts Saturday’s

146th running of the Kentucky Derby

“Derby Bill” Watson was the official handicapper at Colonial Downs for six years and has been a professional handicapper for 23. Hear him, Nick Hahn, Frank Vespe, Mike Barone and Darrell Wood on “Off to the Races Radio” Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. on 950 or theracingbiz.com. Watson’s Kentucky Derby superfecta: No. 17 Tiz The Law; No. 15 NY Traffic; No. 2 Max Player; No. 16 Honor A.P.

Horse Trainer Jockey Odds

1. Finnick the Fierce Rey Hernandez Martin Garcia 50-1

The only horse in the Derby field to finish ahead of Tiz the Law in 2019 at Churchill Downs for owner and trainer Hernandez.

2. Max Player Steven Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 30-1

Third in Belmont and Travers; trained by Linda Rice with crazy-to-me switch to HOF Asmussen.

3. Enforceable Mark Casse Adam Beschizza 30-1

Casse recently elected to racing’s Hall of Fame; in 2019 he won the Preakness with War of Will and the Belmont Stakes with Sir Winston.

4. Storm the Court Peter Eurton Julien Leparoux 50-1

0-for-5 in 2020 after a 45-to-1 shocker in Breeders Cup Juvenile 2019; Leparoux rides for the first time, but he’s 0-for-11 in the Kentucky Derby.

5. Major Fed Gregory Foley James Graham 50-1

Lloyd Madison Farms is a small ownership syndicate; only a maiden win so far.

6. King Guillermo Juan Carlos Avila Samy Camacho 20-1

Owned by five-time Major League Baseball all-star Victor Martinez; named after Martinez’s father who died when he was 6; won Tampa Bay Derby.

7. Money Moves Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 30-1

Lost last race in a $62,500 optional claimer; he couldn’t be taking a bigger class jump for Pletcher, who has sent out more Derby starters than anyone.

8. South Bend William Mott Tyler Gaffalione 50-1

Late entry has two wins at Churchill, but is 0-9 after 3-3 start on turf; may have had a better shot at Virginia Derby had it not been canceled; RUDY! RUDY!

9. Mr. Big News Bret Calhoun Gabriel Saez 50-1

Colorful owner Chester Thomas said he would need a leash on himself at the Derby; colt has run latest two on turf, but race history on dirt.

10. Thousand Words Bob Baffert Florent Geroux 15-1

Front-running upset of Honor A.P. in the 1 1/16-mile Shared Belief Stakes got him here, but Thousand Words may be Baffert’s second string.

11. Necker Island Chris Hartman Miguel Mena 50-1

Lost seven in a row by an average of nearly nine lengths and is 0-for-6 in stakes; one of Necker Island’s owners owns a Waffle House.

12. Sole Volante Patrick Biancone Luca Panici 30-1

Ownership was Andie Biancone’s 22nd birthday present from her dad last April; sixth in the Belmont but that was second start in 10 days

13. Attachment Rate Dale Romans Joe Talamo 50-1

Virginia bred with huge pedigree (Hard Spun-Aristra, by Afleet Alex); second to Art Collector in the Ellis Park Derby; gives Louisville native Romans a dream.

14. Winning Impression Dallas Stewart Joe Rocco Jr. 50-1

He’s 0-for-6 this year, beaten by an average of 11 lengths in three stakes and 0-for-7 on fast tracks? Enough said here.

15. Ny Traffic Saffie Joseph Jr. Paco Lopez 20-1

He’s like having a pair of aces in the hole; 4-for-4 in the money in stakes this year; owner John Fanelli formerly a professional poker player.

16. Honor A.P. John Shirreffs Mike Smith 5-1

Santa Anita Derby winner; usually huge track record in derby and trainer/jockey combo won 2005 Kentucky Derby with 50-1 Giacomo.

17. Tiz the Law Barclay Tagg Manny Franco 3-5

Win machine is expected to be the first odds-on Derby favorite since Arazi in 1992. First N.Y. bred in 138 years to win the Belmont Stakes.

18. Authentic Bob Baffert John Velazquez 8-1

Authentic is one very fast but green colt trained by five-time Derby winner Baffert; should lead Derby for a mile, but then?

Saturday’s post time: approx. 7:01 p.m. TV: NBC Where: Louisvillle, Ky.

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