2022 Kentucky Derby draw: Zandon pegged as 3-1 favorite; Epicenter in post 3

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May 2nd, 2022

Blue Grass (G1) winner Zandon has been generating a lot of buzz going into Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1), and that steam made him the 3-1 morning-line favorite at the conclusion of Monday’s post position draw. The Chad Brown trainee landed in an ideal post 10 with a returning Flavien Prat.

Louisiana Derby (G2) victor Epicenter, previously expected to be favored, is now the close second choice at 7-2. Drawn in post 3, the Steve Asmussen runner is just to the inside of another pace factor, possible frontrunner Summer Is Tomorrow (in post 4). Epicenter’s jockey Joel Rosario will have to work out possible scenarios.

Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Messier, listed as the 8-1 third choice, projects a forward trip from post 6. Stablemate Taiba, who beat him in the Santa Anita Derby, rates a 12-1 chance, reflecting his historic task of trying to become the first horse since 1883 to win the Kentucky Derby in his third start. Both are former Bob Baffert pupils transferred to Tim Yakteen.

Tabbed at a joint 10-1 are Florida Derby (G1) hero White Abarrio and Wood Memorial (G2) scorer Mo Donegal. While White Abarrio figures to settle in striking range from post 15, Mo Donegal will employ his closing style from the rail.

For pace dynamics, it’s notable that two of the speedier entrants, Classic Causeway (post 17) and Zozos (post 19), are parked out wide.

Post Position Horse Jockey ML Odds
1 Mo Donegal Irad Ortiz, Jr 10-1
2 Happy Jack Rafael Bejarano 30-1
3 Epicenter Joel Rosario 7-2
4 Summer is Tomorrow Mikael Barzalona 30-1
5 Smile Happy Corey Lanerie 20-1
6 Messier John Velazquez 8-1
7 Crown Pride Christophe Limarie 20-1
8 Charge It Manny Saez 20-1
9 Tiz the Bomb Brian Hernandez, Jr. 30-1
10 Zandon Flavien Prat 3-1
11 Pioneer of Medina Joe Bravo 30-1
12 Taiba Mike Smith 12-1
13 Simplification Jose Ortiz 20-1
14 Barber Road Reyliu Gutierrez 30-1
15 White Abarrio Tyler Gaffalione 10-1
16 Cyberknife Florent Geroux 20-1
17 Classic Causeway Julien Leparoux 30-1
18 Tawny Port Ricardo Santana 30-1
19 Zozos Manny Franco 20-1
20 Ethereal Road Luis Contreras 30-1
AE Rich Strike Sonny Leaone 30-1
AE Rattle N Roll James Graham 30-1