Kentucky Derby 2022 Post Time: NBC TV Start Time, Final Predictions and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022 Post Time: NBC TV Start Time, Final Predictions and More

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    The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is now only hours away, and following the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, only one horse will have a shot at the 2022 Triple Crown.

    For now, the dream is still alive for every horse in the field of 20. The field does remain at 20 despite the late-week scratch of Ethereal Road, as Rich Strike takes over in the No. 20 post as an extreme long shot.

    The favorites, as of Saturday afternoon, include Epicenter and Taiba, both trending at 5-1 odds. Zandon, Messier and Mo Donegal are also among the betting favorites. There is, however, no overwhelming top horse with the post time approaching.

    That could change over the next few hours, though, as lines will continue to shift. Fans can follow along with the pre-race coverage and the early events on NBC from 2:30 p.m. ET.

    Below, you'll find a full rundown of Saturday's race information, along with the latest odds and some predictions for the top finishers.

Kentucky Derby Race Information

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    Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky

    When: Saturday, May 7

    Post Time: 6:57 p.m. ET

    TV Coverage Start Time: 2:30 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 Race Odds

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    1. Mo Donegal 8-1

    2. Happy Jack 21-1

    3. Epicenter 5-1

    4. Summer Is Tomorrow 33-1

    5. Smile Happy 15-1

    6. Messier 6-1

    7. Crown Pride 19-1

    8. Charge It 13-1

    9. Tiz the Bomb 27-1

    10. Zandon 7-1

    11. Pioneer of Medina 51-1

    12. Taiba 5-1

    13. Simplification 42-1

    14. Barber Road 49-1

    15. White Abarrio 13-1

    16. Cyberknife 12-1

    17. Classic Causeway 80-1

    19. Tawny Port 77-1

    19. Zozos 45-1

    20. Rich Strike 99-1


    *Odds via the official Kentucky Derby website and accurate as of 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Preview and Final Predictions

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    There's a lot to absorb when examining this year's Derby. One of the first things television viewers might notice is the return to a full Churchill Downs crowd. After having a partial capacity in 2021, it's back to business as usual in Louisville—and the crowd might be a factor.

    "You have no control over how 20 three-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."

    A full field and a roaring crowd could be a particular shock to one of the favorites, Taiba. The Tim Yakteen-trained colt is undefeated but has only started two races. His win at last month's Santa Anita Derby was promising, but Taiba has plenty left to prove.

    Epicenter, who experienced a bit of a late betting surge, is a much more experienced horse. The Asmussen-trained colt has won five of his last six races, including a Grade 2 win at the Louisiana Derby in March. He has an experienced jockey in Joel Rosario—who has won the Belmont Stakes twice and the 2013 Kentucky Derby—and a trainer with the most wins in American thoroughbred racing behind him.

    Asmussen, however, has never delivered a Derby winner.

    "We're very pleased with how the training has gone for both Epicenter and Echo Zulu," Asmussen said, per Frank Angst of BloodHorse. "This year's Oaks and Derby are extremely exciting in terms of how strong the races look and how well all of the horses are doing going into them. I'm unbelievably excited to be doing this well with this much on the line."

    Echo Zulu finished fourth in the Kentucky Oaks which was won by the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Secret Oath.

    Epicenter has the advantage over Taiba in positioning—Epicenter will break from the No. 3 post, while Taiba will be in the middle of the pack at No. 12—but both horses should finish strong.

    Zandon, trained by Chad Brown and guided by jockey Flavien Prat, is another favorite to watch. Prat is a seasoned jockey who won last year's Preakness Stakes with Rombauer and took the 2019 Derby with Country House. Like Taiba, Zandon (No. 10 post) will be in the middle of the pack when the race begins.

    One long shot to follow is the Japanese-bred-and-trained Crown Pride.

    "No horse has made a bigger impression over the past week than Crown Pride, who capped a fabulous fortnight of training with a sensational workout Wednesday," Jay Privman of Daily Racing Forum wrote.

    Crown Pride got a favorable post draw at No. 7 and has a legitimate shot at pulling the upset. Crown Pride has won three of his four races, including the UAE Derby in March, and is a tremendous pick for bettors who prefer longer odds.


    Final Predictions

    1. Epicenter

    2. Zandon

    3. Taiba

    4. Crown Pride

    5. Smile Happy