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Kentucky Derby 2022

The final posts are set for the biggest horse race of the year. There have been two horse changes since our last Kentucky Derby blog BossActions 2022 Kentucky Derby Preview. Un Ojo and Early Voting have been replaced by Pioneer of Medina and Ethereal Road. Both are currently at 30-1 odds. 

Un Ojo was taken out of the lineup due to a bruised left front foot, making room for Ethereal Road. Trainer Chad Brown decided to take Early Voting out of the race. That allowed Pioneer of Medina to take his place. Brown wasn’t set on the Derby and was looking towards the Preakness instead. 

Final Post Positions

  1. Mo Donegal(10-1)
    Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
    Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  2. Happy Jack(30-1)
    Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill
    Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
  3. Epicenter(7-2)
    Trainer: Steve Asmussen
    Jockey: Joel Rosario
  4. Summer Is Tomorrow (30-1)
    Trainer: Bhupat Seemar
    Jockey: Mickael Barzalona
  5. Smile Happy (20-1)
    Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
    Jockey: Corey Lanerie
  6. Messier(8-1)
    Trainer: Tim Yakteen
    Jockey: John R. Velazquez
  7. Crown Pride (20-1)
    Trainer: Koichi Shintani
    Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
  8. Charge It (20-1)
    Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
    Jockey: Luis Saez
  9. Tiz the Bomb (30-1)
    Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
    Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
  10. Zandon (3-1)
    Trainer: Chad C. Brown
    Jockey: Flavien Prat
  11. Pioneer of Medina(30-1)
    Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
    Jockey: Joe Bravo
  12. Taiba (12-1)
    Trainer: Tim Yakteen
    Jockey: Mike Smith
  13. Simplification(20-1)
    Trainer: Antonio Sano
    Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  14. Barber Road (30-1)
    Trainer: John A. Ortiz
    Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez
  15. White Abarrio (10-1)
    Trainer: Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.
    Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  16. Cyberknife(20-1)
    Trainer: Brad H. Cox
    Jockey: Florent Geroux
  17. Classic Causeway(30-1)
    Trainer: Brian A. Lynch
    Jockey: Julien Leparoux
  18. Tawny Port(30-1)
    Trainer: Brad H. Cox
    Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
  19. Zozos(20-1)
    Trainer: Brad H. Cox
    Jockey: Manny Franco
  20. Ethereal Road(30-1)
    Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
    Jockey: Luis Contreras

Kentucky Derby 2022 Odds and Favorites

Kentucky Derby 2022Zandon has the best odds but doesn’t have the best record in the group. He’s only won two of his four races, losing to Epicenter and Mo Donegal. It wasn’t until after the post positions were drawn and the odds reshuffled that he jumped to 3-1. 

Churchill Downs has been keeping a record of post position statistics since the starting gate was first introduced in the 1930 Kentucky Derby. Zandon has #10, which has the highest percentage of In the Money finishes – 28.2%. Zozos has the #19 post position, which has the lowest percentage of In the Money finishes at 6.9%. 

The only position that might be considered worse is #17 (Classic Causeway), with 7.1% ITM finishes but no winners ever. Post position 6 has the least number of winners (2.2%) after post 17, which might be why Messier’s odds went from 6-1 to 8-1 after being assigned post #6.

More recently, seven of the last 11 winners have started from post 13 or wider. It may be that having more space to run is more important than the extra ground the horses have to cover. 

The Jockeys

Kentucky Derby 2022Most of the focus is on the horse, but we know that the jockey plays a big part in the race as well. Some of the jockeys have never raced in the Derby before; others have raced but never won, and there are five jockeys that have won before.

Florent Geroux won last year on Mandaloun. This year he is racing Cyberknife. Along with having the same jockey, both horses were trained by Brad Cox. This might be why Michelle Yu is picking him to win this year even though he’s 20-1. 

Flavien Prat won in 2019 on Country House. His horse this year is Zandon, the current favorite. He has ridden in the Derby four times and has placed in the top three in all but one. He has a great chance of improving that record on top of Zandon.

Joel Rosario won the Derby in 2013, ridding Orb. It will be his 11th time in the Derby, this time riding Epicenter. He finished six of those ten races in the top five. Last year, he was the top purse earner making almost $32 M. 

Mike Smith has ridden in the Kentucky Derby 27 times and won in 2005 (Giacomo) and 2018 (Justify). This year, he will be riding Taiba, who has only raced twice before. If Mike comes in first in 2022, he will be the oldest jockey, at 56, to win the Kentucky Derby.

John Velazquez won in 2011 (Animal Kingdom), 2017 (Always Dreaming), and 2020 (Authentic). He has won the Derby more than any other jockey riding in the Derby. Last year John won for a fourth career win aboard Medina Spirit, but the horse was disqualified. This year he is riding Messier in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

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