2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds, Analysis, Picks: Our Top 10 Contenders for Saturday’s Triple Crown Race

2022 Kentucky Derby Betting Odds, Analysis, Picks: Our Top 10 Contenders for Saturday’s Triple Crown Race article feature image

Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky Derby hopeful Epicenter, right, works out in company at Churchill Downs.

Finally, we have our field, odds and post positions set for Saturday's 148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Lexington, Ky.

Everything was set Monday afternoon when the 20-horse lineup was officially put into place. And when it was all said and done, Zandon was drawn in the No. 10 post and was tabbed the morning-line favorite at 3-1 odds.

Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia put Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby champion Epicenter next at 7-2 odds, followed by Santa Anita Derby runner-up Messier at 8-1 odds.

The Derby, which will feature 20 of the top 3-year-old horses in the world, will be run on the dirt at 1 1/4 miles, is the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

Post time is set for 6:57 p.m. ET, with TV coverage running from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Earlier races from Churchill Downs will air on USA Network from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET as well.

Action Network handicapper Jeremy Pond and TVG analyst Andie Biancone have take a quick look at the field and dropped their Top 10 contenders leading up to the "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports," with another Derby champion ready be crowned at Churchill Downs.

The duo will provide more detailed insights and thoughts throughout the week leading up to the race, so stay tuned for more information from our analysts.

That said, let's take a look at their respective rankings heading toward the annual "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs.

Our Top 10 Derby Contenders

*Post position & current odds included 

Andie Biancone

No. 10 Zandon (3-1)

Analysis: This horse really impressed me since the day he won the Blue Grass Stakes. The race hardly took anything out of him and the jockey Flavien Prat could barely pull him up in the gallop out.

No. 3 Epicenter (7-2)

Analysis: Epicenter has impressed me all along the Derby trail. I have always seen him as a standout physically when compared to the others.

No. 1 Mo Donegal (10-1)

Analysis: Mo Donegal seems to get better with distance. He has all the experience and remained on a consistent trend of improvement.

No. 16 Cyberknife (20-1)

Analysis: This colt is one who seems to be approaching his peak as Derby nears. Cyberknife seems to have developed a lot physically and mentally over the past few months.

No. 12 Taiba (12-1)

Analysis: This will be a big step up for Taiba, but he has been so solid in his past performances, so you simply have to include him in the mix.

No. 8 Charge It (20-1)

Analysis: If Charge It managed to develop off his Florida Derby effort to this race, he will be a serious contender. Since his debut, he was my favorite of the potential derby horses from the trainer Todd Pletcher's brigade.

No. 15 White Abarrio (10-1)

Analysis: White Abarrio deserves more credit than he’s receiving. This horse has won four of his five starts, including the Grade 1 Florida Derby and has never finished worse than third in his career.

No. 5 Smile Happy (20-1)

Analysis: Love this horse’s steady trend of improvement. He's also extremely consistent. Physically, I liked him a lot when i saw him at Keeneland before the Blue Grass Stakes.

No. 18 Tawny Port (30-1)

Analysis: This will be a step up for Tawny Port, but I'm hoping he gained some confidence from his win in the Lexington Stakes.

No. 6 Messier (8-1)

Analysis: This horse has been very consistent throughout his past performances, so he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Jeremy Pond

No. 10 Zandon (3-1)

Analysis: If this Derby was run today, the morning-line favorite would be my top pick after his beautiful run going away in the Blue Grass Stakes.

No. 5 Smile Happy (20-1)

Analysis: The son of Runhappy, who is part of my Derby Futures plays, could be sitting on a massive race at solid odds after finishing a game second to Zandon in the Blue Grass at Keeneland Race Course.

No. 8 Charge It (20-1)

Analysis: Meet the "wise-guy" horse of the field. I fully expect to see the Florida Derby runner-up to go off at close to half these odds when they leave the starting gate.

No. 3 Epicenter (7-2)

Analysis: Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has maybe his best shot at winning the race that has eluded him during his illustrious career via the Louisiana Derby winner.

No. 12 Taiba (12-1)

Analysis: The Santa Anita Derby winner ran off late in the six-horse field, which included fellow entrant Messier. Beware…

No. 14 Barber Road (30-1)

Analysis: The 3-year-old colt finished second in the Arkansas Derby and Southwest Stakes (plus a third-place effort in the Rebel Stakes sandwiched between), so expect him to be in the mix coming down the stretch.

No. 9 Tiz The Bomb (30-1)

Analysis: Another "veteran" contender and one of the Derby futures plays, the son of Tiznow is fresh off back-to-back stakes wins at Turfway Park. Sneaky longshot for trainer Kenny McPeek.

No. 1 Mo Donegal (10-1)

Analysis: The Wood Memorial champion, who looked fantastic booking his spot in the field, gets Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. Ortiz Jr. has never won the Derby, but  captured the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Eclipse award for top jockey and is arguably the top rider in the sport.

No. 7 Crown Pride (20-1)

Analysis: A win for the Japanese horse, who took down the UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse last time out, would continue the recent success Asian horses have had as of late stateside. Interesting invader.

No. 16 Cyberknife (20-1)

Analysis: The Brad Cox charge, who looked good taking down the Arkansas Derby last time out, gets talented jockey Florent Geroux aboard and could be a live overlay at the betting window.

2022 Kentucky Derby Odds

1Mo Donegal10-1
2Happy Jack30-1
4Summer Is Tomorrow30-1
5Smile Happy20-1
7Crown Pride20-1
8Charge It20-1
9Tiz The Bomb30-1
11Pioneer Of Medina30-1
14Barber Road30-1
15White Abarrio10-1
17Classic Causeway30-1
18Tawny Port30-1
20Ethereal Road30-1

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