Sports fans haven't exactly had much to watch since the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States earlier this month. However, Saturday's Florida Derby will provide a chance to watch a live sporting event and maybe even put a little bit of money on it. According to SportsLine, Tiz the Law currently is the odds-on favorite at 6-5 after winning three of his four career starts. In addition, Tiz the Law won the Holy Bull Stakes in February, which takes place at Gulfstream Park. With Tiz the Law already winning a race at Gulfstream, another strong finish at the track will vault the horse into the Kentucky Derby field when it ultimately takes place in September.
The Florida Derby winner gets 100 points while the runner-up gets 50. Either one of those finishes would get Tiz the Law enough points to qualify for a spot in the Kentucky Derby field. Right behind Tiz the Law is Ete Indien, who is opening with 4-1 odds. Ete Indien won the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 29 and finished second behind Tiz the Law at the Holy Bull Stakes.
Which horse wins the 2020 Florida Derby? And how is SportsLine expert Jody Demling structuring his exactas, trifectas and superfectas? Visit SportsLine to see Demling's picks for the Florida Derby, all from a proven handicapper who has nailed four straight races.
In 2013, Churchill Downs began a qualifying points system in which Kentucky Derby points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby." Once the calendar flips to January, all 16 of those races leading up to the Triple Crown race are where horses can earn points. The 20 horses with the most points on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" earn a starting spot in the iconic race. Following the Florida Derby, the Santa Anita Derby -- scheduled for April 4 -- is the next race in which horses can earn points. It has not yet been announced if the coronavirus outbreak will affect the Santa Anita Derby.
The point totals offered in prep races increase as the calendar turns – and by April, when the last several Kentucky Derby preps are run, each race distributes 170 points to the top four finishers, with 100 going to the winner. (The Stonestreet Lexington Stakes held in mid-April at Keeneland is the one exception, offering fewer points and giving owners a last-chance effort to qualify for the Derby).
Independence Hall has the third-best odds at 9-2 when it comes to the Florida Derby. Independence Hall joins Tiz the Law and Gouverneur Morris (8-1 odds) as horses that were sired by Constitution, who won the 2014 Florida Derby.
This year's Florida Derby has the potential to be the largest since 2008 if all 12 entrants go to the post (that's the maximum amount of horses that can race at once at Gulfstream.) The purse that the winner receives in the Florida Derby went down from $1 million to $750,000 because there won't be any on-site betting. Gulfstream, like many other casinos and race tracks, shut down operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Florida Derby odds, by post positions:
- As Seen On TV (12-1)
- Shivaree (30-1)
- Disc Jockey (20-1)
- No. 4 Soros (30-1)
- Gouverneur Morris (8-1)
- Ajaaweed (20-1)
- Tiz the Law (6-5)
- My First Grammy (50-1)
- Independence Hall (9-2)
- Candy Tycoon (20-1)
- Sassy But Smart (50-1)
- Ete Indien (4-1)