2022 Kentucky Derby Odds and Best Bets

Mo Donegal during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

The 148th Kentucky Derby is ready to roll this Saturday at 06:57 PM EDT at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Though we have a couple of solid favorites, nobody is saying these are the only two horses that can win. Let’s start our discussion by looking at horses and post positions they will start from.

  • 1. Mo Donegal (10-1)
  • 2. Happy Jack (30-1)
  • 3. Epicenter (7-2)
  • 4. Summer Is Tomorrow (30-1)
  • 5. Smile Happy (20-1)
  • 6. Messier (8-1)
  • 7. Crown Pride (20-1)
  • 8. Charge It (20-1)
  • 9. Tiz The Bomb (30-1)
  • 10. Zandon (3-1)
  • 11. Pioneer Of Medina (30-1)
  • 12. Taiba (12-1)
  • 13. Simplification (20-1)
  • 14. Barber Road (30-1)
  • 15. White Abarrio (10-1)
  • 16. Cyberknife (20-1)
  • 17. Classic Causeway (30-1)
  • 18. Tawny Port (30-1)
  • 19. Zozos (20-1)
  • 20. Ethereal Road (30-1)

Next, let’s break this down in racing terms and consider how to beat the betting odds.

What Is the Top 5 of the Kentucky Derby 2022

Epicenter is the horse to beat in most horse bettor’s minds. He is trained by the winningest trainer in thoroughbred racing, Steve Asmussen.

Epicenter is known for his tactical speed, which he used to win the Louisiana Derby. Asmussen has tried to win this race 15 times and has never found the winner’s circle. He also has not had a horse like this one.

With Zandon running last in the Blue Grass Stakes, nobody was sure what was going on.

Then we learned. Jockey Flavien Prat asked him to go and he did, racing to the lead and winning by an impressive two lengths.

Zandon is the other top choice for horse bettors and four-time Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown (top trainer) is confident he has the horse to end his 0-15 Derby experience.

Thoughts vary on Messier, after his odd Santa Anita Derby, where he looked sluggish for most of the race, charged hard to take the lead but seemed spent, and was passed by stablemate and Derby participant Taiba.

That soured a lot of bettors on the #6 horse, but others are looking at the broader picture of three wins and three places in six starts.

Though not a true favorite, Florida Derby winner White Abarrio has the right running style to win at Churchill.

White Abarrio has four victories in five starts, but those all came at Gulfstream. Nonetheless, plenty to like #15 in this race and he’s running out of a spot in the gate that has produced three winners since 2013.

For the win, Epicenter or Zandon could easily fit the top of your ticket or in an exact box. If you are thinking trifecta, having #3 or #10 at the top and filling in with #8 or #15 is not a bad way to make horse racing picks.


  • 10-3-15 (WPS)
  • 3-10-6
  • 15-6-10 or 3

For Those More Adventurous

Now we adventure further down the betting odds sheet and start looking at a few long-shots and possibly superfectas.

There is a trio of current 20-1 shots that horseplayers like and dislike for various reasons. We’ll start with Charge It, which has fewer detractors and came in second in the Florida Derby.

Most sharp bettors saw a horse that was at times hesitant in different situations and could have won with more experience. Will it be a lesson learned for Charge It?

Smile Happy will come out of the popular 5th gate which has produced the most win and place finishes. He was leading in the Blue Grass before being run down by Zandon.

With two wins and two 2nd’s in four tries, he has his followers, however, rumors persist his training has been average at best since.

Simplification was 3rd in the Florida Derby and briefly held the lead before being passed by better horses on that day.

He normally prefers to be in a stalking position and make a move as he did in the Fountain of Youth (winner) and see if he can hold on.

If he’s back in the pack after five furlongs, Simplification probably does not have enough speed or stamina to run hard in the final five furlongs.

Top Longshots

  •  8
  • 5
  • 13

50 Cent Superfecta

  • 10
  • 3 with 3
  • 5
  • 6
  • 8
  • 10
  • 15 and 1
  • 3
  • 5
  • 6
  • 8
  • 10
  • 15

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