Kentucky Derby 2022: Projected Prize Money Earnings, Order of Finish and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022: Projected Prize Money Earnings, Order of Finish and More

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    The Kentucky Derby is back, and the 2022 edition is shaping up to be a great one. The full 20-horse field doesn't feature one overwhelming favorite but does have a handful of top picks. As of Saturday morning, Epicenter and Taiba both lead with 5-1 odds. If one of them is going to win, however, they're not going to have an easy path.

    Wet conditions could impact the track on Saturday evening. With Churchill Downs finally back to full capacity, the crowd could also be a factor.

    “You have no control over how 20 3-year-olds will handle this volume of crowd for the first time," trainer Steve Asmussen said, per Beth Harris of the Associated Press. "None of them obviously has been in a race that’s had that many runners in it."

    It's going to be a fun, exciting and unpredictable race on Saturday evening. Below, you'll find complete event information, the latest odds and predictions for the top prize earners.

The 148th Running of the Kentucky Derby

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    Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

    When: Saturday, May 7

    Time: 6:57 p.m. ET

    TV and Live Stream: NBC,, NBC Sports App and Peacock

    Qualification: Three-year-old thoroughbreds

    Prize Money: $3 million purse ($1.86 million payout to the winner)

Post Positions and Latest Odds

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    1. Mo Donegal 8-1

    2. Happy Jack 21-1

    3. Epicenter 5-1

    4. Summer Is Tomorrow 42-1

    5. Smile Happy 14-1

    6. Messier 7-1

    7. Crown Pride 17-1

    8. Charge It 13-1

    9. Tiz the Bomb 25-1

    10. Zandon 8-1

    11. Pioneer of Medina 47-1

    12. Taiba 5-1

    13. Simplification 40-1

    14. Barber Road 40-1

    15. White Abarrio 11-1

    16. Cyberknife 14-1

    17. Classic Causeway 67-1

    19. Tawny Port 67-1

    19. Zozos 39-1

    20. Rich Strike 99-1


    *Odds via the official Kentucky Derby website and accurate as of 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.

Preview and Predictions

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    There's some good news for fans attending the Derby on Saturday. While rain has been in the forecast for most of the week—and there were some showers on Friday—it's looking like Saturday's main event will be mostly dry.

    "Weather conditions have improved leading up to the weekend: The National Weather Service said showers are possible overnight, but conditions are expected to clear by daybreak," Ben Tobin and Brooks Holton of the Louisville Courier-Journal wrote.

    The horses may still see a damp track, but they shouldn't be running in slop. That bodes well for both front-runners like Messier and stalkers like Taiba.

    Taiba, by the way, is a relatively inexperienced horse with only two starts—but also two wins—on his resume. The Tim Yakteen-trained colt is coming off a win in last month's win at the Santa Anita Derby and may show more growth in Saturday's race. Bettors seem to believe that Taiba's ceiling is still ahead, as the horse has remained a favorite all week.

    Epicenter, meanwhile, has surged late in the week and no shares odds with Taiba. The Asmussen-trained colt has won five of his last six races, including a Grade 2 win at the Louisiana Derby in March. With an experienced jockey in Joel Rosario—who has won the Belmont Stakes twice and the 2013 Kentucky Derby—Epicenter is a strong horse to back.

    A favorable inside post draw (No. 3) certainly doesn't hurt Epicenter's chances.

    Messier, another Yakteen horse, will run from the No. 7 post and is coming off a second-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby. The added length in the Kentucky Derby could be a problem for Messier, who remains among the favorites at 7-1.

    Zandon, trained by Chad Brown and guided by jockey Flavien Prat, may be a better pick. Prat claimed victory in last year's Preakness Stakes with Rombauer and won the 2019 Derby with Country House.

    Set to break from the No. 10 post, Zandon will have a shot at the upset if Prat can avoid the back of the pack early.


    Predictions and Prize Pool

    1. Epicenter ($1.86 million)

    2. Zandon ($600,000)

    3. Taiba ($300,000)