Kentucky Derby Day Picks

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By Emily Shields

The 2020 Kentucky Derby is to be run Saturday, September 5, with a purse of $3 million and a chance at immortality on the line. A field of 17 three-year-old colts have been entered, with a local post time of 7:01pm. The Derby is the last of seven straight graded stakes races, including the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1).

Race 8 - $500,000 American Turf Stakes (G2)

#5 Smooth Like Straight (8-5) has won a pair of stakes including one over this course and a Grade 3 at Del Mar. #1 Taishan (15-1) is interesting first time on turf for trainer Richard Baltas. The son of Twirling Candy was highly regarded earlier in the year but has only won once this season. #4 Field Pass was a Grade 3 winner at Keeneland two back and a stakes winner on this course in June.

Race 9 - $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2)

#1 Cezzane (3-1) disappointed in the Shared Belief but that was a stacked field. Otherwise unbeaten and a former Kentucky Derby hopeful, he will get another stakes test here today. #9 Rushie (4-1) nearly went in the Kentucky Derby and ran third in both his major preps. Broke his maiden at a mile. #7 Echo Town (7-2) is coming off a Grade 1 win and is formidable if he can stretch out.

Race 10 - $200,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3)

#10 Therideofalifetime (7-5) is a classy sort with speed who won at Keeneland by more than eight lengths in July and then ran second in graded company at Saratoga. Ignacio Correas trains.

Race 11 - $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2)

#3 Juliet Foxtrot (5-1) was second or third in three Grade 1 attempts over the last year. Ran sixth on this turf course in May, but was a winner here last year in good form and could spring an upset over #4 Newspaperofrecorrd (4-5), a heavy favorite offering no value. She won the Breeders’ Cup over this course in 2018.

Race 12 - $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1)

#8 Serengeti Empress (9-5) is the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (G1) champion who is coming off a Grade 1 win sprinting seven furlongs. Tom Amoss trains the daughter of Alternation. #10 Ce Ce (3-1) is a dual Grade 1 winner this year who will shorten up for this and has won half her seven starts.

Race 13 - $1,000,000 Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1)

#1 Factor This (3-1) has won four in a row for trainer Brad Cox; rail draw is a worry but he is nearing $1 million in earnings and has won a Grade 2 over the course. #3 Rockemperor (7-2) has been second by a neck (Grade 1) and a nose (Grade 2) in his last two starts for trainer Chad Brown. #9 Somelikeithotbrown (8-1) was a Grade 2 winner at Saratoga in July and trainer Mike Maker does very well here.

Race 14 - $3,000,000 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1)

#16 Honor A. P. (5-1) has been prepped for this spot all year, and his last race was merely a tune up. #17 Tiz the Law (3-5) an imposing favorite, but the lone loss of his career was over this track. #18 Authentic (8-1) will try to get loose on the lead. #15 Ny Traffic (20-1) and #4 Storm the Court (50-1) are longshot plays to hit the superfecta.

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