Favorites have raced well at the Kentucky Derby in recent years. But because Bob Baffert is banned from racing at Churchill Downs, this year’s Kentucky Derby could produce an overlay winner. Right now, prices on the MyBookie site are all over the place. Check out Kentucky Derby odds and Horse Racing Betting predictions a couple of months from 2022’s first Triple Crown race.
Updated 2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds and Predictions | March 9th Edition
2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
2022 Kentucky Derby Odds
- Corniche +1200
- Messier +1200
- Epicenter +1200
- Smile Happy +1600
- Forbidden Kingdom +1600
- Simplification +1600
- Classic Causeway +1600
- ZOZOS +1600
- Morello +1600
- Early Voting +2000
- White Abbario +2000
- Pinehurst +2000
- Zandon +2000
- Charge It +2000
- Mo Donegal +2200
- Emmanuel +2500
- My Prankster +2500
- In Due Time +2500
- Rattle N Roll +3000
- New Grange +3300
- Echo Zulu +3300
- Slow Down Andy +3300
- Commandperformance +3300
- Rocket Dawg +3300
- Dean’s List +3300
- Un Ojo +3300
Don’t bet on any Bob Baffert trained runners
Before getting to the picks, it’s important to note that even if they lift the ban on Baffert’s horses, they may or may not qualify for the Run for the Roses.
Churchill Downs hasn’t handed out points to Baffert 3-year-olds even when they finish in the top four, which means even if the ban is lifted, Corniche may not qualify to run in the Kentucky Derby.
So don’t bet on any Baffert trained horse. Truth be told, they haven’t performed as well as many thought they would. So the +1200 on Corniche and Messier qualify as underlay odds.
Top Pick: Simplification +1600
Epicenter is superfast and calls Not This Time his sire just like Simplification. The difference is that Epicenter is a confirmed front runner who won’t have much shot against Forbidden Kingdom, our second choice.
Simplification went 6-wide along the backstretch in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Not only that, but he closed against an over 48 seconds half-mile, which means the Antonio Sano runner not only went wide, but also chased slow fractions on his way to an easy victory.
Simplification’s turn of foot is breathtaking. Right now, he’s much, much better than the +1600 odds indicate.
Second Best: Forbidden Kingdom +1600
If Richard Mandella had a better record running Kentucky Derby horses, Forbidden Kingdom might be the choice. But Mandella doesn’t often get them ready for the Run for the Roses.
Still, the way this one dominated one of Baffert’s top 3-year-olds, Doppelganger, when winning the San Felipe Stakes is reason to believe he could be a freak. He’s super-fast early, but he doesn’t waste action, meaning Forbidden Kingdom doesn’t tire himself out.
If Mandella teaches this one to rate, he’ll be tough. In the Derby, Forbidden Kingdom should have no trouble cruising along and then grabbing the lead at the top of the stretch. Then, it should be whether he can get to the wire before Simplification catches him.
Third Choice Based on Odds: Morello +1600
Epicenter’s trainer, Steve Asmussen, also puts the saddle on Morello. Of the two, Morello is the better choice. Sired by Classic Empire, the Gotham Stakes winner should have no trouble running and winning up to 1 ½ miles.
In the Gotham, Morello tracked pacesetter Dean’s List before switching leads and taking over in the stretch. When looking for Kentucky Derby winners, especially early on, we want to find horses like Morello which have a high-cruising speed and then switches leads easily.
So if you don’t believe Mandella teaches Forbidden Kingdom how to rate, and you don’t have faith that Sano can get a horse ready to win the Derby, consider backing the Gotham winner.