The Saturday, the best three-year-old horses in the world step into the starting gate for the annual Kentucky Derby. Chad Brown trained Zandon is the morning line chalk. Check out a prediction of how the race will run as well as our top four choices.
2022 Kentucky Derby Event Info
- When: Saturday, May 7, 2022
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
- TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock
READ MORE: 2022 Kentucky Derby Sleeper Picks
How will the 2022 Kentucky Derby occur?
Messier, Classic Causeway, and Zozos should ensure a quick pace. Taiba and Epicenter will track the three leaders. The two best closers in the race, Mo Donegal and Zandon, should be about 6 to 7 lengths off at the half-mile pole.
As they turn for home Epicenter and Taiba will engage in a duel while Mo Donegal and Zandon make their runs. Taiba will put away Epicenter, Mo Donegal will run on for second, Epicenter will hang on for third about a neck ahead of the on-rushing Zandon.
To Win: 12-Taiba
Only two horses have won the Kentucky Derby after a two lifetime races. The first was Apollo in 1882. The second was Justify in 2018. Justify was talented enough to win the Triple Crown. Taiba might be more talented. The son of Gun Runner has done nothing wrong. His mind is as sharp as American Pharoah’s when that one took the Derby and Triple Crown in 2015. Yes, Taiba has a lot going against him. But at the expected odds, he’s impossible not to back to win the Roses.
Second: 1-Mo Donegal
The Grade 2 Wood Memorial winner should get a cozy spot right out of the gate. Based on Brisnet speed ratings, he’s the fastest equine in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Beyer speed ratings imply he must improve to hit the board.
Improvement is expected. More importantly, Mo can save ground while it will be tough for Zandon, the other talented closer in this race, to save any ground. The Todd Pletcher trainee will make a big run. If Taiba faulters, Mo Donegal will be there to grab the roses.
Based on pure talent, Epicenter has a massive chance to win the Kentucky Derby. But only a single Louisiana Derby winner, Grindstone in 1997, has ever won the Run for the Roses. Also, this field is much, much deeper than what he beat at the Fair Grounds. Again, Epicenter is talented enough to win the Kentucky Derby. But at the expected odds, he’s a play against for the top spot.
The morning line chalk looked like a potential Triple Crown winner when blowing by the field in the Blue Grass Stakes. No doubt, Zandon will show up and run his race. The problem is that unlike Mo Donegal, Zandon must break, find position and then desperately try to save ground. In other words, Mo will get a perfect trip while jockey Flavien Prat aboard Zandon must make his horse’s trip. That doesn’t mean Zandon can’t win the Derby. If you’re playing exotics he’s a must use. But if you’re just looking for the winner, going against Zandon makes a ton of sense.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.
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