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Kentucky Derby Field: Horses, Jockeys and Odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby field is set. So, it's time for us to break down the entire Kentucky Derby field, from horses, to jockeys, to odds, for Saturday's big race. Everything you need to know about the 148th Kentucky Derby in one place.
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Kentucky Derby Field: Horses, Jockeys and Odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby

We're just a few days away from the Kentucky Derby, so it's time to break down the entire Kentucky Derby field as you prepare to make your bets.

This 20-horse Kentucky field has power at the top, with Zandon and Epicenter as the two favorites, but it also has good depth with horses trained by some of the best in the world throughout.

Who should you be betting on in this year's Kentucky Derby field? Let's take a look at the entire field and find out.

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Kentucky Derby Field: Horses, Jockeys and Odds

1. Mo Donegal

  • Odds: 10-1
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

In post position No. 1 is Mo Donegal, trained by none other than Todd Pletcher, is Mo Donegal. Pletcher has won the Kentucky Derby twice as a trainer and looks to do so again in 2022. At 10-1, Mo Donegal is the fourth favorite, according to morning line odds.

Making things even better for Mo Donegal is the fact that Irad Ortiz Jr., considered by most as one of the best jockeys in the world, will be at the helm on Saturday.

2. Happy Jack

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
  • Trainer: Doug O'Neil

At 30-1, the expectations aren't too high for Happy Jack. As a matter of fact, he's widely considered the worst horse in this year's field. Something Matthew DeSantis pointed out in his ranking of all 20 horses is the fact since breaking his maiden, this horse hasn't finished within 10 lengths os a winning horse.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano has never won the Kentucky Derby, but he's built quite an impressive resume, nonetheless. In his career, he's won more than 4,250 races.

3. Epicenter

  • Odds: 7-2
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Epicenter kind of got a raw deal here by drawing No. 3 as its post position, but this horse is still the second favorite on the morning line. Trained by Steve Asmussen, expect to see quite a bit of action on Epicenter come Saturday.

Even if you're a casual fan of horse racing, you know jockey Joel Rosario. The future Hall of Famer won here in 2013 while riding Orb, and will look to duplicate that success atop the current second favorite on the morning line.

4. Summer is Tomorrow

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Mikael Barzalona
  • Trainer: Bhupat 96seemar

Summer is Tomorrow comes to us from the United Arab Emirates and most recently finished second in the UAB Derby. That's the good news. The bad news is the winner of the UAB Derby, Crown Pride, will also be at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.

5. Smile Happy

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Corey Lanerie
  • Trainer: Kenneth McPeek

Smile Happy had a ton of hype surrounding it following its win in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club. But, some more recent finishes have left a lot to be desired from this horse.

Jockey Corey Lanerie will be looking for his first-ever Kentucky Derby win on Saturday. He finished in second while riding Lookin at Lee in 2017.

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6. Messier

  • Odds: 8-1
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Even though he is the third favorite, it feels almost a little disrespectful to see Messier come into the 148th Kentucky Derby at 8-1 on the morning line. Especially when you consider the fact that the colt has never finished worse than second in a race.

Making things even better for Messier is that it will be ridden by the most successful jockey in the entire field, John Velazquez. Velazquez is a three-time Derby champ, winning with Animal Kingdon (2011), Always Dreaming (2017) and Authentic (2020)

7. Crown Pride (JPN)

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
  • Trainer: Koichi Shintani

As we mentioned earlier, Crown Pride, which comes to us from Japan, is the winner of this year's UAE Derby. But, can this international horse come to the States and take over Churchill Downs? It's unlikely as no UAE Derby winner has ever finished better than fifth at the Kentucky Derby.

8. Charge It

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Luis Saez
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Another Todd Pletcher horse, Charge It comes into the 2022 Kentucky Derby field with 20-1 odds on the morning line. Many have described this horse as a wild card this weekend, despite the fact that he will have Saez riding. Saez finished the 2019 Kentucky Derby in first before he and his horse, Maximum Security, were disqualified.

9. Tiz the Bomb

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
  • Trainer: Kenneth McPeek

If this race was run on turf, Tiz the Bomb's odds would be much shorter than this 30-1 number. However, since the Kentucky Derby is run on dirt, Tiz the Bomb's odds come in at 30-1, motivated largely by his seventh-place showing at the Grade III Holy Bull, a dirt race.

Tiz the Bomb's jockey, Brian Hernandez Jr., has had a great career but hasn't had a ton of experience at the Kentucky Derby. His best finish came in 2017 as he crossed in 8th place.

10. Zandon

  • Odds: 3-1
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Trainer: Chad Brown

There is a reason this Chad Brown horse is the morning line favorite. The No. 10 post position is a great one for Zandon and this horse has looked incredibly strong in its recent showings.

Flavien Prat has ridden in the Derby four times and finished in the top-3 on three of those occasions, including his controversial win with Country House (65-1) in 2019.

11. Pioneer of Medina

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Joe Bravo
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Pioneer of Medina wasn't even supposed to be part of the 2022 Kentucky Derby field. However, once Early Voting decided to drop from the Derby, Pioneer of Medina stepped in.

Another Todd Pletcher horse, I wouldn't expect a win from the final horse in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field.

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12. Taiba

  • Odds: 12-1
  • Jockey: Mike Smith
  • Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Taiba, at 12-1 on the morning line, has become one of the more popular picks in the Kentucky Derby field leading up to Saturday's race. Despite the fact that this is just the horses THIRD career race, people seem to love his chances.

Jockey Mike Smith will be looking for his third Kentucky Derby victory on Saturday. He won in 2005 with Giacomo and again in 2018 with Justify.

13. Simplification

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Trainer: Antonio Sano

It depends where you look when it comes to Simplifications chances in this 2022 Kentucky Derby field. Some think that this horse will be outmatched and have a hard time in Saturday's race. Others, like our very own Matthew DeSantis, love this horse's chances, especially at 20-1. Matthew ranked Simplification as his fifth-best horse in the 2022 Kentucky Derby.

14. Barber Road

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez
  • Trainer: John Alexander Ortiz

At 30-1, Barber Road isn't being given much of a chance to do anything in this Kentucky Derby field. But, that's because most of his speed metrics just aren't good enough to compete in a field of this quality. It could be a long Saturday afternoon for Barber Road at Churchill Downs.

15. White Abarrio

  • Odds: 10-1
  • Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  • Trainer: Saffie A. Joseph, Jr.

White Abarrio is another popular pick among handicappers in the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. will have this horse, who won the Grade I Florida Derby, ready to go.

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione is extremely young for the sport at age 27, but he is experienced well beyond his age. This is his fourth consecutive Kentucky Derby and while he doesn't have a win, he did win the 2019 Preakness Stakes.

16. Cyberknife

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux
  • Trainer: Brad Cox

One of three horses for Brad Cox in the Kentucky Derby field, Cyberknife has a chance to perform very well for Cox on Saturday. Cyberknife has had an up-and-down year so far, but with Florent Geroux riding, it feels like we will get this horse's best showing when all eyes are on him at the Kentucky Derby.

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17. Classic Causeway

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Julien Leparoux
  • Trainer: Brian Lynch

This is an odd one. Trainer Brad Lynch originally did not want to run Classic Causeway in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, but it's rumored that he was overruled by ownership, as Classic Causeway will indeed appear at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

18. Tawny Port

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
  • Trainer: Brad Cox

Another Brad Cox horse, Tawny Port comes in having won the Lexington Stakes this past April. Unfortunately for this horse, some of its speed figures just don't appear good enough to make any noise in a field like this. Hence the 30-1 odds on the morning line.

19. Zozos

  • Odds: 20-1
  • Jockey: Manny Franco
  • Trainer: Brad Cox

According to the morning line odds, this is Brad Cox's best chance at a victory in this year's Kentucky Derby. At 20-1 these odds are indicative of a middle-of-the-pack finish, but anything is possible with Manny Franco riding.

20. Ethereal Road

  • Odds: 30-1
  • Jockey: Luis Contreras
  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Another 30-1 shot on the morning line that probably doesn't have much of a chance of winning come Saturday. Ethereal Road was a late addition to this year's field and is trained by the well-known D. Wayne Lukas.


Brian is a sports journalist with close to ten years of experience in the business. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan with a passion for all things sports gambling.


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