The first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown will take place on Saturday, when the country’s best three-year-olds leave the starting gate in the 2022 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The horse racing Triple Crown schedule continues on May 21 with the Preakness Stakes and concludes on June 11 with the Belmont Stakes. Entering Saturday, Blue Grass Stakes winner Zandon is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds. Louisiana Derby winner Epicenter is the 7-2 second choice in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, while Santa Anita Derby runner-up Messier is 8-1. All other 2022 Kentucky Derby horses are 10-1 or higher. Post time for the 1 1/4-mile, $3 million Kentucky Derby 2022 is 6:57 p.m. ET. 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 fading Zandon, even though he is the 3-1 Kentucky Derby favorite. Zandon is coming off his biggest career win in the Blue Grass at Keeneland, but he had to rally from the back to win that race. He came up short to Epicenter in the Risen Star earlier this year, which does not bode well for his chances to win in the Kentucky Derby 2022. His odds drastically changed following the 2022 Kentucky Derby post position draw, but Weir is not buying the movement.
There are plenty of Kentucky Derby horses capable of winning on Saturday, making Zandon’s price look way too short. He likes to come from off the pace, so this could be a different type of race than what he is used to. Weir expects a faster starting pace than normal, which could create some issues for Zandon.
Another curveball: Weir is high on UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, even though he’s a 20-1 long shot. A Japanese-bred son of Reach the Crown, Crown Pride has won three of his four career starts and is coming off a 2 3/4-length victory in the UAE Derby.
That win came on a night when Japanese-trained horses won five races on the Dubai World Cup card, continuing their recent success on the international stage. “Considering how Japanese horses have been running during recent international competitions, he’s hard to ignore,” Weir told SportsLine. Weir will be using Crown Pride prominently in his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions, bets
Weir is all-in on a massive double-digit long shot who should be in “a dangerous position at the top of the stretch” and has a “big chance at a potentially great price.” Weir is including this horse 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.