Trainers Todd Pletcher and Brad Cox have Kentucky Derby wins under their belts and will have three chances to add another at the 2022 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Pletcher won in 2010 with Super Saver and in 2017 with Always Dreaming. In the Kentucky Derby 2022, he’ll send out Mo Donegal (10-1), Charge It (20-1) and Pioneer of Medina (30-1) in the 148th Run for the Roses. Brad Cox was awarded the win with Mandaloun a year ago after Medina Spirit was disqualified, and he’ll have Cyberknife (20-1), Tawny Port (30-1) and Zozos (20-1) in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field. Zandon is the 3-1 favorite, while Epicenter (7-2) and Messier (8-1) are the only two other 2022 Kentucky Derby horses with single-digit 2022 Kentucky Derby odds. The 2022 Kentucky Derby post time is 6:57 p.m. ET. 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 four 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. On Friday, he nailed the exacta in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks. 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. Epicenter is one of the only 2022 Kentucky Derby horses to earn both Beyer and Brisnet speed figures of 100 or more. However, Epicenter’s runner-up finish at the Lecomte Stakes in January gives the expert some pause.
“I really hoped he would be the favorite so I could get a better price on my top two,” Demling told SportsLine. “Epicenter’s only race he didn’t finish first or second was at Churchill Downs in his first game. He’s won on the lead and stalking and has really good speed numbers. I can see him capturing the roses, but I’m going elsewhere.”
Another stunner: Demling is high on Mo Donegal, even though he’s a double-digit long shot and will race from the inside post. Mo Donegal is sired by Uncle Mo, one of the legitimate Kentucky Derby contenders in 2011 before an illness forced him to be withdrawn from the race. Mo Donegal has hit the board in all five of his starts, with notable wins at the Remsen Stakes as a two-year-old and Wood Memorial last month.
Mo Donegal drew the No. 1 position in the 2022 Kentucky Derby post draw, which has produced eight winners all-time, tied for third-most of any post, but none since 1986 when Ferdinand rode the rail to victory. However, Mo Donegal has experience in that spot, winning from the No. 1 post in the Remsen and Wood Memorial. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in the mount on Saturday.