Kentucky Derby 2022: Odds, Pedigree, Jockey Info for Favorites and More HorsesMay 5, 2022
The trainers of the two Kentucky Derby favorites are turning to previous Derby-winning jockeys to deliver their first victories at the iconic Churchill Downs race.
Zandon trainer Chad Brown and Epicenter trainer Steve Asmussen are two of the most successful individuals in their trade, but the Derby title has eluded both of them.
Brown is calling on 2019 Derby winner Flavien Prat to navigate Zandon, who is the morning line favorite, to the winner's circle.
Joel Rosario, who won in 2013, will be aboard Epicenter during his run over the 1¼-mile circuit in Louisville, Kentucky.
A handful of other previous winners are scattered across the field. Four trainers and three other jockeys in the 20-horse field won the Kentucky Derby.
Zandon and Epicenter will draw the most attention heading into Saturday because of their success over the last few months.
Kentucky Derby Post Positions and Odds
Zandon comes into Churchill Downs off a victory at the Blue Grass Stakes.
The victory came after Zandon finished behind a handful of Derby participants in two other buildup races.
Zandon took third behind Epicenter at the Risen Star Stakes and finished second to Mo Donegal at the Remsen Stakes.
The Derby favorite has four top-three finishes in his career, and he will try to bring home the first title for Chad Brown.
Brown owns one career victory in a Triple Crown race from the 2017 Preakness Stakes with Cloud Computing.
Brown is turning to Flavien Prat to take Zandon to the winner's circle. Prat was aboard Country House in 2019 when he upset the field to win the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Prat also guided Rombauer to victory at the 2021 Preakness Stakes. That win handed trainer Michael McCarthy his first-ever triumph in an American Classic race.
Prat finished in the top three with Hot Rod Charlie at the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Prat's ride was upgraded to a second-place finish after Medina Spirit was disqualified.
Zandon has one of the strongest jockeys in the field and an ideal starting position out of post No. 10.
The pre-race favorite should have enough room to navigate the early stages of the race before he gets to the field.
The same may not be said about Epicenter, who was slotted into one of the inside post positions in Monday's draw.
Epicenter will begin Saturday's race from post No. 3.
Mo Donegal, who has 10-1 odds, resides on the inside post position, and there could be some competition between the two horses for that lane early in the race.
Epicenter enters Churchill Downs with back-to-back victories at the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby.
He presents one of the best chances for Steve Asmussen to finally land his first Derby victory. Asmussen owns two Preakness Stakes victories and a win at the Belmont Stakes.
Two of Asmussen's three victories in Triple Crown races came with horses that were either the pre-race favorite or second favorite.
Epicenter is the latter, so that may be a good sign for Asmussen going into Saturday.
The combination of Asmussen and jockey Joel Rosario could be enough to power Epicenter from the inside lane into the winner's circle.
Rosario won the 2013 Kentucky Derby with Orb, and he owns two victories from the Belmont Stakes in 2014 and 2019.
Rosario is the reigning winner of the Eclipse Award for the most outstanding jockey in horse racing. He could help Epicenter make an extra kick at the end if Saturday's race comes down to the wire.
Although the trainers of the two favorites have not won the Kentucky Derby, the two Derby-winning jockeys could be the difference-makers on Saturday.