The Run for the Roses is set with the post draw and odds released by Churchill Downs. The 2022 Kentucky Derby has another full field of 20 runners, and bettors are setting their strategies as they review the Derby field and odds.
With so many horses in the field and the potential for a bigger score on exotics, it's best to include a number or runners and consider isolating a few winners as key horses.
Kentucky Derby Best Bets 2022
1. Zandon (3/1)
Favorite bettors will include Zandon, the morning line favorite for the Derby. Ridden by jockey Flavien Prat, the Chad Brown-trained colt scored an impressive off-the-pace win in the Blue Grass in his final Derby prep. He turned the tables on Smile Happy, and now needs to show he can chase down Epicenter, who beat Zandon in the Risen Star in February. Zandon's improvement combined with proven Derby speed parameters and a strong late pace figure makes him one to include. Zandon meets proven Derby history BRIS speed criteria, including a 100+ Late Pace Figure, according to Horse Racing Nation (HRN). His final workout over the Churchill Down track was solid with a snappy final quarter mile in 24.14 seconds. “He’s a machine, this horse,” Brown said. “Super smooth."
2. Mo Donegal (10/1)
This Todd Pletcher-trained colt drew the rail, but he can shine at favorable odds and track down the faster projected fractions. Top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides this son of Uncle Mo. Over the past 30 editions of the Kentucky Derby, HRN reports that only one horse scored a higher BRIS Late Pace figure (123) than what Mo Donegal submitted in winning his final Derby prep in the Wood Memorial. His final BRIS Speed Figure of 111 is the best by any Kentucky Derby starter.
3. White Abarrio (10/1)
Guess who beat Mo Donegal by 4 1/2 lengths in the Holy Bull Stakes in February? White Abarrio, who came back to win the Florida Derby with strong, underrated jockey Tyler Gaffalione riding for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. He'll be sitting just off the pace leaders, and hopefully takes to the track without a workout at Churchill Downs.