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South Bend Gets His Shot at the Kentucky Derby in 2020

| September 2, 2020 9:52 am PDT
South Bend Gets His Shot at the Kentucky Derby in 2020

With the recent withdrawals of Dr Post, Caracaro, and Art Collector, two new competitors have entered the arena—one of which is South Bend. Don’t let his 18 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard convince you otherwise–South Bend is every bit of a worthy KD competitor as any in the starting gate Saturday.

The colt has moneyed seven of his 12 starts—three of them in graded stakes and the Palm Beach Stakes, as well as the two RTKD qualifiers races–the Ohio Derby in June and the Travers Stakes in August–where he earned his 18 Derby points (8 and 10, respectively).

South Bend’s Trainer

With nearly 26,000 thoroughbred races behind him, it should come as no surprise that Bill Mott has been to the Kentucky Derby before. He won last year with Country House, and he ran third that same year with Tacitus. Yes, two horses in the same race. Imagine.

He’s also taken dozens of horses to money finishes in Breeders Cup races. Now, with South Bend, Mott is in the running for back-to-back Derby wins.

South Bend’s Jockey

Top jockey Tyler Gaffalione has been tapped to ride South Bend for his Kentucky Derby challenge. One of the jockey world’s elite, Gaffalione will be making his first trip to the Kentucky Derby—but that doesn’t mean he’s a stranger to the big time.

Just last year, he rode War of Will to victory at the Preakness. And he has finished first aboard dozens of the best horses in graded stakes races since he first hit the news aboard Cali Star in the Rampart Stakes in 2015.

South Bend’s Recent Form

Just because he’s a surprise late entry doesn’t mean South Bend has been loafing.

He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs a year ago, and then went on to win an allowance race at Keeneland in October 2019.

A few weeks later, he next took a first in the Street Sense Stakes (Black Type) at Churchill Downs, but his first flirtation with the possibility of a Kentucky Derby run ended poorly with a sixth-place finish at the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November.

From there, he moneyed in four of his six stakes races, including the Palm Beach Stakes (Grade III).

By the time he hit the Ohio Derby at Thistledown, he was all about the work, and he came in second behind Dean Martini (but ahead of fellow KD competitor Storm the Court), winning his first eight points on the RTKD scoreboard.

His final run was in August, at the Travers Stakes. South Bend placed fourth behind Tiz the Law, Caracaro, and Max Player, and earned his final 10 RTKD points.

And—as fortune would have it—the chance to meet those competitors again on September 5th at the Kentucky Derby.

Could South Bend’s Entry Spell Defeat for Tiz the Law?

With 372 points on the RTKD leaderboard, Tiz the Law is definitely the horse to beat—as the connections for the other 17 official entrants fully understand. Could South Bend be the one to do it?

Handicappers are giving South Bend 50-1 odds on him winning the Kentucky Derby. The latest odds on Tiz the Law winning are 3/5. Smart money says bet Tiz the Law, the promise of a big payout says bet South Bend. Which to choose…

This might be a good time to point out that if you’re new to betting on horse races, you can get a quick education about the types of wagers at the Kentucky Derby and how place them from my associate, Jerry Summer. Of course, if you’re already an experienced punter, you should proceed directly to our recommended Kentucky Derby betting sites.

J.W. Paine
J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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