Wednesday, March 22, 2023

2022 Kentucky Derby odds, betting strategy, cheat sheet: Expert who nailed prep races issues top picks

Steve Asmussen might be the winningest trainer in the history of North American horse racing, but after 23 failed attempts to win the Kentucky Derby, the Hall of Famer will be eager to add a victory in the Run for the Roses to his resume. He’ll have another chance in the 2022 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs with Epicenter. The Louisiana Derby and Risen Star Stakes winner is the 5-1 favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, while Zandon, Messier and Taiba are all 6-1. Mo Donegal (8-1) is the only other horse listed with single-digit odds in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field. With a talented 20-horse field expected to enter the starting gate, you’ll want to see what racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks.

A Saratoga Springs-based racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker, Weir is a two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. He has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014. Last year, he was on fire. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes.

This year, he has been red-hot in the 2022 Kentucky Derby prep races, hitting the superfecta in the Blue Grass Stakes, the trifecta in the Louisiana Derby and the exacta in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby. He also has hit the trifecta in the Pegasus World Cup and multiple Pick 4s, among other scores. Now, he has handicapped the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, made his picks and constructed his bets. Click here to see them.

Top 2022 Kentucky Derby expert picks

One surprise: Weir is tossing Taiba, even though he is one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders at 6-1 and just won the Santa Anita Derby. Taiba’s speed is unquestionable, with Beyer Speed Figures of 102 and 103 in his two starts that rank top-four among three-year-olds this season. However, the inexperience could also be a serious issue, as Taiba didn’t run as a three-year-old and Leonatus (1883) was the last horse to win the Kentucky Derby in his third start.

Mike Smith will have the mount as a two-time Kentucky Derby winner, but one of those victories came on a generational talent with Justify winning the Triple Crown in 2018. Meanwhile, trainer Tim Yakteen will be making his Kentucky Derby debut as a head trainer after serving as Bob Baffert’s assistant.

Instead, Weir is high on Charge It, even though he’s a 20-1 long shot. A son of one of the country’s most accomplished sires, Tapit, Charge It made his debut in January, finishing second. He won his second start, beating a field of maidens by 8 1/2 lengths and earning a respectable Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

In his last start, Charge It finished second to White Abarrio despite breaking poorly from the gate and running greenly down the lane. “There’s no doubt he’s talented, and if he acts a little more professional in Kentucky, he can improve,” Weir told SportsLine. Weir is including Charge It in his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets.

How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions, bets

Weir is high on three other horses, including an epic long shot who’s “hard to ignore” and worth a “long look.” Weir is including these horses in his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. He’s only sharing his 2022 Kentucky Derby cheat sheet and picks here.

Who wins the Kentucky Derby 2022? And which enormous double-digit long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest Kentucky Derby odds 2022 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who has nailed this year’s prep races.

2022 Kentucky Derby odds, contenders, lineup

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