Simplification secured his spot in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field with a victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in March. He then recorded a third-place finish at the Florida Derby in April, finishing behind White Abarrio and Charge It, two other 2022 Kentucky Derby horses set to compete in the 148th Run for the Roses. Simplification will leave from the No. 13 post when the 2022 Kentucky Derby gets underway on Saturday. Should your 2022 Kentucky Derby picks include a double-digit long shot like Simplification, who is going off at 40-1 in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds? Should you back one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders like Zandon (8-1), Epicenter (5-1), Taiba (5-1) or Messier (7-1) at Churchill Downs? The 2022 Kentucky Derby post time is 6:57 p.m. ET. With the Kentucky Derby 2022 featuring the largest field in North American racing, you’ll want to see what astute racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks.
Few people in racing are as connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders’ Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.
She also has tremendous handicapping chops. In the 2011 Kentucky Derby, she correctly tabbed Animal Kingdom to win at a hefty 21-1. In the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, she nailed 11-1 long shot Wuheida to win the Filly and Mare Turf. Last year in a wide-open Kentucky Derby, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1.
Since joining SportsLine in November, her picks have cashed in six of 12 races, including the exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. On Friday, she nailed the 2022 Kentucky Oaks winner, Secret Oath. Anyone who has followed her is way up.
Now, Yu has handicapped the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, made her picks and constructed her bets. Click here to see them.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions
One surprise: Yu is tossing Messier, even though he is one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites at 7-1. In fact, Yu says Messier barely cracks the top 10. Only two other 2022 Kentucky Derby horses are getting lower odds. Messier has never finished worse than second in his six-race career, but he came up short in his only Grade-2 race, the Los Alamitos Futurity, as well as his only Grade-1 race, the Santa Anita Derby.
Yu is skeptical of Messier’s level of competition thus far, saying she thinks “his good efforts have been made to look better because of whom he was facing.” She also labels him as “neither great nor infallible.” Despite overall impressive top-end speed, Yu is passing on Messier in her 2022 Kentucky Derby bets.
Instead, Yu is high on Cyberknife, even though he is a 14-1 long shot. Brad Cox grew up just two blocks from Churchill Downs and started his own stable at 42, but he’s broken through in recent years. He earned the Eclipse Trainer of the Year award after winning four Breeders’ Cup events in 2020 and won again in 2021 after guiding Mandaloun to a Kentucky Derby win, Essential Quality to a Belmont victory, and Knicks Go to a Breeders’ Cup Classic win.
Cox will have three entries in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, but Cyberknife might be the best of the bunch coming off a win at the Arkansas Derby. Sired by Gun Runner, who won 10 graded-stakes races, including the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Cyberknife can be a little finicky in training, but he’s oozing with talent and came from off the pace to win by 2 3/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
Yu’s top pick is an overlooked horse who has the “speed to press and has top connections.” Yu is also high on an enormous long shot who is her “must-use-in-exotics horse.” She said this colt “has shown race after race that he belongs in the Kentucky Derby.” She is including these horses in her 2022 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. She’s sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby? Which enormous long shot is a must-back? Check out the Kentucky Derby odds 2022 below, then visit SportsLine to see Yu’s picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who nailed last year’s winner on Derby Day.