The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is coming up Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs! The 1 1/4-mile race is the best betting race of the year: its field of 20 horses is the biggest in America all year long. And, the purse is just as big: $3 million! The winner gets the majority of the purse, as well as the iconic blanket of roses and a spot in racing history.
Betting the Kentucky Derby Online
When betting the Kentucky Derby online, take advantage of the offers and promotions that the best online sportsbooks have to offer. It is best to sign up for multiple sportsbooks: you can keep track of all the latest Kentucky Derby Vegas odds, and place your bets at the best prices. All Vegas odds are updated regularly by the best horse racing betting sites!
This is the official field for the 2022 Kentucky Derby including post positions, trainers, and jockeys:
Two horses entered on the also-eligible list, Rich Strike and Rattle N Roll. They draw in if one or two horses ahead of them, respectively, scratch before 9:00 a.m. EDT on Friday. If someone scratches after local betting begins at that time Friday, then an also-eligible does not draw in to take his place.
Posts close to the rail are considered poor due to difficult traffic inside of such a large field. Far-outside postpositions also cause trouble due to ground loss from a wide trip. The best post positions are the moderately inside to middle post positions, from about 4 through 10. Those give the horses the best chance to get a shot without losing too much ground.
These are the 2022 Kentucky Derby betting odds at the top online sportsbooks:
The most interesting of the market leaders in Epicenter. He has done nothing wrong in four points races in Louisiana and showed a tactical dimension when he won the Louisiana Derby (G2). He is holding his form well as the distances get longer, and should be able to get the kind of in-range trip that succeeds in the Kentucky Derby.
Zandon, named the morning line favorite but the second choice in most Vegas markets, is coming to the race in good form off of a convincing Blue Grass (G1) score. However, the Blue Grass has not been the most live Kentucky Derby prep lately, even after Keeneland’s switch back to dirt. His closing style also raises some questions, though he was able to sit closer early in his career.
Taiba cedes experience to several of his opponents. However, he won the perennially live Santa Anita Derby (G1), and both of his races have come back extremely fast. Taiba gets the riding services of Kentucky Derby veteran and big-race jockey Mike Smith, and it would be no surprise if he overcomes his lack of experience to run well in Louisville.
The best bet in the 2022 Kentucky Derby is Cyberknife. He took a bit longer than some of the other Derby prospects to come together but won the classy Arkansas Derby (G1) with authority. He has the tactical speed to carve out a good Derby trip, as well as strong Churchill Downs form early in his career.
His connections, trainer Brad Cox, and jockey Florent Geroux have been strong in the biggest races in recent years. This may be the year they add a Derby to their list of achievements.
Japanese horses have dominated the best international racing meets over the last year, and Crown Pride could make a strong statement in the Kentucky Derby. He has already proven he can ship, with a win in the UAE Derby (G2). He should get a good trip from a great post draw, and his pedigree is excellent for the Classic distance.
Though Barber Road has yet to win a stakes race, he has hit the board in stakes company five times, including in all four points races at Oaklawn. With consistency and pace versatility, he should have options for where to drop in. Though it would take a surprisingly good effort for Barber Road to win, it would be no surprise if he is the huge longshot who hits the board underneath.
When picking a Kentucky Derby winner, it is worth considering recent history and trends. Modern Kentucky Derby winners almost always win or finish second in their final prep race. And, the most live final prep races include the Florida Derby (G1), Arkansas Derby (G1), and Santa Anita Derby (G1). The Louisiana Derby (G1) has also made an improved showing in the last few years.
The winner doesn’t have to be the betting favorite, but the betting favorite usually does well: in every year since the point system began in 2013, the favorite has found the superfecta. But, the favorite has not won in the last three years, meaning that it is logical to bet a price horse to win if you really like them!
As for longshots, even ones who do not win their final preps often hit the board, so you can bet them across the board and use them in exotic wagers like trifectas and superfectas.
The Kentucky Derby superfecta is a bet that usually pays off big. The Kentucky Derby handicapper selects the top four horses. That can be difficult in a twenty-horse field, but huge payoffs make it worth a large investment. Playing a box is more expensive than playing it straight, but ensures you hit if the longshot you like spices up the payout.
A more cost-effective way is to play a key. Choose a horse you really like to hit the board, and then play a group of horses in the other positions.
To hit the Kentucky Derby trifecta, you select the top three horses. You can play it straight, or you can box them in order to win if they finish in any order.
In this instance, the Kentucky Derby handicapper is betting that shorter-priced Zandon, who could do well but has some questions surrounding him, won’t hit the board but some logical longshots will.
In this Kentucky Derby trifecta key, the Kentucky Derby Handicapper allows for Zandon to hit the board, but you get more bang for your buck by keying on top choice Cyberknife and including a few longer prices.
For 10 years, Rowan Ward has been handicapping and betting horses in Chicago. For almost as long, they has also been writing about horse racing. They are aware that the best handicapping approaches for a given race rely on a variety of variables, but they frequently discover that the proverb "the pace makes the race" can yield profitable betting opportunities. Local Chicago races, national stakes races, and two-year-old maiden races with intriguing pedigrees are some of their favorite events to handicap.