Kentucky Derby 2022 Post Positions: Updated Picks and Predictions After Draw

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2022

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 02:  Rattle N Roll during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 02, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Get ready thoroughbred horse racing fans, the storied Kentucky Derby is back, which means there's a new chance for a potential Triple Crown winner.

In preparation for The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, the post position draw was held on Monday, offering an update on which horses should be considered as the favorites to win.

The 148th Run for the Roses will be held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday, with a post time of 6:57 p.m ET. Fans not in attendance can catch the action live on NBC or stream it on NBCSports.com.

Coming into this year's Derby, the Chad Brown-trained Zandon is the favorite in the field of 20 at 3-1. Rounding out the top three are Epicenter (7-2) and Messier (8-1).

All horses will run the 1¼-mile track in competition for the $3 million purse and the first win needed in the trio of races to secure the next Triple Crown.

Here's a look at the post positions and the latest odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

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Post Positions for the 2022 Kentucky Derby. #KyDerby https://t.co/TCuaiHrhF1


Kentucky Derby 2021 Post Positions and Odds

1. Mo Donegal (10-1)

2. Happy Jack (30-1)

3. Epicenter (7-2)

4. Summer Is Tomorrow (30-1)

5. Smile Happy (20-1)

6. Messier (8-1)

7. Crown Pride (20-1)

8. Charge It (20-1)

9. Tiz The Bomb (30-1)

10. Zandon (3-1)

11. Pioneer Of Medina (30-1)

12. Taiba (12-1)

13. Simplification (20-1)

14. Barber Road (30-1)

15. White Abarrio (10-1)

16. Cyberknife (20-1)

17. Classic Causeway (30-1)

18. Tawny Port (30-1)

19. Zozos (20-1)

20. Ethereal Road (30-1)

Odds via KentuckyDerby.com as of May 3.


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Watch #KyDerby contender Zandon breeze 5 furlongs on Friday under the Twin Spires. https://t.co/UOjOCr88I2

Pre-racing buzz is important for any big race, but it's especially crucial for the Kentucky Derby.

After the post position draw, all of the focus is on favorite Zandon, which has the No. 10 post position and will be ridden by Flavien Prat.

The 29-year-old Frenchman won the Derby in 2019 on Country House.

Zandon won the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland last month and had an impressive workout this past Friday at Churchill Downs, leaving trainer Chad Brown optimistic about his chances on Saturday.

"He had a fabulous work Friday, and he's been so impressive just galloping these two weeks here," he said, per Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier Journal. "Everyone's on it."

Unlike last year with Essential Quality, there is no true favorite in this race, which can be a good thing. A competitive field only makes things more exciting for the fans and bettors.

One widely known name that will be missing from the conversation this year is Bob Baffert, who has trained six Derby winners.

Baffert was suspended after last year's winner, Medina Spirit, was stripped of the victory after testing positive for the banned substance betamethasone. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Messier, which drew the No. 6 post and is the third favorite to win, is a former Baffert horse.

Now trained by Tim Yakteen, Messier came in second at the Santa Anita Derby last month behind Taiba, which is another former Baffert colt that will run in the Derby.

Messier trained in California most of last month before heading to Louisville.

"I feel he came out of the Santa Anita Derby in great shape," part-owner Tom Ryan said, per Joey Kenward of SportsNet. "His appetite has been great. His energy and attitude have been great. Everything is clicking at the moment ... which gives you confidence that we're going there with the right horse and that we're legitimate.

"We have a Grade 1 horse that, in my personal opinion, I would not choose to swap for anybody else in the race. We definitely haven't seen the best of this horse yet. I think there's bigger and better things to come."

As for the second-ranked Epicenter, which will be ridden by Joel Rosario, the Steve Asmussen colt drew the inside post, but the trainer isn't worried.

"I'll be surprised if he gets beat," he said, per Frakes. "The rest I have nothing to do with.

"Joel's very confident in the rhythm of the horse. If he's away cleanly, Joel will let him be who he is and I think he'll stay on beautifully. ... I've always said about post positions: 'You don't know to complain about them until after the race is run.'"