Tiz the Law, a son of Constitution (by Tapit), broke his maiden last summer at Saratoga and has fired off five wins, all graded stakes races, in six attempts since. Victories include the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, Grade 1 Florida Derby, Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and the Grade 1 Travers Stakes. The lone blemish on his resume is a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs last November.
“He never seems to do anything wrong,” Trainer Barclay Tagg said. “He is not overly nervous, not excitable, doesn’t beat himself. He loves to run, loves competition. He sees a horse, he just goes for it. He is a quality horse.”
Tagg trained 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, who became the first New York-bred horse in history to win the Kentucky Derby. Tiz the Law will try to become the second.
Post Time: Saturday, 3 p.m. Eastern time, NBC
Here’s a look at Tiz the Law’s chances, plus analysis on the 17 other horses who hope to beat him to the winner’s circle:
No. 1 Finnick the Fierce (50-1)
Hernandez will make his Derby debut with a one-eyed colt out of Dialed In who was beaten by 14½ combined lengths over his last two graded stakes races.
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Max Player transferred into Asmussen’s barn earlier this month following solid efforts in the Belmont (third with a 100 Brisnet speed figure) and Travers (third with a 107 Brisnet speed figure) for former trainer Linda Rice.
Enforceable made up a lot of ground to finish fourth in the Blue Grass but was still 8½ lengths behind the eventual winner, former Derby hopeful Art Collector. This son of Tapit will need a perfect trip and a pace meltdown to win this leg of the Triple Crown.
No. 4 Storm the Court (50-1)
Last year’s juvenile champ is winless this year and enters the race with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar in his first start on grass. Plus, since 2013, winners of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile are 1-for-6 in the Kentucky Derby.
Major Fed is winless in four graded stakes events since breaking his maiden at Fair Grounds last January, showing he might be short on class and making it difficult to like him in this race.
No. 6 King Guillermo (20-1)
Trainer: Juan Carlos Avila
King Guillermo hasn’t raced since May 2, when he was second behind Nadal in the Arkansas Derby (division two) at Oaklawn Park. He previously won the Tampa Bay Derby at 49-1 odds in March. Camacho was on board for both of those rides.
Jockey: Javier Castellano
This Pletcher-trained son of Candy Ride didn’t enter a single race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and has yet to face any stakes competition.
A late entry to the party, South Bend hasn’t won since taking the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in 2019. He’s 0-for-8 as a 3-year-old, his latest a fourth-place finish in the Travers Stakes.
No. 9 Mr. Big News (50-1)
The Oaklawn Stakes winner was supposed to make his turf debut at Churchill Downs on Saturday but early rainfall and the threat of soft turf prompted owner Chester Thomas to make a run for the roses instead. To be successful, he will have to do better in graded stakes company. Mr. Big News finished fifth in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and sixth in the Grade 2 Blue Grass.
No. 10 Thousand Words (15-1)
No. 11 Necker Island (50-1)
Necker Island’s last win came in optional allowance company in November and this son of Hard Spun was recently put up for claim in June. Pass.
No. 12 Sole Volante (30-1)
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
This gelding built a lot of hope in the winter and spring (4-1-1 in six races) only to fall flat in the Belmont Stakes, finishing sixth and 15 lengths behind the winner.
No. 13 Attachment Rate (50-1)
His best race was a second-place finish in the Ellis Park Derby at Ellis Park but he is still 0-for-5 in stakes races this year.
No. 14 Winning Impression (50-1)
Winning Impression earned enough points to get in the big race but he has beaten just 12 of 27 horses over his last three stakes races. He needs a step down in class, not a step up.
Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Joseph’s gray colt now has run five solid races in as many starts since coming under his purview in January but you have to wonder if three straight second-place finishes is the best he can do.
This son of Honor Code followed up his Santa Anita Derby victory with a loss to Thousand Words by three-quarters of a length at Del Mar, despite being favored in the Shared Belief Stakes. Jockey Mike Smith, aboard Derby winners Giacomo in 2005 and Triple Crown winner Justify in 2018, excused the lackluster effort and felt the distance of 1 1/6 miles was “too short for him.”
The five-time graded stakes winner was impressive in both the Travers and Belmont Stakes, justifying his spot as one of the heaviest Kentucky Derby favorites of the last 30 years.
Baffert’s front-running brown colt held on to win the Haskell by a nose and may be the pace setter on Saturday in the Kentucky Derby. If that’s the case look for him to be in good hands with Velazquez aboard. Authentic’s jockey won the Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and Always Dreaming in 2017.