With less than three months to go until the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, the 2020 field is starting to take shape. Punters will already be looking ahead to the prestigious event and there could be some value to be had in the markets at this early stage.
While running the rule over this year’s runners and riders, two likely contenders have to be crossed from this list while another is making a significant move.
Early ante-post horse racing betting markets from bet365 show Tiz the Law as the current favourite to win the Kentucky Derby, just ahead of Maxfield and Honor AP. From that point, the market starts to move out but it will continue to fluctuate in the weeks and months that follow.
One key element to watch out for at this point relates to the current field and some recent updates. No-one wants to waste their time staking on a non-runner and the early days of June have produced some significant updates in this respect.
Out of Contention
The luckless pair of Nadal and Charlatan are both ruled out following injury concerns. In the case of the Bob Baffert trained Charlatan, the long term prognosis is hopeful with the horse taking a break due to what has been referred to as a ‘minor ankle issue.’ Baffert has stated that the Preakness on October 3rd is a genuine target but, the big one will come too early for this impressive runner.
Charlatan went into June with a 3-0 record and had been tempting punters in recent weeks. Turning to Nadal and, sadly, the horse has been retired to stud. Another runner with an unbeaten record, Nadal had been listed as the Derby favourite in some places but, a condylar fracture means that his racing days are now at an end.
Moving Through the Pack
While two horses have been ruled out of contention in early June, others can look to take advantage. One runner who is highly fancied to claim the Kentucky Derby in September is Honor AP who is currently out as the third favorite in the markets.
Honor AP’s impressive CV was boosted on June 7th when the John Shirreffs-trained horse claimed the Santa Anita Derby. Shirreffs’ runner handed a first defeat to Authentic and, in claiming the race, the three-year-old received 100 qualifying points – enough to see him line up at Churchill Downs.
Doubts remain as to whether Honor AP can make the step up but Shirreffs was confident that he can go a mile and a quarter.
All of this makes for an intriguing market and further movement will come in the weeks ahead. Authentic remains in contention and some will see the first loss as a ‘wake up call’ for this horse. A further indicator will come when the Belmont Stakes is run at Elmont with a number of Kentucky Derby qualifiers lined up to compete. Take note of that race’s results and keep following news updates for any further withdrawals.