The 2022 Kentucky Derby trainers have been drawing plenty of attention heading into Saturday’s race, but one might be content to fly under the radar. The talk has largely centered on the absence of the suspended Bob Baffert and the quest for a first Kentucky Derby title for Steve Asmussen and Chad Brown. However, veteran trainer Todd Pletcher has three chances to get his third Kentucky Derby win with Wood Memorial winner Mo Donegal, Florida Derby runner-up Charge It and late entry Pioneer of Medina. Zandon is the 3-1 favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, with Epicenter right behind at 7-2. Messier is priced at 8-1 in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, followed by Mo Donegal (10-1) and Florida Derby winner White Abarrio (10-1). 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. He won the Blue Grass Stakes, but that was just his fourth race as a three-year-old and he finished a distant third to a dominant Epicenter at the Risen Star Stakes in February. Zandon was second in the Remsen Stakes in December after winning a maiden special weight race at Belmont in October. Zandon will face a lot of obstacles in this 20-horse field, and the traffic and what Weir expects to be a quick early pace could derail his plans.
Zandon rallied from last to win at Keeneland, but that was off a comfortable early pace. He is likely to need to work harder to keep up with the other 2022 Kentucky Derby horses Saturday, which could leave him with less energy for his closing run. The lack of races under his belt also could hurt his chances, with the chaos of the crowd and the large 2022 Kentucky Derby field sure to be a new experience. “I’m not convinced he’s the right favorite in this race based on what he’s done,” Weir told SportsLine.
Another curveball: Weir is high on UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, even though he’s a 20-1 long shot. Trained by Koichi Shintani, this Japanese bred made his first two starts in Japan, twice winning at 1 1/8 miles. After a sixth place finish in his first start of 2022, he bounced back in the UAE Derby with a 2 3/4-length victory over Summer Is Tomorrow, who also is in the 2022 Kentucky Derby lineup.
Crown Pride arrived in Louisville on March 30 and has routinely been putting in energetic workouts in the mornings, suggesting that he is set to run a strong race. “I’m not sure how good he is, but I’m expecting his best effort on Saturday,” 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.