Favorites to win the Kentucky Derby

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Kentucky Derby
(Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash)
by Joseph Bien-Kahn, via STACKER

Publisher’s note: The Lansing Journal is experimenting with a partnership with Stacker.com to provide in-depth features that may be of interest to our readers. Clicking the Stacker link above will bring you to the original article and images.

More than 150,000 will pack into Churchill Downs on May 7, 2022, to see what’s been dubbed as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” Like Super Bowl Sunday, the Kentucky Derby horse race is an annual sports tradition that speaks to some of the greatest American passions — high-stakes competition, athletics, and pageantry. The event has become part of the country’s fabric — a sign that summer’s almost here.

Over the last few decades, many of the victors in this race also happened to be the preferred pick of Las Vegas bookmakers. The betting favorite has finished first at the Kentucky Derby 10 times since 2000 — even though in the 20 years before that (from 1980 to 1999), not a single odds-on favorite won the race.

Though the smart money has been with the star horse since the turn of the millennium, the real excitement comes when an unlikely contender breaks away from the pack. In 2005 and 2009, respectively, Giacomo and Mine That Bird shocked the world as 50-1 underdogs. And though the bettors made rich by the greatest upset in Derby history will probably be watching this race from the great beyond, it’s worth mentioning that a horse named Donerail won the race as an incredible 91-1 underdog in 1913.

The 2022 running of the Derby will be the 148th in history. Whether you’re looking for a safe bet or considering a dark horse, Stacker has ranked the odds of all the thoroughbreds running this year’s race from longest to shortest using data from Bovada and Horse Racing Nation. Read on to see who has the best odds of landing in the winner’s circle.

NBC will have coverage of the event, with the race itself will start around 6 p.m. CDT.


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#19. Happy Jack (tie)

– Odds: +8,000
– Jockey: D. O’Neill
– Trainer: R. Bejarano

#19. Summer Is Tomorrow (tie)

– Odds: +8,000
– Jockey: M. Barzalona
– Trainer: B. Seemar

#18. Ethereal Road

– Odds: +6,600
– Jockey: L. Contreras
– Trainer: D. Lukas

#17. Tawny Port

– Odds: +4,000
– Jockey: R. Santana Jr.
– Trainer: B. Cox

#16. Barber Road

– Odds: +3,500
– Jockey: R. Gutierrez
– Trainer: J. Ortiz

#14. Pioneer Of Medina (tie)

– Odds: +3,300
– Jockey: J. Bravo
– Trainer: T. Pletcher

#14. Classic Causeway (tie)

– Odds: +3,300
– Jockey: J. Leparoux
– Trainer: B. Lynch

#13. Crown Pride

– Odds: +2,800
– Jockey: C. Lemaire
– Trainer: K. Shintani

#11. Tiz The Bomb (tie)

– Odds: +2,200
– Jockey: B. Hernandez, Jr.
– Trainer: K. McPeek

#11. Zozos (tie)

– Odds: +2,200
– Jockey: M. Franco
– Trainer: B. Cox


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#10. Simplification

– Odds: +2,000
– Jockey: J. Ortiz
– Trainer: A. Sano

#9. Cyberknife

– Odds: +1,800
– Jockey: F. Geroux
– Trainer: B. Cox

#8. Smile Happy

– Odds: +1,600
– Jockey: C. Lanerie
– Trainer: K. McPeek

#6. Charge It (tie)

– Odds: +1,200
– Jockey: L. Saez
– Trainer: T. Pletcher

#6. White Abarrio (tie)

– Odds: +1,200
– Jockey: T. Gaffalione
– Trainer: S. Joseph,

#5. Mo Donegal

– Odds: +1,000
– Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr.
– Trainer: T. Pletcher

#3. Messier (tie)

– Odds: +800
– Jockey: J. Velazquez
– Trainer: T. Yakteen

#3. Taiba (tie)

– Odds: +800
– Jockey: M. Smith
– Trainer: T. Yakteen


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#1. Epicenter (tie)

– Odds: +400
– Jockey: J. Rosario
– Trainer: S. Asmussen

#1. Zandon (tie)

– Odds: +400
– Jockey: F. Prat
– Trainer: C. Brown

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