The 2022 Kentucky Derby is now in sight, as the 20-horse field is set for a 6:57 p.m. ET post time on Saturday. The 2022 Kentucky Derby post draw was on Monday afternoon, and Mo Donegal will break from the inside rail. The Wood Memorial winner will try to become the ninth horse to win the Run for the Roses from the No. 1 post. Though that position has produced the fourth-most winners of the Kentucky Derby, the last one was Ferdinand in 1986. The 2022 Kentucky Derby odds list Zandon as the 3-1 favorite. Epicenter (7-2) and Messier (8-1) are the other two 2022 Kentucky Derby horses who are getting single-digit odds on the morning line. With so much to consider, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s Jody Demling has to say before entering any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks or horse racing predictions of your own.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling has been on-point with his horse racing bets. He hit the exacta in the Wood Memorial in April. Last year, he hit the exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the Belmont Stakes. This is the same handicapper who hit the Derby-Oaks double at Churchill Downs nine times in the last 13 years. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby all but three times in his last 13 tries.
In addition, at one point in 2020, he picked the winners of six straight races: the Saudi Cup, Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes. Anyone who has followed him on these races is way up.
Now, with the 2022 Kentucky Derby lineup locked in, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions over at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions
One of Demling’s surprising 2022 Kentucky Derby picks: He is fading Epicenter, saying one of the top favorites barely even cracks the top three. Demling notes that the only race Epicenter didn’t finish first or second in came at Churchill Downs in the fall of 2021. He struggled mightily in that seven-furlong race, finishing a distant sixth.
He’s built up momentum since that point, including wins at the Louisiana Derby and the Risen Star Stakes leading up the Kentucky Derby 2022. But he also fell short at the Lecomte earlier this year, losing to Call Me Midnight, a horse who failed to hit the board in his next two races. Demling doesn’t like the value at 7-2 and told SportsLine, “I’m going elsewhere.”
Another stunner: Demling is high on Mo Donegal, even though he’s a double-digit long shot. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. Demling is aware of the history of the rail position, but he believes Mo Donegal has what it takes to drop back and still make a run. The three-year old colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, has a pair of Grade 2 stakes victories, winning the Wood Memorial and Ramsen.
In fact, he beat 2022 Kentucky Derby favorite Zandon at the Ramsen, showing the type of upside he possesses. “The son of Uncle Mo should be right there, running in the stretch,” Demling said.