Kentucky Derby Picks

It’s the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby and this year’s Run for the Roses looks to be one of the most open races in recent history. After last year’s race and the disqualification of Medina Spirit, this year promises to crown a true champion.

While we have plenty of Kentucky Derby picks found below, Joe Fortenbaugh has also provided us with his Kentucky Derby prediction.

This is the first leg of the Triple Crown and we may see a horse emerge from the Derby and shoot himself to greatness by following up in the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes.

For even more horse racing betting options, see our Kentucky Derby props page.

Be sure to see our Kentucky Derby odds page for further in-depth analysis.

Betting Odds To Win The Kentucky Derby
HorseOdds
Epicenter+300
Taiba+550
Zandon+600
Messier+600
Mo Donegal+1100
White Abarrio+1200
Charge It+1200
Smile Happy+1600
Cyberknife+1600
Crown Pride+1600

Odds as of May 7 at Bovada

Kentucky Derby Picks - Best Bets

The main question is how to wager on this year’s Kentucky Derby and what are the best types of wagers and bets?

To Win

Zandon +600 looks to be worth a play for a straight win and he is currently showing at around the 6/1 mark, which looks very fair.

Win, Place & Show

A win, place & show bet is picking a horse that might hit the board at a price worth a $6 investment if you are playing for fun. The one we like at those bigger odds is Mo Donegal.

Bet On The Kentucky Derby

Exotics

Exotics can pay big dividends for small stakes, especially in the Kentucky Derby. As an example, last year saw some great returns for players.

  • The Exacta in last year’s Kentucky Derby paid $503.60 for a $2 ticket.
  • The Trifecta in last year’s Kentucky Derby paid $848.45 for a $0.50 ticket.
  • The Superfecta in last year’s Kentucky Derby paid $9,456.40 for a $1 ticket.

And last year’s Kentucky Derby saw a $1.00 Super High Five return a life-changing $296,769.60.

So whoever you pick, we wish you the best of luck with your wagers.

When Is The Kentucky Derby?

The 2022 Kentucky Derby meet starts from 2:30 p.m. ET and runs to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The big race post time is 6:57 p.m. ET so expect the race to end around 7 p.m. ET. 

As the saying goes… ”The most exciting two minutes in sport.”

But who are the horse contenders? Let’s look at the Kentucky Derby Trials and the Kentucky Derby Odds for some of these horses.

Kentucky Derby Trials

The trials for the three-year-olds have seen some spectacular performances and we want to run you through our Kentucky Derby picks and give you some ideas of what to look for.

We are expecting a bumper field of 20 come post time on Saturday, May 7. So let’s look at some of the key trials and how they unfolded.

2022 Louisiana Derby

Epicenter +300 (3/1)

Epicenter has been all the rage for the race since his easy win in the Louisiana Derby where he was a slow starter but stalked the early pace and was traveling oh so comfortably down the backstretch.

He looked in complete control and when he moved three lanes wide at the five-sixteenths pole (550 yards from the finish) and then shifted out deep while ranging up well on the turn into the homestretch, the writing was on the wall for his foes.

He forged ahead at the three-sixteenths pole (330 yards from the finish) and showed his clear authority over his foes and kicked away while shifting inwardly but was wrapped up (winning easily) approaching the wire.

This was the win that cemented his position at the top of the market for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

He looks to have all the boxes ticked going into the big one, and it will take a good performance to stop him from being showered with the garland of roses in the winner’s enclosure.

2022 Florida Derby

White Abarrio +1200 (12/1)

One horse that you will not mistake on Derby Day is the flying gray White Abarrio.

In the Florida Derby, he was dropped in and jockey Tyler Gaffalione seemed very happy to have him settled off the early pace set by Classic Causeway, who gave way exiting the far turn.

Best Kentucky Derby Sites

White Abarrio remained in close touch outside down the backstretch, making his move four-wide around the far turn and gained command nearing the eighth pole (furlong marker). He was driven clear at this point and toughed it out bravely and held safe to beat the fast-finishing Charge It.

This son of Race Day has now won four of five starts.

2022 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Zandon +600 (6/1)

Zandon has to go down as one of the most impressive recent trials winners.

In the above race, he settled off of the pace three to two wide and between horses around the first turn, rated kindly down the backstretch before trailing passing the half-mile pole.

He picked up stride around the far turn, split foes three-wide at the five-sixteenths pole, bumped an outer Trademark while tipping outside of the leading pair in upper stretch, sustained his charge to reach those foes passing the furlong pole, and drew clear.

This performance by Zandon got our resident expert very excited and he feels this horse could be the biggest danger to the favorite.

Kentucky Derby Long Shots

So we have taken a look at some of the more fancied runners in the race, but what about those of you who will just be having a fun bet on the race?

Well, we have selected another three horses from the trials who at bigger odds look to be in with a chance.

2022 Wood Memorial

Mo Donegal +1100 (11/1) 

We’ve liked the look of Mo Donegal for a while now and his late closing and rallying style will be well suited to the super-fast pace they will go in the Kentucky Derby.

In the Wood Memorial, Mo Donegal broke near the back while carried in a bit. He settled while inside to the two path, was roused in the two path early on the far turn, gained while cutting the corner into the stretch, moved out while rallying into the final furlong and closed strongly to get up late and prevail.

He is one of those colts who is not flashy but has a great attitude, which will be a big bonus in a fast-run race with a big field of 20 runners.

2022 Run Happy Santa Anita Derby

Messier +600 (6/1)

Messier was beaten in this trial by Taiba but may have gone for the wire a little too soon and should not be discounted. He still ran green but raced up close between rivals into the first turn, then stalked the leader leaving the bend, bid from outside at the three-eighths pole, took over approaching the quarter pole, went past Forbidden Kingdom leaving the turn and crossed to the inside, led clear into the final furlong, challenged by Taiba outside the sixteenth pole and yielded to that rival while clearly second best. 

See Odds Shark’s Best Horse Racing Sites

With different tactics, he could make a bold bid for glory in the Run for the Roses.

2022 Arkansas Derby

Cyberknife +2200 (22/1)

This win really made the experts sit up and take notice as Cyberknife lived up to his name, slicing through his rivals like a hot knife through butter.

He unseated his rider in the post parade, he broke in to tighten up inner foes, prominent past the wire the first time, allowed the trio of leaders to go through the first turn, moved closer under light restraint late on the backstretch. He then challenged between horses, gained command midway on the final turn, clear into the lane, and maintained a consistent daylight advantage in the final furlong while under brisk handling. 

His win was visually impressive and the improvement he has shown from two to three years old shows he is a much more mature horse and one that should not be taken lightly.