- The Kentucky Derby is coming up on Saturday, May 7, at Churchill Downs
- Zandon (3-1) and Epicenter (7/2) are the morning line favorites
It’s Kentucky Derby week! This Saturday, May 7, will feature 20 3-year-old thoroughbreds lining up for America’s most well-known horse race.
The field is set for the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Zandon will break from post position #10, and he’s the 3-1 morning line favorite. Epicenter, breaking from post #3, is the 7/2 second choice.
This page takes you through the projected field, contenders and favorites along with the latest Kentucky Derby odds.
Up to $300 risk-free bet at TVG for Kentucky Derby
2022 Kentucky Derby odds
The Kentucky Derby field was drawn Monday at Churchill Downs. The draw also included the announcement of morning line odds, which are indications of how bettors may play the race later this week. Zandon and Epicenter are the morning line favorites.
|Post Position||Horse||Morning Line Odds||Trainer||Jockey|
|1||Mo Donegal||10-1||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|2||Happy Jack||30-1||Doug O'Neill||Rafael Bejarano|
|3||Epicenter||7-2||Steve Asmussen||Joel Rosario|
|4||Summer Is Tomorrow||30-1||Bhupat Seemar||Mickael Barzalona|
|5||Smile Happy||20-1||Ken McPeek||Corey Lanerie|
|6||Messier||8-1||Tim Yakteen||John Velazquez|
|7||Crown Pride||20-1||Koichi Shintani||Christophe Lemaire|
|8||Charge It||20-1||Todd Pletcher||Luis Saez|
|9||Tiz The Bomb||30-1||Ken McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr.|
|10||Zandon||3-1||Chad Brown||Flavien Prat|
|11||Pioneer of Medina||30-1||Todd Pletcher||Joe Bravo|
|12||Taiba||12-1||Tim Yakteen||Mike Smith|
|13||Simplification||20-1||Antonio Sano||Jose Ortiz|
|14||Barber Road||30-1||John Ortiz||Reylu Gutierrez|
|15||White Abarrio||10-1||Saffie Joseph Jr.||Tyler Gaffalione|
|16||Cyberknife||20-1||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux|
|17||Classic Causeway||30-1||Brian Lynch||Julien Leparoux|
|18||Tawny Port||30-1||Brad Cox||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|19||Zozos||20-1||Brad Cox||Manuel Franco|
|20||Ethereal Road||30-1||D. Wayne Lukas||Luis Contreras|
|21 (AE)||Rich Strike||30-1||Eric Reed||Sonny Leon|
|22 (AE)||Rattle N Roll||30-1||Ken McPeek||James Graham|
2022 Kentucky Derby favorites
- Last race: Blue Grass Stakes
- Trainer: Chad Brown
- Likely jockey: Flavien Prat
Zandon rallied from way back to win Keeneland’s signature Kentucky Derby prep. He’ll attempt to make history on several fronts at Churchill Downs. Brown, one of the most accomplished trainers in the sport, has never won the Derby, and no Blue Grass winner has won the “Run for the Roses” since Strike the Gold in 1991.
- Last race: Louisiana Derby
- Trainer: Steve Asmussen
- Likely jockey: Joel Rosario
Epicenter won both the Louisiana Derby and Risen Star at Fair Grounds. He’s the likely Kentucky Derby favorite, and could give Asmussen, the winningest trainer in North American horse racing history, his first Derby victory.
White Abarrio (10-1)
- Last race: Florida Derby
- Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.
- Likely jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
White Abarrio has gone 2-for-2 as a 3-year-old, with both of his wins coming at Gulfstream Park. He’s 4-for-4 at that track over the course of his career, and if his Gulfstream form travels to Kentucky, he could have a big chance in the Derby.
Mo Donegal (10-1)
- Last race: Wood Memorial
- Trainer: Todd Pletcher
- Likely jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
After running third behind White Abarrio in the Holy Bull, Mo Donegal was re-routed to New York by his Hall of Fame trainer. He rallied from far back in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct to nail Early Voting in the final strides. His jockey that day, Joel Rosario, is set to ride Epicenter, but Ortiz is a three-time Eclipse Award winner as America’s top rider.
- Last race: Santa Anita Derby
- Trainer: Tim Yakteen (formerly Bob Baffert)
- Likely jockey: Mike Smith
An unraced maiden at the start of March, Taiba has since won two races in a row, including the Santa Anita Derby. The latter victory came after the lightly-raced 3-year-old was moved from Baffert’s barn to that of former Baffert assistant Tim Yakteen (more on that later). If he wins the Derby, he’ll be the first 3-year-old since Leonatus in 1883 to do so with just two starts under his belt.
2022 Kentucky Derby news and notes
- Friday, May 6: Secret Oath, the third-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby behind Kentucky Derby runners Cyberknife and Barber Road, won the Kentucky Oaks. This is the sister race of the Kentucky Derby, for 3-year-old fillies.
- Friday, May 6: Ethereal Road was declared out of the Kentucky Derby. As a result, Rich Strike (horse #21 in the program) will draw into the body of the field.
- Wednesday, May 4: Two horses got in late workouts just 72 hours prior to the Kentucky Derby. Taiba worked three furlongs in :38.40, while Crown Pride drilled four furlongs in :46.60.
- Monday, May 2: Un Ojo, the one-eyed winner of the Rebel Stakes, was not entered in the Kentucky Derby. Ethereal Road moved into the body of the field.
- Friday, April 29: Zandon put forth his final serious workout ahead of the Kentucky Derby. The Blue Grass winner worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Churchill Downs.
- Thursday, April 28: Taiba went to the track for his first workout since capturing the Santa Anita Derby. He drilled six furlongs in 1:12.80 at Santa Anita.
- Monday, April 25: Classic Causeway, whose connections said would bypass the Kentucky Derby, re-entered the field. The Tampa Bay Derby winner will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
- Sunday, April 24: Morello was taken off the Kentucky Derby trail due to a foot issue. The Steve Asmussen trainee won the Gotham Stakes, but finished last in the Wood Memorial.
What do the Kentucky Derby odds mean?
The oddsmaker will consider a number of factors when setting the morning line. Any odds that come out for the Derby in advance of the draw are speculative, but they can serve as a ballpark guide of what to expect.
These odds are not indicative of the oddsmaker’s opinion on each horse. Rather, their purpose is to act as a guess of how the public’s money will be wagered prior to the race.
These odds are not final. You can expect to see shifts in the numbers right up to post time. The more money wagered on a horse, the lower its odds, and vice versa.
2022 Kentucky Derby race facts
There have been 147 runnings of the world’s most famous horse race. Here are some of the key points to know as we get ready for the 2022 Kentucky Derby:
- 2022 location: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
- Distance: 1 ¼ miles
- Age qualifications: 3-year-old colts, geldings, fillies
- 2022 purse: $3 million
- 2022 race date: May 7
- Post time: 6:57 p.m. ET
- Where to watch: NBC
- Fastest time: 1:59.4, Secretariat, 1973
- Most wins by a trainer: Bob Baffert and Ben Jones, six
How to bet on the Kentucky Derby online
You can bet on the Kentucky Derby online or via mobile device in most of the US, but doing so is not legal in every state. The complete list of legal markets is available here. Here are some of the most popular places to get in on the action:
- TVG: The home for live horse racing action on a year-round basis, TVG Racing also offers online horse betting. Simple to sign up for and easy to use, it also features regular promotions, especially when it’s Derby time.
- TwinSpires: Bearing the name of the famed twin spires at Churchill Downs, this is a trusted site that’s popular with the horse racing community. Beyond the Derby and other top events, you can bet on races from across the globe. TwinSpires will also have promos to consider on Derby day.
- NYRA: The New York Racing Association offers online horse betting via NYRA Bets. Available for online and mobile users, NYRA is a year-round destination for plenty of bettors across the nation. Beyond the standard Derby promos, you can also check out the rewards program for regular players.
Types of bets
There are a few main ways to wager on the Kentucky Derby. You can stick to picking winners, bet on which horses you think will hit the board or put together some exotic wagers for a chance at greater returns. Here’s a quick run-through of the top options:
- Win: Pick the horse that you think will win the race.
- Place: A bet on a horse to finish in first or second.
- Show: Wager on a horse to finish in at least third place.
- Exacta: A wager on the top two finishers in the race.
- Trifecta: Pick the top three finishers.
- Superfecta: Bet on the top four finishers.
- Super high five: Take your chances on picking the top five horses.
The win, place and show bets are your standard wagers. You can place these individually, but you can also combine your selections, such as a win and place, a place and show, or a win/place/show for your selected horse.
The remaining bets are exotics. They can be difficult to win consistently, but the payouts can be significant for small outlays. On the most basic level, you need to choose the correct order for your horses to finish in, but you can also make boxed selections to finish in any order, or wheeled to cover a number of bases.
The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only race that day at Churchill Downs. If you like a horse in an earlier or later race, you can play wagers such as the double, Pick Three, Pick Four, Pick Five, or Pick SixWhat goes into the lines for the Kentucky Derby?
Once the field is set for the Derby, there will be a draw to determine post position for all participants in the race. The morning line odds for all entrants will come out several days in advance. The oddsmakers will consider a number of factors when setting the lines, such as the following:
- Performance in qualifying races.
- Public interest and expected wagering action.
- Pedigree, jockey, trainer, stable and other ancillary factors.
Any odds that come out for the Derby in advance of the draw are speculative, but they can serve as a ballpark guide of what to expect. After the lines are out, it’s time for bettors to digest and make their guesses. You can expect to see shifts in the numbers right up to post time.
Prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby
Each prep race on the road to the Kentucky Derby awards points to the top four finishers. The top 20 horses clinch spots in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Here are the details on these races, which started in September when these horses were 2-year-olds.
|Sept. 18, 2021||Iroquois||Churchill Downs||Major General||Castellano/Pletcher||9-2|
|Sept. 25, 2021||Juddmonte Royal Lodge||Newmarket||Royal Patronage||Hart/Johnson||7-2|
|Sept. 25, 2021||Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford||Curragh||Luxembourg||Heffernan/O’Brien||8-13|
|Oct. 1, 2021||American Pharoah||Santa Anita Park||Corniche||Smith/Baffert||2-5|
|Oct. 2, 2021||Champagne||Belmont Park||Jack Christopher||Ortiz/Brown||8-5|
|Oct. 3, 2021||Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere||Longchamp||Angel Bleu||Dettori/Beckett||6-1|
|Oct. 9, 2021||Breeders’ Futurity||Keeneland||Rattle N Roll||Hernandez Jr./McPeek||8-1|
|Oct. 23, 2021||Vertem Futurity Trophy||Doncaster||Luxembourg||Moore/O’Brien||4-5|
|Nov. 5, 2021||Breeders’ Cup Juvenile||Del Mar||Corniche||Smith/Baffert||7-5|
|Nov. 27, 2021||Kentucky Jockey Club||Churchill Downs||Smile Happy||Lanerie/McPeek||9-2|
|Nov. 27, 2021||Cattleya||Tokyo Racecourse||Consigliere||Inagaki/Lemaire||1-1|
|Dec. 4, 2021||Remsen||Aqueduct||Mo Donegal||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||7-5|
|Dec. 11, 2021||Los Alamitos Futurity||Los Alamitos Race Course||Slow Down Andy||Gutierrez/O’Neill||5-1|
|Dec. 15, 2021||Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushon||Kawasaki||Dry Stout||Tosaki/Makiura||11-1|
|Dec. 17, 2021||Springboard Mile||Remington Park||Make It Big||Ortiz/Joseph Jr.||6-5|
|Dec. 26, 2021||Gun Runner||Fair Grounds||Epicenter||Hernandez Jr./Asmussen||5-2|
|Jan. 1, 2022||Smarty Jones||Oaklawn Park||Dash Attack||Cohen/McPeek||7-1|
|Jan. 1, 2022||Jerome||Aqueduct||Courvoisier||Ortiz/Breen||4-1|
|Jan. 1, 2022||Sham||Santa Anita Park||Newgrange||Velazquez/Baffert||5-2|
|Jan. 22, 2022||Lecomte||Fair Grounds||Call Me Midnight||Graham/Desormeaux||28-1|
|Jan. 29, 2022||Southwest||Oaklawn Park||Newgrange||Velazquez/Baffert||3-2|
|Feb. 5, 2022||Holy Bull||Gulfstream Park||White Abarrio||Gaffalione/Joseph Jr.||6-1|
|Feb. 5, 2022||Withers||Aqueduct||Early Voting||Ortiz/Brown||6-5|
|Feb. 6, 2022||Robert B. Lewis||Santa Anita Park||Messier||Velazquez/Baffert||3-5|
|Feb. 12, 2022||Sam F. Davis||Tampa Bay Downs||Classic Causeway||Ortiz Jr./Lynch||8-5|
|Feb. 12, 2022||El Camino Real Derby||Golden Gate Fields||Blackadder||Maldonado/Baffert||7-2|
|Feb. 19, 2022||Risen Star||Fair Grounds||Epicenter||Rosario/Asmussen||7-2|
|Feb. 26, 2022||Rebel||Oaklawn Park||Un Ojo||Vazquez/Courville||75-1|
|Mar. 2, 2022||Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes||Kempton Park||Blue Trail||Doyle/Appleby||1-1|
|Mar. 4, 2022||Patton (Listed)||Dundalk||Juncture||Keane/Lyons||3-2|
|Mar. 5, 2022||John Battaglia Memorial||Turfway Park||Tiz the Bomb||Achard/McPeek||8-5|
|Mar. 5, 2022||Fountain of Youth||Gulfstream Park||Simplification||Ortiz/Sano||5-2|
|Mar. 5, 2022||Gotham||Aqueduct||Morello||Lezcano/Asmussen||1-1|
|Mar. 5, 2022||San Felipe||Santa Anita Park||Forbidden Kingdom||Hernandez/Mandella||1-1|
|Mar. 12, 2022||Tampa Bay Derby||Tampa Bay Downs||Classic Causeway||Ortiz Jr./Lynch||4-5|
|Mar. 26, 2022||UAE Derby||Meydan Racecourse||Crown Pride||Lane/Shintani||15-1|
|Mar. 26, 2022||Louisiana Derby||Fair Grounds||Epicenter||Rosario/Asmussen||1-1|
|Mar. 27, 2022||Sunland Derby||Sunland Derby||Slow Down Andy||Gutierrez/O'Neill||6-5|
|Apr. 2, 2022||Florida Derby||Gulfstream Park||White Abarrio||Gaffalione/Joseph Jr.||5-2|
|Apr. 2, 2022||Arkansas Derby||Oaklawn Park||Cyberknife||Geroux/Cox||5-1|
|Apr. 2, 2022||Jeff Ruby Steaks||Turfway Park||Tiz the Bomb||Hernandez Jr./McPeek||8-5|
|Apr. 9, 2022||Wood Memorial||Aqueduct||Mo Donegal||Rosario/Pletcher||2-1|
|Apr. 9, 2022||Blue Grass||Keeneland||Zandon||Prat/Brown||2-1|
|Apr. 9, 2022||Santa Anita Derby||Santa Anita Park||Taiba||Smith/Yakteen||4-1|
The most prominent prep races award 100 points to winners and 40 points to runners-up. Both of these totals ensure Derby spots for the top two finishers of these races:
- March 26 — UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse
- March 26 — Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds
- April 2 — Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park
- April 2 — Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park
- April 2 — Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park
- April 9 — Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack
- April 9 — Blue Grass at Keeneland
- April 9 — Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park
Kentucky Derby history
The Kentucky Derby first took place in 1875 and has been an annual event since. Aristides was the inaugural winner, clocking in at 2:37.75 over 1 ½ miles. The race evolved in the years that followed, with the length changing to 1 ¼ miles in 1896, where it remains to this day.
The race typically takes place on the first Saturday in May and serves as the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Derby winners tend to become favorites for the next two legs — the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes — but turning the trick of winning all three races has proven to be a difficult achievement.
To date, it has happened just 13 times, most recently by Justify in 2018. Secretariat holds the all-time speed record for the mile-and-a-quarter race at Churchill with a blistering time of 1:59.4 in 1973. Bob Baffert has the most Derby wins for a trainer with seven, while jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are tied for the lead with five each.
2021 Kentucky Derby Recap and Fallout
Medina Spirit led the 2021 Kentucky Derby from start to finish and defeated Mandaloun by a half-length. The 12-1 longshot initially gave trainer Bob Baffert his seventh Kentucky Derby victory.
However, the race was thrown into chaos after Medina Spirit tested positive for an overage of betamethasone. The substance is legal, but too much of it was detected in both an initial examination and a split sample.
After a long legal battle, Medina Spirit was disqualified and placed last. Mandaloun was elevated to first, while Hot Rod Charlie was placed second. Eventual 3-year-old champion Essential Quality was placed third.
As part of the legal proceedings, Baffert began serving a 90-day suspension in April. He will not train a horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Two former Baffert trainees, Taiba and Messier, are being pointed to the race by former Baffert assistant Tim Yakteen.
Here are the final results from race day:
|Finish||Horse||Jockey/Trainer||Post||ML Odds||Final Odds||Time||Winnings|
|3||Hot Rod Charlie||Prat/O'Neill||9||8-1||6-1||1 length||$300,000|
|4||Essential Quality||Saez/Cox||14||2-1||3-1||1 length||$150,000|
|5||O Besos||Pedroza/Foley||6||20-1||42-1||5 1/2 lengths||$90,000|
|6||Midnight Bourbon||Smith/Asmussen||10||20-1||13-1||8 1/4 lengths||-|
|7||Keepmeinmind||Cohen/Diodoro||4||20-1||49-1||8 1/2 lengths||-|
|8||Helium||Leparoux/Casse||12||50-1||38-1||10 1/2 lengths||-|
|9||Known Agenda||Ortiz Jr./Pletcher||1||6-1||10-1||10 3/4 lengths||-|
|10||Highly Motivated||Castellano/Brown||17||10-1||11-1||11 lengths||-|
|11||Sainthood||Lanerie/Pletcher||5||50-1||43-1||12 3/4 lengths||-|
|12||Like the King||Van Dyke/Ward||2||50-1||50-1||12 3/4 lengths||-|
|14||Hidden Stash||Bejarano/Oliver||13||50-1||39-1||16 3/4 lengths||-|
|15||Brooklyn Strong||Rispoli/Velazquez||3||30-1||44-1||18 1/4 lengths||-|
|16||Super Stock||Santana Jr./Asmussen||18||30-1||34-1||19 3/4 lengths||-|
|17||Rock Your World||Rosario/Sadler||15||5-1||9-2||24 1/4 lengths||-|
|18||Dynamic One||Ortiz/Pletcher||11||20-1||45-1||32 1/4 lengths||-|
|19||Soup and Sandwich||Gaffalione/Pletcher||19||30-1||27-1||65 1/4 lengths||-|
|N/A - Scratch||King Fury||Hernandez Jr./McPeek||16||20-1||SCR||N/A||-|
The surprises at the top of the board led to some hefty payouts for winning bettors. Here’s how it all shook out:
- Medina Spirit: W – $26.20, P – $12, S – $7.60
- Mandaloun: P – $23, S – $13.40
- Hot Rod Charlie: S – $5.20
- $2 exacta: $503.60
- $0.50 trifecta: $848.45
- $1 superfecta: $9,456.40
- $1 super high five: $296,796.60
Kentucky Derby FAQ
When is the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby usually runs on the first Saturday in May.
The race marks the end of the Kentucky Derby Festival, which takes place over two weeks in Louisville, KY. The fest includes a balloon race, a steamboat race, a huge firework display and a parade.
How many horses run in the race?
In recent history, the race sets the number of runners at 20. The first race saw 15 runners, with a varied number of starters throughout the history of the race.
How much does the winner of the Kentucky Derby receive?
The overall purse for the Kentucky Derby is $3 million, with the winning connections in the race landing the first prize of $1,860,000. This compares to the sum of $2,850 awarded to the inaugural winner in 1875.
When is post time?
The 2022 Kentucky Derby is scheduled to start at 6:57 p.m. ET, the 12th of 14 races at Churchill Downs that day. The doors open at 8 a.m. ET, allowing fans to enjoy the all-day experience.
How much are Kentucky Derby tickets?
General admission tickets for the Kentucky Derby go on sale online in November, starting at $60. As the date for the race nears, the tickets increase in price to $75 – $80, while purchasing a ticket on the day of the race itself will cost $85.
How long does the Kentucky Derby last?
Historically, the Kentucky Derby has lasted just a little more than two minutes, ever since the move to 1.25 miles in 1896, which attributes the nickname “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”
Who was the fastest horse to win the Kentucky Derby?
In the history of the Kentucky Derby, only two horses have ducked under the famed two-minute mark.
The first was Secretariat, who won the race in 1973 with a time of 1:59.40 seconds, the fastest running of the race. Monarchos romped home with a time of 1:59.97, breaking the two-minute mark in 2001.
Despite these fast-winning times, neither horse can claim the record margin of victory.
Four horses share the record-winning distance of 8 lengths:
- Old Rosebud (1914)
- Johnstown (1939)
- Whirlaway (1941)
- Assault (1946)
Which jockeys/trainers have the most wins?
Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are tied for the most wins as jockeys, each crossing the line first on five occasions. Bob Baffert is the winningest trainer, with seven victories.