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Kentucky Derby 146 is Tiz the Law’s race to lose. The biggest favorite in decades, a lot of things need to go wrong for another horse to topple Tiz the Law.
Just because you might not cash a profitable win ticket, doesn’t mean you can’t blow up the tote board. In the 18-horse field there are a dozen horses that opened as 30-1 long shots or greater. By keying Tiz the Law (TTL) atop your exactas and trifectas, you can win big by including these long shots in your exotics.
1 — Finnick the Fierce (50-1)
The one-eyed horse in the one-hole has not won since it made its debut at Indiana Downs last June. However, Finnick the Fierce has a pair of second-place finishes in his career, including one in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs. The third-place finisher in that race — Tiz the Law. It was the last race TTL lost. Lightning can strike twice in the same place, right?
2 — Max Player (30-1)
My favorite long shot on the board, Max Player has come in third to TTL in its last two outings while posting greater than 100 speed figures. A late closer, Joel Rosario took Max Player wide around the final turn in each outing. You can’t overcome a deficit to a horse like TTL by racing down the middle of the track.
Since hitting the board at the Travers, Max Player has moved from Linda Rice’s stable to Steve Asmussen’s, the winningest trainer in the history of Churchill Downs who has never won a Kentucky Derby. He’ll have Ricardo Santana aboard, a hot jockey that can navigate through the crowd at the rail to come from behind down the stretch.
3 — Enforceable (30-1)
Similar to Max Player, Enforceable is a closer that is always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Here’s a stat that will make you believe in closing ability: the last nine Kentucky Derby winners have ran the last three furlongs in under 38 seconds. The only horses to do that during this prep season are Tiz the Law, Max Player, Honor A.P., Enforceable and NY Traffic.
12 — Sole Volante (30-1)
His last race sucked. Throw it out! The horse was only on ten days rest and was shipped from Florida to run in the Belmont Stakes. Up until the last race, he hit the board in all six starts, winning four. He’s another late closer with a high price.
15 — NY Traffic (20-1)
Why am I such a big fan of the late closers? Because of this horse, NY Traffic. He’s the opposite of a late closer. Paco Lopez wants the horse to get out to a quick, early start to set the pace. Coming out of the gate just inside the three favorites, all of which prefer to run near the front, NY Traffic could force the others to run out of steam. Horsemen would describe this phenomenon by saying “the race fell apart.”
If NY Traffic can get to that early lead and push the pace, he can hit the board (like he’s done in his five starts) and wear down his opposition on the outside, paving the way for big tickets to be cashed at the finish line.