After the pandemic pushed the 2019 Kentucky Derby to September and last year’s edition having a limited crowd, things are back to normal in 2022 highlighted by a competitive full field of 20 that will head to the starting gate.
The Chad Brown trained Zandon was installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. The colt won the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland in his last outing. The eventual betting favorite could be Epicenter, the 7-2 second choice on the morning line who has won three in a row including the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his final prep.
He is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen who is trying to break a 0 for 23 record in the Run for the Roses.
For horseplayers that don’t like chalk there are no shortage of good options. Wood Memorial (G2) winner Mo Donegal and Florida Derby (G1) winner are 10-1, while Santa Anita Derby (G1) victor Taiba is 12-1.
There is rain in the forecast for Friday and into Saturday morning, but then the skies are expected to clear. The Churchill Downs main track dries out quickly and it appears we will have a fast track by post time.
The Derby is one of eight stakes on a 14-race card that gets underway at 10:30am ET.
We scored with my top pick Medina Spirit last year at $26.80 (Sorry Mandaloun fans). That was the best payoff for my top pick in the Derby since Animal Kingdom got us flush at $43.80 in 2011. It was a tough run from 2013 to 2018 as the favorite won six years in a row.
Visit PlayUp Racebook for Michael’s Kentucky Derby analysis and selections.