Kentucky Derby 2022 Contenders: Favorites, Lineup Odds After Post-Position Draw

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022 Contenders: Favorites, Lineup Odds After Post-Position Draw

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    As of Monday afternoon, we finally know where the horses in the 2022 Kentucky Derby will sit in the starting gate, a key component of prognosticating any Run for the Roses. 

    With the results of Monday's post position draw, betting lines have shifted and narrowing down the contenders in the field has become a bit clearer. 

    Gate No. 5 is the only one in the history of the Kentucky Derby that has produced double-digit winners (10, most recently Always Dreaming in 2017), and gate No. 17 is the only one that has never produced a Derby champion. 

    The team behind Smile Happy was likely living up to its horse's moniker with a gate No. 5 draw, while Classic Causeway at No. 17 will become the center of the storyline of his gate. 

    The 20 horses entered into this year's Derby field will be competing for a purse of $3 million, which set a new record when it was first awarded in 2019. The winning horse will net a cool $1.86 million. 

    NBC coverage of the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, and post time for the race is 6:57 p.m.

    Let's review the results of the post position draw for the 20 contenders in this year's Derby and then take a look at how odds have shifted as a result.

Kentucky Derby Post Positions and Odds

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    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)

Kentucky Derby Favorites

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    Following Monday's post position draw, Zandon emerged as the 3-1 favorite in the odds. His team, including trainer Chad Brown, owner Jeff Drown and jockey Flavien Prat, have to be pleased with Zandon's No. 10 gate draw; it has produced the second-most winners all-time after No. 5.

    The dark bay colt has four career starts and two wins for $713,000 in career earnings. Prat rode Country House to a second-place finish in the 2019 Derby, but the pair was elevated to first after after Maximum Security was disqualified for interference.



    At 7-2, Epicenter is the colt next favored to emerge victorious in the Derby.

    Trained by Steve Asmussen, North America's all-time winningest trainer, Epicenter has four wins in six starts, one of the most impressive resumes of this year's field.

    Drawing gate No. 3 is less than ideal for the bay colt, however; horses running from that position have finished in the money (first, second or third) 19 times and have won five times, but Epicenter and jockey Joel Rosario will have to work not to get blocked early on. 



    If he's anything like his namesake, hockey's Mark Messier, this three-year-old will improve on his 8-1 odds and fight for the win.

    The bay colt has finished in the exacta in all six of his career starts, winning three. However, he gave up a late lead in the Santa Anita Derby, which Kentucky Derby bettors will remember.

    Formerly trained by Bob Baffert, Messier was switched to Tim Yakteen and will be ridden by John Velazquez.