Bob Baffert is the most decorated trainer in the history of American horse racing, but he’ll be absent from the 2022 Kentucky Derby as he serves a 90-day ban. Baffert has transferred his top 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders to former assistant Tim Yakteen’s barn in the leadup to the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs. Messier and Taiba are 6-1 in the latest 2022 Kentucky Derby odds along with Chad Brown’s Zandon. Epicenter is the 5-1 favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby futures and could be Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s best chance at getting into the winner’s circle after falling short in his first 23 attempts in the Run for the Roses. With the Kentucky Derby 2022 featuring the largest field in North American racing, you’ll want to see what astute racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks.
Few people in racing are as connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders’ Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.
She also has tremendous handicapping chops. In the 2011 Kentucky Derby, she correctly tabbed Animal Kingdom to win at a hefty 21-1. In the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, she nailed 11-1 long shot Wuheida to win the Filly and Mare Turf. Last year in a wide-open Kentucky Derby, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1.
Since joining SportsLine in November, her picks have cashed in six of 12 races, including the exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Anyone who has followed her is way up.
Now, Yu has handicapped the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, made her picks and constructed her bets. Click here to see them.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions
One surprise: Yu is tossing Messier, even though he is one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites at 6-1. After stalking the pace to earn graded-stakes wins at the Bob Hope and the Robert B. Lewis, Messier was in position to win the Santa Anita Derby and cement himself as one of the horses to beat at the 2022 Kentucky Derby when he passed Forbidden Kingdom in the final straight.
However, he was run down by a hard-charging Taiba and finished in second. Messier has speed, but Taiba’s dynamic potential could be reason for concern. “I think his odds are too low to back him,” Yu told SportsLine.
Instead, Yu is high on Charge It, even though he is a 20-1 long shot. Charge It has raced just three times, and only Santa Anita Derby winner Taiba (two) has fewer starts in the 2022 Kentucky Derby lineup. Two starts ago, Charge It broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park with an impressive 8 1/2-length win.
In his last start, he stepped up in class in the Florida Derby and finished second despite leaving the gate slowly and failing to run straight down the stretch. “Charge It was ultra-green in his last race, which was also his stakes debut, his first try versus winners, and just his third career start, but still managed to out-finish a bevy of runners with more experience to run second,” Yu told SportsLine. Yu is including Charge It among her 2022 Kentucky Derby sleepers.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
Yu is high on three other horses, including an enormous long shot you need to see now. Yu says this long shot “always comes running in the end” and will appear in all of her exotics, potentially setting up a huge payday. She is including this horse in her 2022 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. She’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby? Which enormous long shot is a must-back? Check out the Kentucky Derby odds 2022 below, then visit SportsLine to see Yu’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who nailed last year’s winner on Derby Day.