Ellis Park Derby Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick, Art Collector (3/2)

Post Position and Odds – Ellis Park Derby

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Ellis Park Derby at Ellis Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
C Lanerie B Walsh
T Baze B Wright
3 SPRAWL 20/1
J Leparoux W Mott
B Hernandez Jr T Drury Jr
M Murrill C Hartman
M Garcia S Asmussen
A Beschizza J Sisterson
S Bridgmohan S Asmussen
J Graham T Amoss
J Talamo D Romans
J Rocco Jr D Stewart
F Geroux B Cox
M Mena D Romans

Riding an impressive winning streak in the state of Kentucky, Art Collector will be a solid favorite when he takes on eleven others in Sunday’s $200,000 Ellis Park Derby.

Fresh off a big win in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes, the Tom Drury, Jr. trained colt will look to remain undefeated on the season in his final prep race for the Kentucky Derby. A win this weekend at Ellis Park could make the son of Bernardini the second choice when he arrives back at his home base of Churchill Downs in advance of the Run for the Roses.

Chief among his competition in the 9 furlongs Ellis Park Derby will be a pair of recent Derby winners. Shared Sense was an impressive winner of the Indiana Derby (G3) on July 8, while Dean Martini pulled a 14-1 upset last time in winning the Ohio Derby (G3) on June 27.

As a Kentucky Derby qualifying race, the full field of 12 will be after a scale of 50-20-10-5 points available for the top four finishers on Sunday at Ellis Park.

Best Bets for the Ellis Park Derby

Here are my plays ($45 in total)

$3 Trifecta part wheel – Art Collector over Shared Sense over Anneau d’Or, Dean Martini, Attachment Rate, Little Menace and Rowdy Yates = $15

$2 Trifecta part wheel – Art Collector over Anneau d’Or, Dean Martini, Attachment Rate, Little Menace and Rowdy Yates over Shared Sense = $10

$10 Exacta Box – Art Collector and Shared Sense = $20


Art Collector 3/2

How to watch the Ellis Park Derby

Ellis Park Derby Information
What Ellis Park Derby
Where Ellis Park
When Sunday, August 9 — 5:10 pm Central time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $200,000

Race Analysis

Art Collector

After beginning his career with three races on the turf, Art Collector has been outstanding since switching to the main track. Even in his first effort on the dirt, which he lost, he ran on well after completely losing stride on the turn. His three races since returning from a layoff this year have been superior to anything else seen in this field. The son of Bernardini has already won at the distance and looks to be a horse where you can place almost anywhere early and he will still run his race. As a big favorite on Sunday, look for rider Brian Hernandez, Jr. to place him forwardly before making his move on the turn. He is a very deserving favorite, and strictly the one to beat. He looks poised to head to Churchill Downs as one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby.

Shared Sense

With a short run into the first turn, I am not crazy about the outside post draw. It will be up to top rider Florent Geroux to work out a trip from there, which likely means dropping well back to avoid getting hung out to dry before the first quarter-mile is run. It does look like there are enough speed types in here where the pace should be both solid and contested, giving him a better chance to rally. He certainly looks like the second-best horse in the race having made steady improvement this year for trainer Brad Cox. His win in the Indiana Derby was conclusive, and although well beaten by Art Collector the race before, his chances were hindered by a lack of pace that day. He’s a deserving second choice.

Dean Martini

Has certainly turned his career around in his last three starts, the last two of which came for new trainer Tom Amoss. After a solid second in a tough allowance race at Churchill Downs, he came back to upset the field in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby. Proven at the distance, and going good, the son of Cairo Prince certainly merits a shot in here, but there can be little doubt that this spot is tougher than the Ohio Derby was.

Anneau d’Or

One of the more promising juveniles in the nation, he has not lived up to expectations so far in 2020. He hasn’t finished better than fourth in three tries against graded stakes competition this year, but the good news is that his last was at least a step in the right direction. In the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, he contested the early pace before staying on pretty well to finish fourth behind the likes of Honor A.P. and Authentic. A similar effort in here, especially if he’s forwardly placed early, gives him a reasonable shot to fill out the exotics.

Little Menace

The son of Into Mischief had some success sprinting, including a second-place finish in the Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn Park back in March. Last time he stretched out to 8 ½ furlongs and won wire to wire with a solid performance in the Grand Prairie Derby at Lone Star Park. This will be a jump up in class, but with his speed and now proven ability to go two-turns, he must be respected.

Attachment Rate

After a romping maiden win in the slop early this year, this Dale Romans-trained son of Hard Spun has been defeated in four consecutive stakes attempts. The good news is that he has run decently each time and certainly has faced good horses throughout. It’s hard to know when he’ll break through, but the 9 furlongs on Sunday shouldn’t be a problem. He did have some trouble at the start last time in the Blue Grass, so a better trip should give him at least a fighting chance against the favorite.

Rowdy Yates

It’s going back almost a full year, but it’s worth noting that this Steve Asmussen-trained runner was a strong winner of a stakes race at Ellis Park as a 2-year-old. Since then, he’s been well-traveled with occasional success, but each of those three wins came in smaller stakes races. He’s got good tactical speed and actually ran a better than it looks race when fourth last time in the Ohio Derby. In his return to Ellis Park, he may be ready to run his best.

Winning Impression

The son of Paynter did look like a horse on the rise back in April when he won a salty allowance race at Oaklawn Park. Two subsequent stakes tries ended without him threatening, though, including a seventh-place finish last time in the Indiana Derby. His best chance will be if the pace is hot, and he can make one run from well back. Even then, he looks like a board hitter at best, rather than a serious win candidate.


Has flashed promise here and there in his career, but has not been able to get over the hump, finishing off the board in three previous stakes tries. Last time in the Ohio Derby, he looked poised on the turn, but then did little running down the stretch and finished a disappointing fifth. He may ultimately prove better than that, but against this field, he looks most likely to be an also-ran once again

Necker Island

All in all, he ran a decent race for new connections last time when finishing third in the Indiana Derby, but it was his sixth losing race in a row. He’s also finished behind many in this race before, including Shared Sense in the last two. He’s good enough where you would have to consider for hitting the board, but I like others better.

Trident Hit

Easily the most inexperienced horse in the Ellis Park Derby, the son of Tiznow will look to take a huge step forward on Sunday. His first two races, a late running maiden victory at Churchill Downs, and a runner-up finish at Indiana Grand are good enough to believe he has a nice future in front of him, but with competition like Art Collector and Shared Sense, it looks like he has bitten off more than he can chew in this one.


He ran pretty consistently as a juvenile, but in his only stakes attempt, he finished way back from Tiz the Law in the Champagne. As far as this year, he’s only made one start, finishing seventh in an Ellis Park allowance race on the turf. That was a prep for this, and he certainly can take a step forward. Having said that, the Ellis Park Derby will likely prove too much for the Jack Sisterson trainee.

Rogue Element

Did not draw into the field, so as an also-eligible will only run if there is a scratch. If he does get in, he would be a big longshot. Although he has graded stakes experience, he is still a maiden after numerous tries.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]