They’re still going to run for the roses this year, but they won’t be selling any mint juleps. It’s going to be a different feel at the Kentucky Derby without 150,000 screaming fans. But we ought to be used to the unusual by now.

While it’s Tiz the Law’s race to lose, we’d like to make one request of the jockeys. Please, fellas, behave out there. Don’t need another 20-minute inquiry and disqualification. Would totally foul up the start of the Flyers game.


When: Saturday, 7:01 p.m. post time.

Where: Churchill Downs (Race 14) — Louisville, Ky.

Distance: 1¼ miles.

TV: NBC10 has coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. Streaming: and the NBC Sports app.

Triple Crown: Belmont Stakes, June 23 (winner: Tiz the Law); Kentucky Derby, Sept. 5; Preakness Stakes, Oct. 3.

Quick chart: Note that this was posted prior to Finnick the Fierce (No. 1) and King Guillermo (No. 6) being scratched.


Staff superfectas:

Dick Jerardi -- 17-Tiz the Law, 15-Ny Traffic, 13-Attachment Rate, 18-Authentic

Ed Barkowitz -- 17-Tiz the Law, 15-Ny Traffic, 18-Authentic, 10-Thousand Words

Mike Jensen -- 17-Tiz the Law, 16-Honor A.P., 10-Thousand Words, 15-Ny Traffic

Did you know?

  • The last time the Derby was not held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when it was pushed back a month because of World War II. Eddie Arcaro rode Hoop Jr. to the win that day.
  • Max Player (No. 2) broke his maiden at Parx on Dec. 17, winning the third race that day by 4¼ lengths. He paid $4.00 on a $2 bet. for the win. Based on the opening odds, a $2 winner here would pay $62.00. That’d keep bread on the table.
  • Tiz the Law, which drew the No. 17 post. has won four races in a row and six of seven in his career, including the Belmont Stakes on June 20 by 3 3/4 lengths, and the Travers Stakes on Aug. 8 by 5½ lengths.
  • This is the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby. In 41 tries, no horse has ever won from No. 17. Closest was Forty Niner, who ran second to filly Winning Colors in the thrilling 1988 Derby.
  • Officials can expect protests from those seeking arrests in the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in Louisville on March 13.
  • Tiz the Law’s legendary trainer, Barclay Tagg, captured the ugly divide in this country when he was asked if he had any security concerns. “I don’t know what these guys are going to do, these rioters,” Tagg, 82, said earlier in the week. “Who knows? All I know is you’re not allowed to shoot them, and they’re allowed to shoot you. That’s what it looks like to me, so I don’t know what to think about it.”
  • Art Collector, winner of the Blue Grass Stakes and the Ellis Park Derby, figured to be the second favorite here. He was pulled out on Monday with a minor foot injury.
  • The usual crowd at a Derby is about 150,000. There was a plan to allow 23,000 to attend, but that was scrapped when Louisville became a COVID-19 hot spot. Now, there will be no fans in the stands for the first time ever.
  • This will be the smallest Derby field since Smarty Jones beat 17 others in 2004. The jockey for Lion Heart, who ran second that day, was Mike Smith. Smith will be aboard Honor A.P. (No. 16) on Saturday.
  • Finnick the Fierce, a hefty long shot, was scratched on Friday after a training session in which he was “a little off,” said trainer Rey Hernandez. King Guillermo, (the No. 6) was scratched on Thursday.


Total: $3,000,000. First place: $1,860,000. Second place: $600,000. Third place: $300,000. Fourth place: $150,000. Fifth place: $90,000.

As of Thursday evening, the forecast was dry with temperatures in the 70s by post time.

The Field

1 - Finnick the Fierce (50-1) - Scratched

Trainer: Rey Hernandez. Jockey: Martin Garcia.

Career Earnings: $191,290

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 6-1-0-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 9-2-1-2

Last three: Blue Grass Stakes (July 11, 7th), Allowance (June 13, 3rd), Arkansas Derby (May 2, 3rd).

Update: Scratched on Friday morning with an unspecified problem. “I was not really happy how he trained this morning, and the state vet thinks he’s a little off,” trainer Rey Hernandez told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “We decided to scratch him and bring him home and see if there’s anything we’re not seeing. The main thing is playing it safe for the horse.” Dick Jerardi, our horse racing writer, said the one-eyed gelding was overmatched here anyway.

2 - Max Player (30-1)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen. Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Career Earnings: $373,500

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 3-1-0-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-2-1-2

Last three: Travers Stakes (Aug. 8, 3rd), Belmont Stakes (June 20, 3rd), Withers Stakes (Feb. 1, 1st).

Dick Jerardi says: Strange trainer change from Linda Rice to Steve Asmussen after running third in Belmont and Travers.

3 - Enforceable (30-1)

Trainer: Mark Casse. Jockey: Adam Beschizza.

Career Earnings: $397,150

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 4-1-1-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 10-2-2-2

Last three: Blue Grass Stakes (July 11, 4th), Louisiana Derby (March 21, 5th), Risen Star Stakes (Feb. 15, 2nd).

Dick Jerardi says: Beautifully bred colt by Tapit comes from way back and would need a total pace meltdown to win.

4 - Storm the Court (50-1)

Trainer: Peter Eurton. Jockey: Julien Leparoux.

Career Earnings: $1,310,451

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-0-1-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 9-2-1-3

Last three: La Jolla Handicap (Aug. 9, 2nd), Ohio Derby (June 27, 3rd), Arkansas Derby (May 2, 6th).

Dick Jerardi says: Fluke winner of a weak Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at 45-1 has not come close to winning in 2020.

5 - Major Fed (50-1)

Trainer: Greg Foley. Jockey: James Graham.

Career Earnings: $215,600

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-1-2-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 6-1-2-1

Last three: Indiana Derby (July 8, 2nd), Matt Winn Stakes (May 23, 10th), Louisiana Derby (March 21, 4th).

Dick Jerardi says: Has not hit 90 on the Beyer scale in six races. Nothing in this horse’s history suggests he has any chance.

The field will be almost full, but the stands will be empty for the first time in Kentucky Derby history thanks to threat of COVID-19.
Darron Cummings / AP
The field will be almost full, but the stands will be empty for the first time in Kentucky Derby history thanks to threat of COVID-19.

6 - King Guillermo (was 20-1) - Scratched

Trainer: Juan Carlos Avila. Jockey: Samy Camacho.

Career Earnings: $340,350

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 2-1-1-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-2-1-1

Last three: Arkansas Derby (May 2, 2nd), Tampa Bay Derby (March 7, 1st), Pulpit Stakes (Nov. 30, 3rd).

Dick Jerardi says: Owned by five-time MLB All-Star Victor Martinez, King Guillermo was scratched on Thursday due to a fever.

7 - Money Moves (30-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher. Jockey: Javier Castellano.

Career Earnings: $67,400.

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 3-2-1-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 3-2-1-0

Last three: Allowance (July 25, 2nd), Allowance (March 27, 1st), Maiden (Feb. 15, 1st).

Dick Jerardi says: Late-blooming colt is very talented but has run just three times and never in a stakes race. Asking a lot.

8 - South Bend (50-1)

Trainer: Bill Mott. Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione.

Career Earnings: $390,114

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 8-0-2-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 12-3-2-2

Last three: Travers Stakes (Aug. 8, 4th), Ohio Derby (June 27, 2nd), War Chant Stakes/Black (May 23, 5th).

Dick Jerardi says: Most experienced horse in the race with 12 starts. Won his first three races but has now lost nine straight.

9 - Mr. Big News (50-1)

Trainer: Bret Calhoun. Jockey: Gabriel Saez.

Career Earnings: $168,553

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 4-2-0-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-2-1-0

Last three: Blue Grass Stakes (July 11, 6th), Oaklawn Stakes/Black (April 11, 1st), Risen Star Stakes (Feb. 15, 5th).

Dick Jerardi says: Won Oaklawn Stakes at 46-1. Not close in Blue Grass. One of many horses just filling space in starting gate.

10 - Thousand Words (15-1)

Trainer: Bob Baffert. Jockey: Florent Geroux.

Career Earnings: $327,000

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-2-1-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-4-1-0

Last three: Shared Belief Stakes (Aug. 1, 1st), Los Alamitos Derby (July 4, 2nd), Oaklawn Stakes (April 11, 11th).

Dick Jerardi says: Brilliant 2-year-old season, but seemed to go way off form this year until winning the Aug, 1 Shared Belief impressively.

11 - Necker Island (50-1)

Trainer: Chris Hartman. Jockey: Miguel Mena.

Career Earnings: $199,730

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-0-0-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 10-2-0-3

Last three: Ellis Park Derby (Aug. 9, 3rd), Indiana Derby (July 8, 3rd), Allowance (June 13, 4th).

Dick Jerardi says: Blinkers come off, but one factor can’t be changed. This horse is just slow. And slow won’t work in the Derby.

12 - Sole Volante (30-1)

Trainer: Patrick Biancone. Jockey: Luca Panici.

Career Earnings: $323,310

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-2-1-1

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-4-1-1

Last three: Belmont Stakes (June 20, 6th), Allowance (June 10, 1st), Tampa Bay Derby (March 7, 2nd).

Dick Jerardi says: Another deep closer in a field where the best horses have speed and likely will be gone before he starts to run.

13 - Attachment Rate (50-1)

Trainer: Dale Romans. Jockey: Joe Talamo.

Career Earnings: $143,732

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-1-3-1

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 8-1-3-1

Last three: Ellis Park Derby (Aug. 9, 2nd), Blue Grass Stakes (July 11, 5th), Matt Winn Stakes (May 23, 4th).

Dick Jerardi says: Was a good second at Ellis Park to Art Collector, the second Derby choice who will not run after suffering a minor injury Monday.

14 - Winning Impression (50-1)

Trainer: Dallas Stewart. Jockey: Joe Rocco Jr.

Career Earnings: $98,552

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 6-0-1-2

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 9-1-1-2

Last three: Ellis Park Derby (Aug. 9, 7th), Indiana Derby (July 8, 7th), Arkansas Derby (May 2, 3rd).

Dick Jerardi says: Trainer Dallas Stewart is known for getting long shots to run second in major races. Owned by Terry Finley’s West Point Stable.

Belmont winner Tiz the Law hopes to bathe in the glory of another Triple Crown race victory on Saturday.
Darron Cummings / AP
Belmont winner Tiz the Law hopes to bathe in the glory of another Triple Crown race victory on Saturday.

15 - Ny Traffic (20-1)

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr. Jockey: Paco Lopez.

Career Earnings: $565,470

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-1-3-1

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 9-2-3-2

Last three: Haskell Stakes (July 18, 2nd), Matt Winn Stakes (May 23, 2nd), Louisiana Derby (March 21, 2nd).

Dick Jerardi says: Colt with all the Parx connections has improved by several lengths in each of his five 2020 starts. Should be in the vicinity of the pace.

16 - Honor A.P. (5-1)

Trainer: John Shirreffs. Jockey: Mike Smith.

Career Earnings: $382,200

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 3-1-2-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-2-3-0

Last three: Shared Belief Stakes (Aug. 1, 2nd), Santa Anita Derby (June 6, 1st), San Felipe Stakes (March 7, 2nd).

Dick Jerardi says: Highly touted for months by West Coast sharpies, this colt always tries but does not have that instant acceleration often needed in big races.

17 - Tiz the Law (3-5)

Trainer: Barclay Tagg. Jockey: Manny Franco.

Career Earnings: $2,015,300

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 4-4-0-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 7-6-0-1

Last three: Travers Stakes (Aug. 8, 1st), Belmont Stakes (June 20, 1st), Florida Derby (March 28, 1st).

Dick Jerardi says: Has put together a legendary 3-year-old season with four major stakes wins. If he runs back to his overwhelming Travers win, the others are running for second.

18 - Authentic (8-1)

Trainer: Bob Baffert. Jockey: John Velazquez.

Career Earnings: $1,011,200

2020 Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 4-3-1-0

Career Starts-1st-2nd-3rd: 5-4-1-0

Last three: Haskell Stakes (July 18, 1st), Santa Anita Derby (June 6, 2nd), San Felipe Stakes (March 7, 1st).

Dick Jerardi says: Workouts since the Haskell have been great. Chance to get a solo lead and give Bob Baffert Derby win No. 6, but will have to run the race of his life.