2020 Kentucky Derby: Everything You Need to Know About Favorite 'Tiz the Law'

Less than three months after triumphing in the Belmont Stakes, "Tiz The Law" arrives at the Kentucky Derby as the bookmakers' favorite to secure the second leg of the Triple Crown.

The three-year-old thoroughbred is a 3/5 favorite to win at Churchill Downs on Saturday as the 146th running of the "Run for the Roses" takes place after the coronavirus pandemic forced its postponement from its traditional early May slot.

If he is to add the Kentucky Derby to his resume, however, Tiz The Law will have to make history after drawing the No. 17 post when the starting positions were assigned on Tuesday. The Kentucky Derby first began using the starting gates in 1930 and in the nine decades since, post No. 17 has produced a grand total of zero winners.

Tiz The Law's form, however, suggests that statistical nugget could be consigned to history on Saturday.

Trained by veteran Barclay Tagg, who has racked up over 1,500 wins in his scintillating career, the three-year-old colt won the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont as a juvenile last year and in February won the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, Florida, by three lengths.

It followed the win up with a dominant display at the Grade 1 Florida Derby at the same venue on March 28, which he won by over four lengths. After winning the Belmont Stakes in June, he then dominated Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course last month.

The colt's impressive form isn't the only positive omen ahead of Saturday.

Tagg trained New York-bred star "Funny Cide," who like Tiz The Law is owned by Sackatoga Stable and triumphed at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2003, before just missing out on the Triple Crown by finishing third at rain-soaked Belmont Park.

Meanwhile, among a host of Belmont Stakes winners, Tiz The Law's bloodlines also include legendary Triple Crown winners "Secretariat" and "Seattle Slew."

Should "Tiz The Law" win on Saturday and finish first in the Preakness Stakes next month, he would become only the 14th horse in history to win the Triple Crown. However, the unprecedented nature of this horse racing season is such that the feat may not be as considered as it would have been in a normal year.

The COVID-19 outbreak forced a major reshuffling of the horse racing season, with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness postponed from May to September and October, respectively.

The Belmont Stakes took place in June as usual—although it was postponed by a few weeks—and was run over a shorter distance. There is also a feeling that the Belmont Stakes was not the usual grueling test, coming as it did at the opening leg of the Triple Crown as opposed to being the final race.

Traditionally, the three legs of the Triple Crown are contested over five weeks, but this year there is a four-month break between the Belmont Stakes and last the Preakness Stakes.

"If 'Tiz the Law' wins all three and wins the Triple Crown, it's a hell of an accomplishment," Hall of Fame jockey and NBC Sports analyst Jerry Bailey said earlier this week during a conference call with reporters.

"Take nothing away from him, he's a good horse and that would be noteworthy, to say the least. However, just because of the fact the Belmont was not a mile and a half, and it was run at a mile and an eighth, yes, there has to be an asterisk."

Tiz The Law, Kentucky Derby
Tiz The Law with Manuel Franco up wins the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park Racetrack, on June 20 in Elmont, New York. Tiz The Law is the bookmakers' favorite to win the Kentucky Derby on September 5. Horsephotos/Getty