LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tiz the Law, likely to be one of the heaviest Kentucky Derby favorites of the last half-century, was assigned post 17 in a field of 18 3-year-olds when entries were drawn Tuesday at Churchill Downs.
Longtime Churchill oddsmaker Mike Battaglia listed Tiz the Law as the 3-5 program favorite, followed by two rivals who drew to either side of him in the far outside gates, Honor A. P. (post 16, 5-1) and Authentic (post 18, 8-1).
The fabled Run for the Roses will be run Saturday for the 146th time following a four-month delay after it was postponed from the original May 2 date amid the ongoing global pandemic. No spectators will be in attendance.
Tiz the Law, a New York-bred colt trained by Barclay Tagg for the Sackatoga Stable, arrived at Churchill about an hour before the post-position draw following an equine charter flight from New York. Owing to a reshuffled racing schedule due to the pandemic, the colt enters off victories in the Belmont Stakes and Runhappy Travers, an unprecedented record for a Derby starter and one sure to make him the first odds-on favorite for the Derby since Arazi was 9-10 in 1992. Manny Franco has the mount on Tiz the Law.
"He usually breaks sharp and puts Manny right in the race," said Sackatoga manager Jack Knowlton, who was on hand for the draw. "We all have a lot of confidence in him."
Post 17 is the only one in Derby history never to produce a winner (41 starts) from the first 20 gates.
The projected second choice for the Derby, Art Collector, was declared from contention earlier Tuesday because of a minor foot injury.
The defection of Art Collector was expected to bring the field down to 17, but an 18th starter, longshot South Bend, was announced just prior to the post draw. Bill Mott, who won the Derby last year with Country House via disqualification, trains South Bend for a four-way partnership.
This was the first time since 2003 that fewer than the 20-horse maximum was entered in the Derby, although fewer than 20 have actually run in some interim renewals owing to late defections.
Honor A. P., trained by John Shirreffs, arrived here Monday from California, along with the Bob Baffert pair of Authentic and Thousand Words and the 2019 divisional champion, Storm the Court. All four went over the Churchill surface for the first time Tuesday morning when out for light training.