Kentucky Derby 2022 Odds: Latest Lines for Top Contenders and Dark Horses

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 1, 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022 Odds: Latest Lines for Top Contenders and Dark Horses

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Triple Crown season is nearly here for horse racing, and there's no better way to kick it off than with the Kentucky Derby, which is approaching its 148th running. On Saturday, 20 horses will enter the gates at Churchill Downs, and after 1¼ miles, one will emerge victorious.

    This year, there's no early overwhelming favorite to win the Run for the Roses. It should be a deep, competitive field, and several horses could have strong odds to win even as the race draws closer.

    It isn't yet known which horses will be taking part in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. However, the field is beginning to take shape based on recent results.

    Here's a look at the latest early odds for the Derby, along with several horses to watch this week.

Latest Odds

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    Epicenter: 6-1

    White Abarrio: 7-1

    Zandon: 8-1

    Mo Donegal: 8-1

    Taiba: 8-1

    Messier: 12-1

    Simplification: 12-1

    Smile Happy: 12-1

    Early Voting: 16-1

    Charge It: 20-1

    Cyberknife: 20-1

    Crown Pride: 25-1

    Tiz the Bomb: 25-1

    Morello: 33-1

    Barber Road: 33-1

    Slow Down Andy: 33-1

    Zozos: 33-1

    Tawny Port: 40-1

    Summer is Tomorrow: 50-1

    Un Ojo: 50-1


    Via TwinSpires

Favorite: Epicenter (6-1)

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Steve Asmussen has won the Preakness Stakes twice and the Belmont Stakes once, but the longtime trainer has never been victorious at the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps this could be the year he completes his personal Triple Crown, as he could win the race with Epicenter.

    Currently the betting favorite to win at Churchill Downs, Epicenter won the Louisiana Derby in late March, solidifying its spot as a likely Kentucky Derby front-runner. The colt has notched victories in four of its past five races, and he finished second in the other, so he's had plenty of past success.

    "He takes everything he does with a great amount of ease and has always maintained a very forward step," Asmussen recently said, per Alicia Hughes of Horse Racing Nation.

    Epicenter has a former Derby champion as his jockey, too. Joel Ortiz won the race with Orb in 2013, and he'll look to ride to victory again this year. And at this point, there's a good chance that Epicenter is competing for the win come Saturday.

Sleeper: Simplification (12-1)

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Tami Bobo is likely heading to Churchill Downs as the owner of a Kentucky Derby horse for the first time this year, and her colt could be a sleeper to win. Simplification may not be among the early top favorites, but he could be a good horse to place a bet on during the week.

    Simplification has ended up in the top three in each of his past six races, all of which took place at Gulfstream Park. That included a third-place finish at the Florida Derby last month. And now, the colt has been continuing to prepare for the Derby at Gulfstream Park.

    "I am 100-percent confident in my horse," trainer Antonio Sano recently said, per Paulick Report. "I know the race is very strong, but I'm confident in the horse."

    Sano has previously had only one horse in the Kentucky Derby (2017 seventh-place finisher Gunnevera), but Simplification will have an experienced jockey. Jose Ortiz will be looking for his first Derby win after finishing second on Good Magic in 2018, and third on Tacitus in 2019.

Dark Horse: Tiz the Bomb (25-1)

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    If you're looking for more of a long shot to bet on for the Kentucky Derby, then Tiz the Bomb should be a horse to consider. This colt has mostly raced on turf and synthetic surfaces, but he has the potential to have a strong showing on the dirt at Churchill Downs.

    Tiz the Bomb has notched five wins in his past seven races, including a victory at the Jeff Ruby Steaks last month. So this horse clearly knows how to win, even if he hasn't produced the same type of results on dirt.

    Trainer Ken McPeek has previously won the Preakness and the Belmont, but he's still looking for his first Kentucky Derby win. Meanwhile, jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. has never won a Triple Crown race.

    But perhaps McPeek and Hernandez could both end up in the winner's circle if Tiz the Bomb reaches his potential and outperforms the top contenders in this year's Kentucky Derby. And while it may not be the most likely scenario, it's one that may be worth taking a chance on for bettors.