Kentucky Derby Picks & Handicapping Contender Favorites

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A number of different wager types will be available to bettors on Derby day, although most bets will naturally be placed on the nose. Win, place and show bets remain the most popular wagers around but with big odds available on some of the 16 runners, exotics are a great option too.

Whatever flavor you go for, remember to keep it in the back of your head that pro handicappers and once-a-year bettors alike should not put down cash until they are fully informed and know all the variables, but that’s why we’re here!

More information will be made available on the Kentucky Derby contenders as time goes by but for now, here are our early selections for the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Christina Blacker

Britney Eurton

Mike Joyce

Scott Hazelton

Matt Carothers

Dave Weaver

Simon Bray

Todd Schrupp

Paul Lo Duca

Handicapping Basics

Our initial picks are below for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, however, if you want to have a go at picking out our own wagers and you’re not au fait with the process, you should become familiar with some of the basics of handicapping.

This race is run off of ‘level weights’, so handicapping in the traditional sense is not needed. However, the Derby is a competitive field of three-year-olds all potentially on the up and so it is partly about trying to second-guess who will reach a peak now, and what level that will take them to.

Here are some of the main things to consider when making your picks:

Form and Speed Ratings

Both of these things are important, but over 1¼ miles, and in this grade the former is much more important than the latter which many pros will not tell you.

Check out the racing form; what rating does each horse have? When did they achieve it? Are they lightly raced and look like improving? What have the horses they have beaten achieved subsequently? These are all crucial questions.

In terms of tactical speed, you can check out BRIS Speed Ratings to give yourself an idea of which horses are unlikely to be tapped for toe.

Post Positions

In a 16-runner Derby, being drawn too wide or right on the inner can be a real disadvantage. Those on the inner (low numbers) can get caught in traffic while those out wide give away ground.


Check this out, as these horses haven’t reached their peak yet and so we need more clues. It’s all in the blood with thoroughbreds, so look out for those whose sires and a grandsires have run well in Triple Crown races in their own careers.

WIN Place Show
AUTHENTIC Tiz The Law Honor A.P.

Always seen as a major contender for this race after his scintillating win for Bob Baffert ahead of Honor A.P. in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes back in March, he was surprisingly beaten by the same horse next time in the Santa Anita Derby.

That wasn’t his true form however and at this early stage it’s fair to see he looks great value in the futures markets to come good at the top level.

The brilliant winner of the Belmont Stakes, Tiz The Law had also previously taken the Holy Bull and the Florida Derby before heading to New York and he is rock solid.

The lack of credible opposition in the Belmont however just tempers enthusiasm a little here.

His close form with Authentic marks him out as a real player, so while we expect the Baffert horse to be the better colt over time he cannot be ruled out.

Authentic & Tiz The Law

For different reasons at this early stage, these two colts look to be the class acts especially in the absence of Nadal and Maxfield because of injuries. Given how late the Triple Crown has got going this year, it is less likely than normal that something will jump out of the pack and surprise us and so they remain the play.

Keep it TVG for Your 2020 Kentucky Derby Bets

You can watch and wager with TVG as we keep you informed on all things Kentucky Derby. Take a look at the latest Derby odds to see what sort of value you can get for your wagers.

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