At times as horseplayers, we get caught up in odds. We’re always looking for value. Or, what’s worse, we talk ourselves off a horse with a chance because the odds are too high and, therefore, well, if the horse offers such high odds, it can’t win can it? The great thing about the Kentucky Derby is that no matter who you choose to win the race, the odds are going to be fair. With 20 horses in a horse race, even the favorite is destined to offer at least 5-to-2. Check out the top four picks for this year’s Kentucky Derby. We’ve thrown Kentucky Derby Odds out the window and have handicapped and chosen our picks based only on past performances.
Forget The Kentucky Betting Odds, Which Horse Will Win The Run for the Roses?
2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
- TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock
Top Pick: 12-Taiba
Mo Donegal might be a better key horse if you’re playing exotics, but if you’re looking for the winner, it will be difficult for you to look past Taiba.
Taiba ran faster winning the Santa Anita Derby than any of his competitors did winning their preps and it doesn’t matter which speed rating you prefer, Brisnet or Beyer figures.
Not only that, but Taiba ran fast winning his maiden and improved winning the SA Derby. Another improvement means Taiba leaves his competition in the dust.
Second Pick: 1-Mo Donegal
Again, Mo Donegal could be the best key horse because he should finish no worse than third in this race. You can play a trifecta with Mo in all three slots and feel comfortable that if you’ve chosen the right ponies to surround Mo, you’ll cash.
But although Mo Donegal is a better key horse, he’s not a better win pick than Taiba. The reason? Mo is a closer and if Taiba is a rockstar horse, Taiba has certainly raced like one in two events, then no matter how fast Mo closes, he won’t catch Taiba.
Third Pick: 6-Messier
Messier ran great in the Santa Anita Derby. But the blinker wearing son of Empire Maker ran soft enough fractions that he should have scooted away from Taiba.
It’s difficult to see how much more Messier can improve. He appears to be a one-paced sort. That worked for Medina Spirit last year until Churchill Downs took away the Bob Baffert runner’s Derby win.
Unless Taiba falters, or Mo doesn’t put in a run, Messier should finish no better than third.
Fourth Pick: 10-Zandon
The morning line chalk can win the Derby. Even forgetting odds, though, he’s a bad bet to put on top. First, we must question Zandon’s breeding.
Unlike Taiba, whose sire Gun Runner charges $125,000 to cover a mare, you can breed your mare with Zandon’s sire Upstart for a paltry $10,000.
Also, no knock against Zandon’s Blue Grass performance, he won the race and did his job, but he beat Smile Happy and Emmanuel. Neither one of those horses should stand in the same room with Mo Donegal, Taiba, or Messier.
Again, Zandon isn’t a bad win bet because he’s the morning line chalk. He’s a bad win bet because he faces classier foes, Mo Donegal’s sire is Uncle Mo and Messier’s sire is Empire Maker, and because Zandon beat a bunch of mediocre horses in the Blue Grass.