The 2022 Kentucky Derby draw is in the books, Churchill Downs morning line maker John Battaglia has set odds and trainers and jockeys have given their two cents. The only thing left to do is handicap Saturday’s Run for the Roses. See below for this year’s top three dark horses and top three longshots running in the Kentucky Derby so you can place your bets against the Kentucky Derby Odds.
Horse Racing Odds and Picks | 2022 Kentucky Derby Dark Horses & Longshots
2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
- TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock
Top 3 Dark Horses
- Top Dark Horse: Mo Donegal +1000
The Todd Pletcher and Wood Memorial winner has the turn of foot required to catch up to speed horses like Messier and Epicenter.
Not only that, but Mo Donegal got post-position 1. In past Derby’s, post-position 1 was the death knell, but not this year. Horses will break from a single starting gate, which means Mo will be three to fourth paths off the rail. The Pletcher runner is dangerous.
- Second Best Dark Horse: Taiba +1200
If the Derby was Taiba’s fifth race instead of his third, he’d be the favorite. Most horseplayers don’t believe an equine can win the Kentucky Derby in just their third lifetime start.
But Taiba is no normal three-year-old. The son of Gun Runner ran past Messier in the Santa Anita Derby like his barn mate was standing still.
Messier should go off around +500 to +600. Taiba could get lost in the betting and go off at around +1500.
- Third Best Dark Horse: Cyberknife +1600
The Brad Cox trained runner put it all together in the Arkansas Derby. If Cyberknife takes another move forward, he can win the Kentucky Derby. Three-year-olds mature at their pace. Trainers can’t force a three-year-old to take a giant leap on Derby Day, which is one of the reasons Cyberknife offers 16-to-1 odds even though he won one of the most prestigious prep races of the year. So if Cyberknife takes a step forward on May 7, watch out.
Top 3 Longshots
- Top Longshot: Charge It +2000
Another trained by Todd Pletcher, Charge It could end up the wise guy choice. The horse looked like he was going to win the Grade 1 Florida Derby by at least 4 lengths.
But the Tapit sired runner raced greenly in the stretch. If Todd has taught Charge It to race in a straight line, the overlay can get it done. The pure talent is there and Charge It is the best bred horse in the race.
- Second Best Longshot: Zozos +2000
There’s a chance Zozos, the second place finisher behind Epicenter in the Louisiana Derby, gets hung out to dry around the first turn. Or the Brad Cox trainee could take the lead out of the gate and wire the field.
Or, and this is a real possibility, Zozos breaks well and ends up tracking Epicenter throughout the entire race. If that happens, Zozos could win the Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses will be Zozo’s fourth lifetime race.
Improvement is expected. So don’t knock this dude’s chances just because he breaks from post 19.
- Third Best Longshot: Pioneer of Medina +3300
Pioneer of Medina is another Todd Pletcher starter. The Pioneer of the Nile sired runner finished second in the Louisiana Derby.
Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby multiple times. This one shows a fantastic work on April 25. So if the others fail, who knows? At 33-to-1 odds, you can do worse than back an American Pharoah half brother trained by one of the greatest in history.