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Tiz the Law is one of the biggest Derby favorites in decades. It doesn't mean he'll win.

By Ben Roberts, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Horse Racing

The prolonged prep schedule leading up to this year's Kentucky Derby has given horseplayers an extra four months to consider the options and construct their wagering plans.

The first Saturday in May has been replaced by the first Saturday in September, but all that added time has only solidified top billing for this 2020 Derby.

Tiz the Law - winner of the Florida Derby in March, the Belmont Stakes in June and the Travers Stakes in August - will be one of the biggest Kentucky Derby favorites in recent memory.

Only one Derby favorite in the past 25 years has gone off at shorter than 2-1 odds. That was Point Given, who was the 9-5 betting choice in 2001. He finished fifth. Only five Derby favorites in the past 50 years have gone off at even odds or shorter, none since 1992. Three of those heavy betting favorites lost, too.

Tiz the Law has the advantage of already proving himself at the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles - he was a marvel going that far in his Travers romp - but things don't always go as planned on Derby Day, and we'll see Saturday if that holds as true in September as it has in May.

By then, Tiz the Law will either be the Kentucky Derby champion, or he'll join this list of the biggest Derby favorites in the past 50 years to miss out on the winner's circle, one more reminder of how difficult this race can be.

 

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1976 - HONEST PLEASURE

The reigning 2-year-old champ following a dazzling juvenile campaign that featured several major stakes victories - including a 7-length romp in the Champagne Stakes - Honest Pleasure won the Florida Derby and Blue Grass Stakes on his way to Churchill Downs.

In Louisville, he met Wood Memorial winner Bold Forbes, who began his career as a 2-year-old in Puerto Rico before shipping to New York for a couple of victories late that season.

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