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The day that people have been waiting for is finally here. It's Kentucky Derby day. Johnny Covers is here to provide you with free horse racing picks for every race in the Kentucky Derby.

2022 Kentucky Derby Picks: Free Horse Racing Picks For Every Race Today

Horse racing’s Triple Crown will get started on Saturday at the iconic Churchill Downs, as fans return in full for the first time since 2019. With the 160,000+ fans on hand, 20 horses will take the starting gates and for the first time in nearly half a decade, there is no clear-cut defacto favorite. 

What many casual observers of the Kentucky Derby fail to realize is that the race everyone tunes in to see just before 7 PM EST, is actually the final race of what is a full day of horse racing. Starting with Race 5 around noon on the east coast, let’s take a closer look at the seven races leading up to the finish line that will round out the day's festivities.

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Race 5 - Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (12:36 PM EST)

Pick: She Can’t Sing +800 (Bet $100 to win $800)

This race will go off on a turf track, which will play well for She Can’t Sing who has so far excelled in her races on the surface. Racing with a staling approach style, she is known to start steady before closing with a torrid pace that has seen her snag two straight outright wins. 

Race 6 - Knicks Go Overnight S. presented by L&N Federal Credit Union (1:14 PM EST)

Pick: Shedaresthedevil +105 (Bet $100 to win $105)

A perfect 5-for-5 in her five starts here at Churchill Downs, including the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, Shedaresthedevil is back and I expect another strong performance here as one of the biggest favorites of the day. While all of the late movement is Pauline’s Pearl, I like for the track record of Shedaresthedevil to ultimately reign supreme here.

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Race 7 - Pat Day Mile S. presented by LG&E and KU (1:56 PM EST)

Pick: Jack Christopher +200 (Bet $100 to win $200)

One of the strongest young colts you will see all day, Jack Christopher has dominated the one-mile track which I expect to see again on Derby Day. One of the only well-known horses in this field, I think Jack Christopher wins this by a few lengths, as the late-steamed favorite My Prankster gets out-dueled by a wide margin. 

Race 8  - Derby City Distaff S. presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (2:48 PM EST)

Pick: Kimari +450 (Bet $100 to win $450)

Having won five of her six starts on dirt tracks, it’s hard to go against Kimari in this one and I think we see her bring home yet another one. Joel Rosario will be in the saddle, the same jockey who will pilot Epicenter in the 12th and main race of the day. One of the more experienced jockeys in the field, it’s hard to go against this duo in race No. 8.

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Race 9 - American Turf S. presented by BMW (3:40 PM EST)

Pick: Smokin’ T +1500 (Bet $100 to win $1500)

I’m taking a flyer on this one as my longest odds of the day, as Smokin’ T has horse racing’s most prominent jockey in the saddle in John Velazquez. Riding Messier later the day, Velazquez has three Kentucky Derbies and 15 Breeders’ Cups to his name and is one of the sports most accomplished in the saddle.

While this horse has a lot to prove, I think this is a great spot to take a shot. 

Race 10 - Churchill Downs S. presented by Ford (4:31 PM EST)

Pick: Mind Control +500 (Bet $100 to win $500)

One of the more underrated horses on the day, Mind Control has all the pieces to one day compete in the main race on Derby Day. With Velazquez also in the saddle here and legendary trainer Todd Pletcher in the barn, I like for Mind Control to be a dangerous horse late to pull it off. 

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Race 11 - Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (5:27 PM EST)

Pick: Shirl's Speight +300 (Bet $100 to win $300)

The last time we saw this horse was at the Maker’s Mark Mile, a first-place finishing following a long layoff since the summer of 2020. Now fully back and trained by the great Roger Attfield, this will be his first real shot at showing the potential he’s long been thought to have. 

Arguably the most talented horse in the field, look for Shirl’s Speight to be in the thick of it come the final stretches of Race No. 11.

Race 12 - Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (6:57 PM EST)

Pick: Messier +800 (Bet $100 to win $800)

While the favorites Epicenter and Zandon continue to get all the attention, I’m focused a bit further down the odds board on Messier. While he’s currently trained by respected trainer Tim Yakteen, he was previously being trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, who is now dealing with a 90-day suspension following Medina Spirits’ (original 2021 Derby winner) failed drug test.

In the saddle John Velazquez has the reigns and has so far ridden Messier to near-perfection, winning five of six starts with his sixth being a second-place finish. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see this horse in the winner circle come Saturday evening in Kentucky. 

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Article Author


Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.


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