The Kentucky Derby favorite always gets a lot of attention, but as spectators and bettors anxiously await a return to normal in this year’s event, odds at the top of the field are spread amongst a herd of legitimate contenders.
Zandon (4-1) is running front and center out of the #10 post, making him a top target for exotic wagers and chalk bettors. He’s earned +$663.5K in non-restricted stake earnings!
Kentucky Derby Favorite
The 2022 Kentucky Derby favorite is Zandon (4-1), but perhaps for this edition of the Kentucky Derby, favorite should actually be plural. Epicenter (5-1) is right there at the top, and although the price on this Steve Asmussen product has slipped from 7-2, it’s thanks more in part to the top 10 horses catching bettors’ attention.
No 6. Messier is fetching 8-1 numbers but there is a swirling cloud of controversy surrounding the colt’s former trainer Bob Baffert (below), who is essentially banned from Churchill Downs. The now infamous Baffert has won a record-tying six Kentucky Derby’s, but his would-be seventh win last year with Medina Spirit, who later failed a drug test, triggered a two-year suspension for Baffert.
No. 12 Taiba (7-1) was also trained by Baffert. Tim Yakteen takes over and Yakteen, a former Baffert assistant, becomes this year’s “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” poster child. Taiba has a Kentucky Derby Leaderboard rank of #8 with 100 total points, and has seen a lot of line movement on odds to win.
Neither of the Baffert-Yakteen colts will be a Kentucky Derby favorite this year, but bettors cannot look past their potential to challenge for the money. Note that Messier, in six races, has yet to finish any worse than second place (3-3-0).
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Top 10 Horses at 148th Kentucky Derby
After Zandon, Epicenter and Messier, Derby bettors will want to turn their attention to Mo Donegal at odds of 10-1. Mo Donegal is running along the rail and although eight horses have won from the No. 1 gate all-time, the most recent was in 1986 (Ferdinand). Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, this colt is known for its closing speed and gets the chance of a clean trip. Mo Donegal can also be slow out of the gate unfortunately, and with a pack this large, closing speed could be wasted.
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Also getting a nice payback on odds to win the Kentucky Derby, No. 15 White Abarrio could do well in a stalking trip. White Abarrio has never finished out of the money and ranks third on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 122 qualifying points.
The Kentucky Derby Leaderboard is based on points earned during prep races along the Road to the Derby trail, and non-restricted stakes earnings.
When you consider that Epicenter (164) and Zandon (114) — the Kentucky Derby favorite — are the only two horses ranking higher than White Abarrio, you can see the value.
Charge It (20-1), Simplification (20-1), Smile Happy (20-1) and Cyberknife (20-1) round out my Top 10 and spoiler alert, I rank one of these four as a longshot that could set up nicely in your Kentucky Derby Trifecta or Kentucky Derby Superfecta exotic betting.
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148th Kentucky Derby Odds (2022) – Derby Favorites Today
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