FACTS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT THE 2020 KENTUCKY DERBY

A few weeks after Tiz the Law’s impressive victory in the 2020 Travers, the daily Saratoga racing show on Fox Sports showed a video of a post-Travers workout by the colt.  On-air personality and former jockey Richard Migliore commented that he thought Tiz the Law was not as energetic and sharp as previously, though he said he would wait for future workouts before confirming his view.  This expert opinion indicated to me that the 1 ¼ mile Travers may have taken more out of the colt than it looked like during the race…and that another 1 ¼ mile race in less than a month in the Kentucky Derby might be problematic.  When Tiz the Law could not get past Authentic in the Churchill Downs’ stretch, Migliore’s astute observation came to mind.

With no Triple Crown in the offing, the connections of Tiz the Law might consider skipping the Preakness on October 3rd and give the colt a breather to freshen him for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 7th at Keeneland.  Then there are several lucrative races to choose among in early 2021 in Florida, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai.

Both of Tiz the Law’s career losses came at Churchill Downs, with the initial loss attributed to a muddy track and jockey error.  Maybe he just doesn’t take to the surface.  Or likely the fact that Authentic ran the seventh fastest Kentucky Derby ever (2:00.61) was why Tiz the Law ran second.

Like many jockeys before him, Mike Smith chose the wrong mount.  He left Authentic for A. P. Honor, apparently on the thinking that the latter was better suited to the Derby distance.

Bob Baffert’s win with Authentic ties him with Ben A. Jones of Calumet Farm as the winningest trainer in Kentucky Derby history, with six victories each.  At age 67, Baffert could very well set the record.  Remarkably, he has won three of the last six Kentucky Derby races and a pair of Triple Crowns.

Pari-mutuel handle for the Kentucky Oaks/ Kentucky Derby cards declined almost 50% from 2019.  It will be informative to see to what extent this decrease, coupled with the loss of revenue from 150,000 or so on-track spectators, weighs on Churchill Downs’ stock on Tuesday and in ensuing days.

The Kentucky governor’s conspicuous absence from Churchill Downs on Derby day may be a first, at least in modern history.  The tradition is for the governor to present the trophy to the winning owner, but 2020 has been anything but a year for tradition.

Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil is co-owned by Qatar Racing Ltd. (a subsidiary of Qatar Investment & Project Development Holding Company or QIPCO), which is controlled by four brothers who are members of the ruling family of Qatar.  Launched in 2012, Qatar Racing has become a major player across the globe, racing in Australia, Britain, France Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States.

Copyright © 2020 Horse Racing Business

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