2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds and Picks: Contenders and Longshot

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It is the most prestigious horse race in the world and on the first Saturday of May, 20 thoroughbreds will make the “Run for the Roses” in the 148th Kentucky Derby. The ‘fastest two minutes in sports’ is once again, wide open. From 2013 to 2018, every Derby winner was 6-to-1 or less, including 4 odds-on favorites. Since then, we’ve seen a 30-1 (2019 – Country House), 8-1, (2020 – Authentic), and 12-1, (2021 – Medina Spirit would be stripped of his Derby title after a positive drug test) win the first leg of the Triple Crown. So which colts have the best chance on Saturday? Check out updated Kentucky Derby Betting Odds.

148th KENTUCKY DERBY BETTING PREVIEW | HORSE RACING ODDS

CONTENDERS:

After finishing an impressive second in the Lecomte Stakes, EPICENTER (+400) won two Stakes races including the Louisiana Derby where he won off the pace, proving he didn’t need to be on the front, like his previous 3 victories. EPICENTER has already won at Churchill Downs breaking his maiden last November. The downside? The colt is trained by Steve Asmussen, who has a Hall of Fame career but is 0-23 with Derby starters. But EPICENTER has shown continued improvement, looks like he’s in excellent form and easily beat stiff competition. The 3-year old has proved he is the horse to beat.

TAIBA (+600) has been perfect, 2 for 2 in his young career after taking down two Derby contenders in Forbidden Kingdom and Messier on his way to winning the Santa Anita Derby. TAIBA has been able to stalk the pace in both wins and put up big Beyer Speed Figures of 103 and 102. But no horse has won the Kentucky Derby in his 3rd career start since 1883. The last horse to start with so little racing experience was China Visit, who finished 6th in 2000.

ZANDON (+800) comes off an impressive win at the Blue Grass Stakes where he was able to navigate from the back of the pack to pull off the win. In fact, both of his career victories ZANDON has closed from well back. He’s finished no worse than 3rd in four career races. The colt’s Blue Grass trip gave him the right type of preparation needed for the Derby, where he’ll have 19 other challengers. One thing to keep in mind, a deep closer has only won the Kentucky Derby twice, since 2009 (Orb 2013, Mine That Bird 2013).

WHITE ABARRIO (+900) comes in off an impressive come from behind win in the Florida Derby. The white colt swept up outside the leaders entering the turn and charged to the front, and didn’t look back. WHITE ABARRIO has won twice in 2022, and 4 of 5 career races. In the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last November, he finished 3rd after traffic problems. WHITE ABARRIO has tactical speed meaning he can sit off the front end, and stalk the pace. Which will be vital in a race that will likely have a handful of speed at the front and could set up nicely for WHITE ABARRIO.

CHARGE IT (+1100) could literally be a dark horse in the Derby. He has one win and 2 seconds in 3 career starts including running second in the Florida Derby. That race was the colts’ stakes debut, and first try versus winners and still managed to outrun a handful of more experienced competitors. CHARGE IT is also trained by 2-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Todd Pletcher. This horse still has some room to improve and could prove it, at long odds, on May 7th.

MESSIER (+1200) has never finished worse than 2nd in 6 career races, 3 wins, and 3 second place finishes. The colt looked poised to win the Santa Anita Derby only to lose in the final 100 yards to TAIBA. MESSIER, named after the NHL great, ran a speed rating of 103, best among 3-year olds this year when he crushed a 5-horse field in February by 15-lengths. But MESSIER has moved from Bob Baffert’s barn to Tim Yakteen, a former Baffert assistant, who, has zero career Kentucky Derby start and also trains TAIBA.

LONGSHOTS WITH A SHOT: BARBER ROAD (+3300)

BARBER ROAD booked his spot for the Derby with a 2nd place finish in the Arkansas Derby. While he hasn’t won in 2022, BARBER ROAD has picked up 3 second place finishes and a 3rd, and in every race, he’s come from way back to hit the board. If the pace is quick in the Kentucky Derby, and BARBER ROAD doesn’t get into traffic problems, he could be flying, late, down the stretch. And with the added distance, it could be exactly what the colt needs. At long odds, he’s definitely worth a play in all exotic bets.

TRIFECTA PLAYS:

  • Epicenter with Zandon, White Abbario, Barber Road
  • Taiba with Messier, Charge It, Epicenter

 

Author: Lucy Green