Up to 20 of the best three-year-old horses in the United States will Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The purse is $3 million, the distance is 1 1/4 miles on dirt, and the winner’s name will live forever in horse racing’s memory. And, this is the place to find expert analysis of the race, and find out the best places to bet the 2022 Kentucky Derby online.
This year will be the first year since 2019 when a full crowd will be allowed at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. But, if you can’t make it to the race or you just don’t want to wade through crowds or wait in a line? Online betting is your best bet.
Bet the Kentucky Derby Online
Our expert reviews can help you choose the best online sportsbook. All of our recommended sportsbooks have a great user interface, trusted deposit and cash-out features, and real Vegas odds on races all year long.
Sportsbooks offer special deposit bonuses, rebates, guarantees, and incentives for Kentucky Derby bettors. Different sites have different structures, so it pays to compare your options. No matter how you play, one or more of the best horse racing sportsbooks will have the right promotion for you.
Kentucky Derby Predictions for 2022
Since the advent of the points system in 2013, favorites have won six of the nine runnings. Those six were the first six, though. The last three years, though, a longer shot has won the race. However, favorites have still run well. Since the points system began, the favorite has not run out of the superfecta.
It pays to watch out for horses coming into the Kentucky Derby in good form. The live win candidates tend to have finished first or second in their final prep, and those live final preps tend to be the Florida Derby (G1), Santa Anita Derby (G1), and Arkansas Derby (G1). Though, the Lousiana Derby (G2) has been rising in profile.
This year Blue Grass (G1) winner Zandon was named the morning line favorite, though Louisiana Derby winner Epicenter remains favored in most Vegas and international markets. Both are entering the Kentucky Derby in excellent form. However, Epicenter had a more substantial prep campaign and comes out of a prep race with a better recent record, making it logical for the money to point to him.
Kentucky Derby Horses
This is the official field for the 2022 Kentucky Derby including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:
- Mo Donegal (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 10-1
- Happy Jack (Doug O’Neill/Rafael Bejarano) - 30-1
- Epicenter (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) - 7-2
- Summer Is Tomorrow (Bhupat Seemar/Mickael Barzalona) - 30-1
- Smile Happy (Ken McPeek/Corey Lanerie) - 20-1
- Messier (John Velazquez/Tim Yakteen) - 8-1
- Crown Pride (Koichi Shintani/Christophe Lemaire) - 20-1
- Charge It (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez) - 20-1
- Tiz the Bomb (Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.) - 30-1
- Zandon (Chad Brown/Flavien Prat) - 3-1
- Pioneer of Medina (Todd Plecher/Joe Bravo) - 30-1
- Taiba (Tim Yakteen/Mike Smith) - 12-1
- Simplification (Antonio Sano/Jose Ortiz) - 20-1
- Barber Road (John Ortiz/Reylu Gutierrez) - 30-1
- White Abarrio (Saffie Joseph, Jr./Tyler Gaffalione) - 10-1
- Cyberknife (Brad Cox/Florent Geroux) - 20-1
- Classic Causeway (Brian Lynch/Julien Leparoux) - 30-1
- Tawny Port (Brad Cox/Ricardo Santana, Jr.) - 30-1
- Zozos (Brad Cox/Manuel Franco) - 20-1
- Ethereal Road (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras) - 30-1
- Rich Strike (Eric Reed/Sonny Leon) - 30-1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
- Rattle N Roll (Ken McPeek/James Graham) - 30-1 - ALSO ELIGIBLE
Rich Strike and Rattle N Roll can only get into the Kentucky Derby if there are scratches out of the main field before 9:00 a.m. EST on Friday, May 6, when racetrack betting on the Kentucky Derby opens. Should a horse scratch out of the Kentucky Derby after that point but before the race, the also eligible entrants will not make it into the field.
These are the odds on the top Kentucky Derby contenders at the best online sportsbooks:
Kentucky Derby Best Bet
At odds of up to +2000 in top online sportsbooks, Cyberknife is a great bet. He found his best form winning the Arkansas Derby with authority. He has the tactical versatility to work either a stalking or midpack trip. He has an excellent pedigree to stretch out to the Classic distance. Finally, his connections (Brad Cox and Florent Geroux) are making a career of showing up on big race days.
Kentucky Derby Favorites
It is always wise to consider the favorites in the Kentucky Derby, given how often they run well. The likely favorites this year are Epicenter and Zandon — Zandon is favored in the morning line, though Vegas markets prefer Cyberknife.
Epicenter is the more appealing of the two possible favorites. He comes out of the better prep race. He also has a better running style for the Kentucky Derby, given his tactical speed. There are several other speed horses in the Kentucky Derby, but he proved in the Louisiana Derby that he has a bona fide rating gear.
Zandon is more likely to come from far off the pace; he rallied from last in the Blue Grass to win. The presence of a significant amount of pace in the Kentucky Derby plays to Zandon’s strengths, though there have been several editions of the Kentucky Derby during the era of the point where it looked on paper like there would be a lot of paces, closers still fell short.
Taiba also merits a look. The Santa Anita Derby has been one of the most critical prep races in recent years. Though Taiba has less experience than anyone else in the field, both of his races at Santa Anita have come back extremely fast and his proven tactical speed suggests that this promising Gun Runner son can carve out a good trip under top big-race rider Mike Smith.
Kentucky Derby Longshots
The running theme of top international meets over the last year has been the dominance of Japanese horses, which brings Crown Pride into the mix. The Japanese-trained horse has already proven he can ship, since he won the UAE Derby (G2). He also has one of the best stamina pedigrees in the Derby. Expect him to track in range and uncoil a good run.
Barber Road has been the definition of consistency. Though he has yet to win a stakes, he hit the board in all four of Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby prep races. He can run well from near the lead or well off it, giving him options for carving out a trip. Though a win may require too much improvement, that consistency and versatility could make him the horse who blows up exotics.
Kentucky Derby Top Picks
Make your selections with our free Kentucky Derby handicapping:
- $20 Win: #16 Cyberknife
- $5 Win/Place/Show: #7 Crown Pride
- $5 Exacta Key: #16 Cyberknife with #3 Epicenter, #7 Crown Pride, #10 Zandon
- $1 Trifecta Key: #16 Cyberknife with #3 Epicenter, #7 Crown Pride, #10 Zandon, #12 Taiba
- $1 Superfecta Key: #16 Cyberknife with #3 Epicenter, #7 Crown Pride, #10 Zandon, #12 Taiba, #14 Barber Road
Kentucky Derby Undercard Picks
The Kentucky Derby isn’t all there is on Saturday’s card. The undercard features seven other rich stakes races that drew some of the best horses in the country. Make sure to use these horses when you are playing the Kentucky Derby undercard, including an all-stakes Pick 6 that runs from the Derby City Distaff through the Kentucky Derby.
- $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2): #8 Speak of the Devil
- $160,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes: #8 Injunction, #11 Necker Island
- $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2): #1 Major General, #5 Jack Christopher
- $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1): #5 Obligatory, #6 Bell’s the One
- $500,000 American Turf (G2): #2 Main Event, #7 Sy Dog, #11 Dowagiac Chief
- $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1): #1 Aloha West, #3 Jackie’s Warrior
- $1 million Turf Classic (G1): #7 Cavalry Charge, #8 Adhamo