Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Tips & Odds – Churchill Downs – 7th May 2022

A look ahead to Saturday's Kentucky Derby 2022 feature from Churchill Downs

Mo Donegal / Kentucky ©IMAGO/ZUMA Wire 05/04/2022

Kentucky Derby betting is in the frame for Saturday’s racing action as the famous race from Churchill Downs gets its annual outing.

This is the opening foray into the 2022 American Triple Crown and it one of the most famous races in the world.

This Kentucky Derby betting preview for 2022 takes a look at some of the history of the race, the latest odds and the key contenders.

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds 2022

Kentucky Derby odds are interesting, especially when it comes to looking at the favourites in the big Churchill Downs run. Half of the last sixteen renewals have been won by the Kentucky Derby favourite on the day.

Epicentre 9/2
Zandon 9/2
Taiba 7/1
Mo Donegal 10/1
White Abarrio 12/1
Messier 12/1
Smile Happy 12/1
Charge It 14/1
Simplification 16/1
Cyberknife 16/1
25/1 bar
* (odds recorded at 21:18 GMT on May 4th, 2022 at Unibet)

Horse Racing Betting at Unibet


Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Race Details

  • Grade 1 stakes
  • 3-year-olds
  • 10f
  • Dirt


Epicentre 9/2 FAV in Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Odds

EPICENTRE makes the move up to the top grade on the weekend looking to improve upon some excellent form this year.

The colt will be looking to complete a hattrick after scoring the last twice as the favourite at Fair Grounds.

Both of those victories were earned by a margin of more than two lengths and he looks like causing some problems at Churchill Downs.

One issue facing Epicentre is that he is in stall 3 and being on the inside at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby isn’t a great tactical spot to be in.

No Kentucky Derby winner has come from that stall since 1998.

But Epicentre landed the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, claiming more points than any other qualifier.

The start is going to be all-important for Epicentre from his position.



A Baffert-less Kentucky Derby

Along with the favourite, we also take a look at some of the other main names in the picture for Kentucky Derby betting 2022.

As horses get only one crack at this prestigious race, it adds that extra tension and stress for trainers and jockeys to get things right.

Speaking of trainers, Bob Baffert is not participating in this year’s renewal of the Kentucky Derby.

He is currently suspended after last year’s winning charge Medina Spirit didn’t return a clean drugs test result.

This year’s renewal of the Run For The Roses is the 148th edition and next in this preview, we size up some other big players.

Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Contenders

ZANDON is going to be well-supported as a favourable draw helps his bid.

Zandon is in stall 10 right in the centre of the pack, which gives him a good leg up, especially if he can hit the front early on.

His path to Churchill Downs was by landing the Blue Grass Stakes in April and hasn’t been out of the places in any of his three runs so far.

Zandon was beaten by Epcicenter in the Grade 2 Risen Star earlier this year, but turning the tables on that rival isn’t out of the question.

MO DONEGAL brings winning from tot the table as well after landing the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct in early April.

The exciting colt hasn’t been out of the top three in any of his five runs. Mo Donegal is paired up with Irad Ortiz Jr who has ridden him to two wins.

MESSIER has some claims even though he goes from draw six, where only two previous Kentucky Derby winners have come from.

He had his first run for a new yard in early April, a runner up spot to Taiba in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

Messier has claimed a victory in three of his five appearances, not finishing outside of the top two.

TAIBA will be putting an undefeated record on the line having won two from two.

The latter of those was a big score in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Derby so brings some obvious claims forward for Saturday.

2022 Kentucky Derby Line Up

1 Mo Donegal Irad Ortiz Jr Todd Pletcher
2 Happy Jack Rafael Bejarano Doug O’Neill
3 Epicentre Joel Rosario Seven Asmussen
4 Summer Is Tomorrow Mickael Barzalona B Seemar
5 Smile Happy Cory J Lanerie Kenneth McPeek
6 Messier John R Valazquez Tim Yakteen
7 Crown Pride Christophe-Patrice Lemarie Koichi Shintani
8 Charge It Luis Saez Todd Pletcher
9 Tiz The Bomb Brian Joseph Hernandez Jr Kenneth McPeek
10 Zandon Flavien Prat Chad C Brown
11 Pioneer Of Medina Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher
12 Taiba Mike E SMith Tim Yakteen
13 Simplification Jose L Ortiz Antonio Sano
14 Barber Road Reylu Gutierrez John Alexander Ortiz
15 White Abarrio Tyler Gaffalione Saffie A Joseph Jr
16 Cyberknife Forent Geroux Brad H Cox
17 Classic Causeway Julien R Leparaoux Brian A Lynch
18 Tawny Port Ricardo Santana Jr Brad H Cox
19 Zozos Manuel Franco Brad H Cox
20 Ethereal Road Luis COntreras D Wayne Lukas


R1 Rich Strike Sonny Leon Eric R Reed
R2 Rattle N Roll James Graham Kenneth McPeek

2021 Kentucky Derby Recap

The 2021 Kentucky Derby was a controversial affair. Trainer Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit was disqualified post-race after failing a drugs test, meaning Baffert missed out on a recrodseventh Kentucky Derby winner.

Medina Spirit had gotten to the finishing line first, taking the victory by more than half a length. In a surprising change of tactics, Medina Spirit had gotten to the front early.

He was travelling well, clocking some superb times.

The first time he was under pressure was when Mandaloun came up on him. He got to within a head of Medina Spirit at one point, but the latter had enough to take the line.

Essential Quality looked as if he was set to mount a big challenge, but for some reason drifted wide on the final turn which scuppered his chances.

Hot Rod Charlie had enough to just pip him for the third-place finish.

Horse Racing Betting at Unibet

More Kentucky Derby Tips – outsiders contenders

Looking past Zandon and Epicenter, the rest of the field looks very evenly matched and this should be a super-competitive renewal.

There are plenty of horses knocking around the field who have the ability and form to suggest that they wouldn’t be a surprise winner.s

SMILE HAPPY is one of those, even though he has yet to get off the mark as a 3-year-old, he has shown plenty of encouraging signs in 2022 in big races.

SIMPLIFICATION could benefit from the ride of Jose Ortiz. Simplification is a speedster and has won three of seven previous runs.

He was third in the Curlin Florida Derby Stakes at Gulfstream behind winner White Abarrio, but he ran very well.

WHITE ABARRIO is certainly no mug having won all four starts so far. The pick of those was April’s Grade 1 Florida Derby Stakes.

He has performed well after refreshing breaks, will he handle this current shorter one?

Last 10 Kentucky Derby Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer
2021 Mandaloun Florent Geroux Brad Cox
2020 Authentic John Velazquez Bob Baffert
2019 Country House Flaiven Prat Bill MOtt
2018 Justify Mike E Smith Bob Baffert
2018 Always Dreaming John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
2016 Nyquist Mario Guiterrez Doug O’Neill
2015 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert
2014 California Chrome VIctor Espinoza Art Sherman
2013 Orb Joel Rosario Claude McGaughery III
2012 I’ll Have Another Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill

The American Triple Crown

The American Triple Crown is a big series of races in America and those races in order are the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Those races weren’t all introduced at the same time, but they all became held in such high regard that they were pooled into the Triple Crown Trophy.

Given that it is three top-level races in a relatively short period, the Triple Crown in horse racing is a difficult thing to pull off.

American Pharoah’s famous effort in 2015 was the first time that a horse had won the triple crown since 1978.

The next one to come along was Justify in 2018, making them the only two to have completed the challenge since the turn of the century.

In total there have been thirteen Triple Crown winners.

  • 2018 Justify
  • 2015 American Pharoah
  • 1978 Affirmed
  • 1977 Seattle Slew
  • 1973 Secretariat
  • 1948 Citation
  • 1946 Assault
  • 1943 Count Fleet
  • 1941 Whirlaway
  • 1937 War Admiral
  • 1935 Omaha
  • 1930 Gallant Fox
  • 1919 Sir Barton

Of those, the astonishing Secretariat set a race record for the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont on his way to his 1973 Triple Crown success.

All three of Secretariat’s time records for the legs of the Triple Crown still stand to this day.

Secretariat’s win at the Derby, saw him set a faster and faster time for each quarter-mile of the race and he was still accelerating at the finish as well. H

e made his big move from fourth place just before the final turn, when he went wide and still had enough power to somehow reel in Sham who was absolutely flying.

Kentucky Derby History

The Kentucky Derby is known as the “The Run for the Roses” because the winner gets a blanket of roses draped over them.

The first edition of the race was in 1875, so there is a lot of history surrounding the fixture.

There has never been a year since it was inaugurated that the Kentucky Derby has not been held. It’s the only leg of the Triple Crown that can boast that.

Churchill Downs has been the host of the Kentucky Derby (although it hasn’t always been called Churchill Downs) for all previous editions.

The race was inspired by the Grand Prix de Paris and the Epsom Derby.

The early races were at the same 12 furlongs that the Epsom Derby is before a chance happened to it in 1896 when a quarter of a mile was shaved off.

Horse Racing Betting at Unibet

Last Five Winning Stall Numbers

Year Winning Stall # 2nd Stall # 3rd Stall # Runners
2021 7 9 14 19
2020 15 14 7 15
2019 19 12 9 19
2018 7 6 5 20
2017 5 1 11 20


Kentucky Derby Betting Trainer Trends

There are only two trainers (with entries on Saturday) who have landed the Derby more than one. Those are Doug O’Neill and Todd Pletcher. Bob Baffert holds the joint all-time record of wins by a trainer at six alongside Ben A. Jones.

Although it is a silly Kentucky Derby trend, the last four winning trainers’ first names have started with the letter B.

Kentucky Derby Betting Trainer Trends

Across the last sixteen renewals of the Kentucky Derby, the leading jockey is John R Velazques who has claimed the title three times.

The most recent of those was on the back of Attention in 2020, adding to his success in 2011 and 2017. No other jockey in that period has won it more than once.


Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Trends

  • Stalls 1-3 haven’t produced a winner in the last sixteen renewals
  • The last sixteen winners had made beaten 2-4 starts within 180 days
  • Only one of the last sixteen carried 8-11 last time out
  • Only one of the last 16 winners of the Kentucky Derby had been larger than 8/1
  • The last wn was recorded at no bigger than 4/1
  • All but two of the last sixteen winner had NOT ran at either Aqueduct, FairGround or Keeneland last time out
  • the largest priced winner in the lsat 16 editions was Country House at 65/1 in 2019
  • 8 of the last 16 renewals have been won by the favourite


Horse Racing Betting at Unibet

2021 leading trainers at Churchill Downs

To help your selections along in Kentucky Derby odds 2022, here is a list of the top-performing trainers at Churchill Downs from last year.

Trainer Name Rides Winners Produced Win %
Asmussen, Steven M 270 46 17%
Cox, Brad H 169 36 21%
McPeek, Kenneth G 146 31 21%
Maker, Michael J 152 28 18%
Harman, Chris A 79 26 33%

Kentucky Derby Betting 2022 Tips & Predictions

If you go with the big contender who has the best draw for Kentucky Derby tips then it is 9/2 quote ZANDON that is the best fit* (odds recorded at 21:18 GMT on May 4th, 2022 at Unibet).

His victory at the Blue Grass Stakes, a Grade 1 victory under jockey Flavian Prat, in which he held off Smile Happy gives him big claims.

TAIBA is about as exciting as it gets and does have the challenge of more greenness than some of these.

But holding off Messier to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby means that he is one to watch in Kentucky Derby tips.

The best double-figures option in Kentucky Derby Odds is SMILE HAPPY at 12/1 currently* (odds recorded at 21:18 GMT on May 4th, 2022 at Unibet). He tries to win the Kentucky Derby not having won as a three-year-old yet.

His two runs this year have seen him get defeated by Epicentre and then more recently by Zandon in the Blue Stakes. Smile Happy had been the favourite for both of those, and he is well worth another look.

The Final Kentucky Derby tip is MESSIER which goes from six as 12/1* (odds recorded at 21:18 GMT on May 4th, 2022 at Unibet). You have to like the fact that he is jockey John Velazquez in the driving seat. He was beaten by Taiab on his last, but that was his first run in eight weeks.


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