How to make money with Zandon in the Kentucky Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 7th, 2022

The Chad Brown-conditioned #10 Zandon (3-1) has been installed as the morning line favorite for the 148th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1).

The son of Upstart was a dynamic winner of the Blue Grass S. (G1) at Keeneland in his most recent performance and comes to Churchill Downs as a horse with additional room for improvement. The stout late runner will be a difficult three-year-old to deny in the homestretch if he endures a clean voyage behind the expected fast early tempo in this 1 1/4-mile contest.

Zandon was a smart debut winner in the Empire State in October and capped his brief two-year-old campaign with a nose setback in the Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. The $170,000 yearling purchase kicked off his sophomore season with a closing third in the Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 19, which preceded his standout effort at Keeneland on April 9. The Kentucky-bred colt will be moving best of all late as a deserving favorite with Derby-winning pilot Flavien Prat in the irons.

While a win wager on Zandon at his 3-1 early odds would not be a bad play, I think this race is especially wide open and he will represent very good value in the trifecta and superfecta. I will use four contenders underneath him.

Louisiana Derby (G2) star #3 Epicenter (7-2) has done next to nothing wrong this campaign for Steve Asmussen. The Not This Time colt has a versatile running style, and if he breaks well, then I envision the Kentucky-bred colt being in the hunt throughout the 1 1/4-mile tilt.

Grade 2 victor #5 Smile Happy (20-1) is sitting on a peak race in his third outing of the season for Kenny McPeek. The son of Runhappy finished ahead of Zandon in the Risen Star S. (G2) two back, and he is another who will be looming as a win threat if he receives a sensible voyage with Corey Lanerie guiding the Blue Grass runner-up.

Santa Anita Derby (G1) second #6 Messier (8-1) has a stout resume and a lot of early speed for Tim Yakteen. The son of Empire Maker might be the one to catch as the field turns for home on Saturday.

Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up #19 Zozos (20-1) has the potential of getting a fantastic trip as he drew outside all of the other pace in the race. Trained by Brad Cox, the colt has impressed from day one and has obvious room to move forward with just three career tries under his belt. The son of Munnings will be especially dangerous if he can avoid being too wide in the early stages.

Wagers with Zandon

  • $.50-cent trifecta 10 with 3,5,6,19 with all ($36)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 10 with all with 3,5,6,19 ($36)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 3,5,6,19 with 10 with all ($36)