Five Promising 2020 Kentucky Derby Contenders



The Kentucky Derby is still three months away, but there have been many promising colts who have already popped up on many people’s radar. Here are five horses have recently put themselves in the Derby spotlight:


1. Tiz the Law (Constitution - Tizfiz, Tiznow) Racing fans first caught wind of Tiz the Law when he won the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in October. His victory in the Champagne was so impressive that this New York bred son of Constitution was heavily favored in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) in late November. However, a troubled trip prevented the colt from performing better than third. After that race, Tiz the Law had a few doubters. Still, he went off as the favorite in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park, though only slightly favored over second-choice Toledo. Tiz the Law showed perseverance and heart in the Holy Bull when he had to tap on the breaks and go around horses on the backstretch. In the stretch, Tiz the Law proved himself much the best (though he did shift paths during the stretch). This flashy colt is owned by Sackatoga Stable, who are most known for their New York bred gelding Funny Cide. Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2003. Sackatoga Stable are putting Tiz the Law on the same path as Funny Cide, aiming him for the Louisiana Derby for his next Kentucky Derby prep race. Because of his obvious talent and good connections, Tiz the Law is one Derby horse you want to be looking out for! {Video: Watch Tiz the Law (#3) win the Holy Bull]


2. Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile - Pomeroy’s Pistol, Pomeroy) It wouldn’t truly be Derby-prep season without a few promising colts from the Bob Baffert barn making a name for themselves. One of Baffert’s current stars is a Pioneerof The Nile colt named Thousand Words. This Florida-bred colt is currently undefeated. He showed a lot of heart when he fended off Anneau d’Or by a head in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). Afterwards, he showed guts when he split horses in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) and then gunned it down the stretch to win by another small margin. All the while, he gave Bob Baffert a milestone 3,000th career victory as a trainer. Thousand Words has a nice pedigree, clearly has talent, and has the benefit of being trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. He is definitely a horse you need to have on your radar.

[Video: Watch Thousand Words (#2) win the Robert B. Lewis Stakes]

3. Enforceable (Tapit - Justwhistledixie, Dixie Union) Enforceable turned a lot of heads with his beautiful pedigree. He is the full-brother to Mohaymen, who you may remember winning races like the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth, and Remsen as well as for finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Enforceable is also a half-brother to New Year’s Day, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and has made headlines as the sire of Maximum Security. This Mark Cassee trained colt finished third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at two-years old. When he made his three-year old debut, he was ready to win. Enforceable came from the back of the pack to win the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds. This colt is now being pointed towards the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds to see if he can earn even more Derby points!

[Video: Watch Enforceable (#10) win the Lecomte Stakes]

4. Max Player (Honor Code - Fools for Love, Not For Love) Max Player was the fourth-choice when he stepped into the starting gates for the Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. Despite this, he was able to fly past favored horses Shotski, Portos, and Monday Morning QB to win the race by almost three lengths. This pretty Linda Rice trainee has a nice pedigree too. His sire is Honor Code (by A.P. Indy), known for his victories in the Whitney Handicap (G1) and Met Mile (G1). His damsire, Not For Love, is also the damsire of California Chrome. Max Player’s pedigree points out that he is very capable of going to Derby distance. He is being pointed towards the Wood Memorial (G2) to try to earn more points for the Derby leaderboard. Being looking out for him in that race! [Video: Watch Max Player (#3) win the Withers Stakes]

5. Authentic (Into Mischief - Flawless, Mr. Greeley) Into Mischief was 2019’s #1 General Sire. Bob Baffert is one of the best trainers in the sport. Those two things alone make Authentic a horse that you want to keep your eyes on. This young colt backed up that promise with an interesting win in the Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. The word “interesting” is good to use here because Authentic was all over the place in the stretch of the Sham Stakes. He shifted paths and threw his head a few times, but was still able to dominate the field by 7 ¾ lengths. Baffert plans to put some new equipment on Authentic to help him calm down in the stretch. That dominant yet green performance in the Sham Stakes makes Authentic a horse that racing fans will be looking out for. He is currently aimed toward a start in the San Felipe Stakes (G2).

[Video: Watch Authentic (#1) win the Sham Stakes]

The Kentucky Derby leaderboard will change drastically as the race draws closer and the prep races really start to heat up. Horse racing fans will have their eyes on all five of these talented, young colts as we progress. Time will only tell if any of them will be good enough to wear the roses on the First Saturday in May!



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