Only one Kentucky Derby prep race remains. On Saturday, April 16, three-year-olds race in the Grade 3 Lexington in one, final desperate attempt to secure a spot in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. But the Lexington almost never produces a true Derby contender, which is why we’re confident no matter which horse wins the Lexington, the equine won’t show up as one of the favorites to take the Derby. Check out updated Kentucky Derby Betting Odds and picks for the favorites and top contenders to win this year’s Run for the Roses.
Kentucky Derby Contenders Odds & Favorites to Win the Run for the Roses
2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
- TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock
Favorite: Epicenter +600
The Louisiana Derby victory was fantastic. Not only that, but Steve Asmussen’s runner gets an extra week of rest because he ran in the LA Derby and not in this past Saturday’s Derby preps.
Still, the Louisiana Derby has produced a single Derby winner, Grindstone, and that was back in the early 1990s. Pass on the Asmussen runner because the profile doesn’t scream roses.
Top Contender: Zandon +1000
It’s impossible to find fault with this Chad Brown trained contender. Zandon easily handled his competition in the Bluegrass Stakes. He could have run much faster.
He should in the Kentucky Derby. Only Taiba has the same turn of foot that Zandon possesses. Give the Upstart sired runner a massive shot to wear the roses.
Second Choice Contender: Taiba +1000
If he had more seasoning, he’d be the top pick. But it’s difficult to win the Kentucky Derby with just 2 lifetime races. Horses react differently when going from 1 1/8 miles to 1 ¼. Some start breathing fire and decide to fight through it.
Others give up. Because we don’t know how Taiba will react, it’s tough to place him ahead of Zandon. However, he’s got talent for days and easily beat our third choice, Messier. So there’s that.
Third Choice Contender: Messier +1200
He’s worth a long look to get it done, but, he should have held off Taiba in the stretch when finishing second to that stablemate in the San Anita Derby. The Beyer figure came back big.
Beyers tend to mean something on Derby Day. But Messier, like Taiba, must run for Tim Yakteen a second time. So it’s difficult to know if the terrific SA Derby performance was lingering training from Bob Baffert or if Yakteen had anything to do with it.
Messier doesn’t have the turn of foot that either Taiba or Zandon possess. So he may be a better play to win the Belmont or Preakness where he can extend his speed after grabbing a lead before the turn.
In any case, the Empire Maker sired equine is worth a look. Also, the odds make Messier more than playable.
Fourth Choice Contender: Charge It +1200
The Todd Pletcher trained runner ran greenly in the Florida Derby stretch. If he hadn’t, he would have held off White Abbario for the win.
The Tapit sired colt is talented enough to win the Kentucky Derby for sure. But its tough to place him on top because, yeah, the Derby isn’t the race where you want to learn how to run in a straight path.
Who knows, though? If any trainer can get a horse to learn a skill like running straight in between a prep and the Kentucky Derby, it’s Todd Pletcher. So keep this one on your radar leading up to the big race.