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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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2020 Kentucky Derby picks and betting preview

4 Sep 2020

By Dan Ippolito
Tomorrow, the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place at an approximate 7:01 p.m. post time at Churchill Downs. The Derby is annually scheduled for the first Saturday in May, but due to COVID-19, the decision was made to push it to Labor Day Weekend this year.

This year’s race will be without fans, which we already experienced in one of the Triple Crown Races, the Belmont Stakes. This is a much larger race than Belmont Stakes. The first leg of this year’s Triple Crown saw only nine horses participate with Tiz the Law coming out on top. Tomorrow, as shown below, has 17 on the list at the moment, after King Guillermo and Finnick the Fierce were scratched.

There have been only 13 Triple Crown winners in the history of the sport. Tiz the Law won this year’s first jewel and now hash his sights set on adding part two tomorrow evening. Posts 17-20 have struggled dearly in the Kentucky Derby, especially the 17 spot, which, you guessed it, is where Tiz the Law will be.

Below are the horses, their post positions and their odds as of now on Intertops Sportsbook:

17. Tiz the Law -167
16. Honor A. P. +400
18. Authentic +800
10. Thousand Words+1600
15. Ny Traffic +2000
2. Max Player +2200
3. Enforceable +2800
12. Sole Volante +3300
4. Storm the Court +4000
5. Major Fed +4000
13. Attachment Rate +4000
7. Money Moves +5000
8. South Bend +6600
9. Mr. Big News +6600
11. Necker Island +10000
14. Winning Impression +10000

Now, onto our staff picks, which turned a nice profit back in June at The Belmont.

Casino City Associate Editor Dan Ippolito

After the performance Tiz the Law put up in the Belmont Stakes, it is tough to look past him in the Run for the Roses. Yes, he is in the so-called “cursed” post position for the Kentucky Derby, but before last year’s wild outcome, the favorite won the Kentucky Derby the previous six years in a row.

With those stats in mind, I will go with Tiz the Law at the winning spot of my exacta, which will be completed by Max Player. Max Player also participated in the Belmont Stakes with Tiz the Law and he showed, which was better than most predicted him to do. Coming out of the No. 2 post, Max Player has the chance to jump out of the gate and take the rail to put himself in a good position.

$30 exacta box 17 and 2 Tiz the Law and Max Player have to come in the top two spots in any order.

One long-shot horse to consider is Sole Volante in post 12. At +3300 to win he is surely something to consider putting on your bet slip. For me, I see Sole Volante coming in the top three, more of a safer bet to choose him to show rather than win it all. Sole Volante didn’t have a great Belmont Stakes coming in sixth, but prior to that he came in the top two in his last three dirt stakes races.

$30 on Sole Volante to show

If you are looking to avoid just riding the favorite to win, then let’s take a look at more of a long shot exacta box. At first glance on post positions, I have Honor A.P. and Ny Traffic at the top of my list. These horses are in the 16 and 15 posts, respectively, and have the opportunity to cut out Tiz the Law in 17 from getting to the inside. To complete the exacta box we will throw in Tiz the Law because it is hard to believe he won’t come in at least the top 2, and we will also have Money Moves. In a decent post at 7, Money Moves is in this exacta box for two reasons, his trainer Todd Pletcher and the fact that he hasn’t come out of the top three in any race he has been in.

$40 exacta box - 16/15, 17, 7 Honor A.P. must win the race and Ny Traffic, Tiz the Law or Money Moves must come in second.

Casino City Managing Editor Gary Trask

After almost two decades of watching the favorite disappoint at the Kentucky Derby, betting the chalk has been profitable over the last six or seven years. Tiz the Law came through for us at the Belmont and I don't see anyone beating him on Saturday in the Run for the Roses. Despite coming out of the haunted No. 17 post (0-for-41 in Derby history), we’ll put Tiz the Law at the top of our exacta key box and root for another favorite to gallop to the winner’s circle.

We think the No. 16 horse, Honor AP, will be the biggest threat to Tiz the Law, so with two of the favorites up top, we’ll fill our box with three long shots:

No. 5 Major Fed: Reports from Churchill Downs say he has taken a liking to the track this week and his morning workouts have been brisk. Major Fed, who wouldn't have qualified for the Derby if it ran in May, has proven to be a true closer, so if the speed horses burn out, he could come charging down the stretch and come in the money.

No. 7 Money Moves: Grabs my immediate attention with Todd Pletcher as the trainer, but also because he has come in the money in all of his four career starts with a win, two seconds and a show. That bodes well since most all Derby winners have had at least a top 3 finish in its previous race.

No. 12 Sole Volante: As Dan mentioned above, he ran a disappointing sixth in the Belmont, but trainer Patrick Biancone is on record as saying it was a mistake to run him in that race on just 10 days rest, so we'll give him a pass. He hasn't been in a race since, so wear and tear won't be an issue on Saturday, and he has been bred for this distance.

$25 exacta key box: 17 / 5, 7, 12, 16 = $200 total wagered (The 17 has to win, then any of the other four horses have to run second to hit the exacta)
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