Jockey Flavien Prat will try to win the Run for the Roses for a second time, but the first time in a conventional manner, when he leaves the starting gate aboard morning-line favorite Zandon in the 2022 Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs. In 2019, Prat won the Derby aboard Country House after Maximum Security was disqualified for interference around the far turn. This year, the 29-year-old Prat, who was a finalist for the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding rider in 2021, rides one of the major 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders in Blue Grass Stakes winner Zandon, the 3-1 favorite in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds. Epicenter, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, is the 7-2 second choice in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field. Post time for the 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. 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 field.
On Wednesday, Crown Pride concluded a month’s worth of preparation with an effortless half-mile work in 46.67 seconds, including a final quarter-mile in 22.29 seconds, suggesting that he’s thriving entering the Kentucky Derby 2022. “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.