Kentucky Derby 2022: Post Positions, Latest Vegas Odds and Picks After Post Draw

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022: Post Positions, Latest Vegas Odds and Picks After Post Draw

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    We now have a slightly better idea of which horses are primed for success at the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby

    On Monday afternoon, the post position draw for Saturday's race was held, pinpointing the gate from which each of the 20 horses running in this year's Derby will start.

    Smile Happy's team was no doubt appropriately thrilled to draw gate No. 5, the only one that has produced double-digit winners (10, most recently Always Dreaming in 2017) in the history of the race. Classic Causeway faces an uphill battle with gate No. 17, however, as it's the only one that has never produced a champion.

    Since 2019, the total purse for the Derby has been a record $3 million. The winner will receive $1.86 million.

    Post time for this year's race on Saturday is 6:57 p.m. ET, with NBC coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m.

    Keep reading for the results of the post position draw for the 20 contenders in this year's Derby, as well as the latest Vegas odds and favorites.

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 Picks

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    The morning-line favorite, Zandon qualified for the Kentucky Derby by winning the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 9 by 2½ lengths, defeating fellow Derby contender Smile Happy. 

    The dark bay colt also lost by a nose to Mo Donegal in the Remsen Stakes, finishing runner-up. 

    Along with Messier, Zandon is tied for the best dirt Equibase Speed Figure in the Kentucky Derby field, at 107, per America's Best Racing

    He could have some issues with the Derby's 1¼-mile length, but the Chad Brown trainee has all the buzz heading into Derby week. 



    The bay colt was expected to be favored in the odds but finds himself second to Zandon in the morning line after the post-position draw. 

    His trainer, Steve Asmussen, is the winningest North American trainer but has yet to notch a Kentucky Derby victory. 

    In six starts, Epicenter has posted four wins, for $1,010,639 in career earnings. 

    Those wishing to back the three-year-old in Saturday's Run for the Roses will be encouraged by his recent training heading into the Derby.

    "I think that he's in a beautiful rhythm and we're trying to create the circumstances to prepare for what we're expecting to happen in the races this weekend," Asmussen said, per Alicia Hughes of Horse Racing Nation. "Honestly, we have so much confidence in Epicenter right now. He has taken a lot of training extremely easy."


    Mo Donegal

    Tied with White Abarrio at 10-1, Mo Donegal's current odds have him finishing outside the winner's circle, but don't write off this three-year-old just yet. 

    After all, the bay colt was in last place at one point of the Wood Memorial Stakes on April 9 before staging a comeback win to cement his place in the Kentucky Derby.  

    The closer's style will be well suited on the rail; he drew gate No. 1, which has produced eight wins, most recently Ferdinand in 1986. That's the third-most wins of any gate. 

    After that win, trainer Todd Fletcher has been giving Mo Donegal some extra rest in the lead-up to the Derby. 

    He's already proved he has the stamina to contend in the Derby; each of his two graded stakes race wins came at a 1⅛-mile distance, a furlong shorter than the Derby's 1¼ miles.