On Saturday, May 7, the best three-year-old horses step into the starting gate at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, to run in the world’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby. Check out specifics regarding the Run for the Roses, each runner’s profile, and how online bookie agents like you can handle Derby wagering action.
Every sports fan in America places a wager one day out of the year. Okay. Make that two days out of the year if we count the Super Bowl.
On Saturday, the other day out of the year happens when every sports fan makes a bet. The best three-year-olds in the world step onto the dirt under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs and race for the right to wear the roses.
This year’s annual Kentucky Derby is a puzzle for horseplayers, which means pay per head agents like you can make a pretty penny.
Keep reading for a short profile of each horse and how you can ensure profit from Kentucky Derby betting.
2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY
- TV/Streaming: NBC / Peacock
Kentucky Derby 2022 Morning Line Odds & Profiles
1-Mo Donegal 10/1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
Is there a more interesting 2022 Kentucky Derby horse than Todd Pletcher trained Mo Donegal? Think about it.
Mo is the first horse to break from the new 20-post position gate. The horse that landed post-position 1 ended up a for sure loser in the past.
Not anymore. Mo Donegal will break about 3 to 4 paths away from the rail. The break should give jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. plenty of time to place Mo in a good position.
2-Happy Jack 30/1
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
It isn’t easy to see Happy Jack hitting the board based on his past performances. The Oxbow sired runner finished third in the Santa Anita Derby, which is how he qualified for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
But Happy Jack has lost his last three races by a combined 49 lengths. Ouch.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Most believed morning line oddsmaking expert Mike Battaglia would make Epicenter the chalk. But when Battaglia set the odds, Zandon was the 3-to-1 choice.
Expect horseplayers to call bookie agents to lock in the 7/2 odds. In the bookie pay per head agents favor? Epicenter last prepped in the Louisiana Derby.
Only one horse that has ever won the Louisiana Derby has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, Grindstone in 1996. So history is against the Asmussen runner.
4-Summer Is Tomorrow 40/1
Trainer: Bhupat Seemar
Jockey: Mickael Barzalona
Summer Is Tomorrow should go off the longest shot on the board. Trainer Bhupat Seemar has said that jockey Mickael Barzalona will go for the lead as soon as the gates open.
A horse can wire the Kentucky Derby 2022 field. But it won’t be Summer Is Tomorrow. There’s a chance Seemar’s horse isn’t fast enough to get the lead, and if Summer does grab the lead, he won’t hang for it past the half-mile pole.
5-Smile Happy 20/1
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
The connections are more than decent. Any time Kenny McPeek saddles a horse, pay per head sportsbook agents had better set max limits and max payout limits.
Set limits on Smile Happy because if a considerable underdog does win on Saturday, it could be this horse. On paper, Happy has no shot. But neither did Mine That Bird in 2009, and that one paid $1-3.20 for a $2 bet.
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Jockey: John Velazquez
Messier is one of two horses in this that used to run from the Bob Baffert barn. For two years, Churchill Downs has suspended Baffert from racing horses under the Twin Spires.
So Baffert sent most of his horses to his former assistant trainer, Tim Yakteen. Messier offers lower odds than Taiba, but Taiba ran right by Messier to win the Santa Anita Derby. A $100 bet on Messier would pay back $900. Keep that in mind if you’re one of those PPH services agents who is thinking of not setting max limits on the horse Johnny V rides.
7-Crown Pride 20/1
Trainer: Koichi Shintani
Jockey: Cristophe Lemaire
The Japanese invader has a great resume, three dirt wins from four races, including the Grade 2 UAE Derby.
Also, if you look down his line, Crown Pride shows Sunday Silence. Sunday Silence won the Derby and Preakness in 1989.
8-Charge It 20/1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Luis Saez
The 2022 Kentucky Derby wise guy horse? Maybe. Two-time Derby winner Todd Pletcher trains. Tapit, the number one sire in North America, calls Charge It son, and anybody who watched Florida Derby knew that if Charge It had run in a straight line instead of ducking in, he would have gone on to a 3 to 4 length victory.
9-Tiz the Bomb 30/1
Trainer: Kenneth McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Kentucky Derby 2022 showcases two legit longshot ponies from the McPeek barn. Tiz the Bomb has won his last two races.
They were both on the all-weather. So per head agents won’t find a horseplayer who believes the Bomb will translate his form to dirt. But, again, a quality horse like Tiz the Bomb can probably run on foam and still perform well.
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Flavien Prat
The turn of foot Zandon showed in the Blue Grass Stakes implies he blows by his opponents in the Kentucky Derby, which is why Battaglia made Zandon the morning line favorite.
But there’s something about Zandon, well, two things about Zandon, that should bother his backers. First, Zandon’s dad is Upstart.
Upstart charges $10,000 to cover a mare. To put that into comparison, Taiba’s sire, Gun Runner, charges $125,000.
Second, Chad Brown has had limited Triple Crown race success. Don’t get us wrong, Brown is a fantastic trainer, but he doesn’t get them ready to win races like the Kentucky Derby.
It’s tempting to allow as many bets on Zandon on your bookie website as possible. But like every horse running for the roses, Zandon has a shot.
We don’t think his shot at winning, though, is as good as Battaglia does.
11-Pioneer of Medina 30/1
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Here’s our third longshot with a chance. McPeek trained the other two. Pletcher trains this one.
Pioneer of Medina is a half-brother to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The horse ran well in the Louisiana Derby, and he’s training lights out. So, yeah, set max limits for sure.
Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Jockey: Mike Smith
Of all the runners in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, Taiba has the best chance of winning the Triple Crown. The $1.7 million purchase has the makings of a superstar. He easily won his first two races, is bred to win races up to 1 ½ miles, possibly longer, is fast, and can track or close.
Either Taiba bombs on Saturday, or he wins by 4 to 5 lengths. If he’s grown some since the Santa Anita Derby victory and learned a few things, he could win the race by close to 10 lengths.
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Simplification doesn’t look good enough on paper. But if the race falls apart, the Sano trainee could plop for fourth.
PPH sports agents must watch out for horses like Simplification. A savvy horseplayer will put an equine-like Simplification in the third and fourth slots on their superfecta ticket.
Then, when the pace does fall apart and Simplification third, the payout could be astronomical.
14-Barber Road 30/1
Trainer: John Ortiz
Jockey: Reylu Guitierrez
Barber Road has a lot going against him. He isn’t fast enough. He shouldn’t relish the 10-furlongs.
His jockey is 0-5 at Churchill Downs so far. At least Barber Road has a win and a second-place finish at Churchill Downs.
But the longshot is likely to spot the front runners 14 to 20 lengths once the gates open. It will be too tough to make up that much ground.
15-White Abbario 10/1
Trainer: Saffie Joseph, Jr.
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
White Abbario, the Florida Derby winner, is 4-of-5 lifetime. He loves to run.
But let’s not get crazy. The odds are too low on White Abbario to win the Kentucky Derby. He’s never run anything close to being fast enough to beat Taiba, Zandon, Messier, or Mo Donegal.
Also, Abbario’s best races were at Gulfstream. Horses are mammals like us. So when they feel comfortable, they perform better.
White Abbario won’t feel as comfortable at Churchill Downs as he does at Gulfstream. White Abbario finished third behind Smile Happy and Classic Causeway in his lone race at Churchill Downs.
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Trainer Brad Cox owns Churchill Downs. He wins more races than any other trainer. But owning Churchill Downs isn’t the same as dominating the Kentucky Derby.
Cox won the Derby last year with Mandaloun after the powers that be at Churchill Downs took down Baffert runner Medina Spirit. Cyberknife is a good racehorse, but he must improve to win the Derby.
The newly appointed King of Churchill Downs believes his Arkansas Derby winner is ready to roll. The odds say otherwise.
17-Classic Causeway 30/1
Trainer: Brian Lynch
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Classic Causeway knows one way to go, grab the lead and run as far as possible. It didn’t work in the Florida Derby because he backpedaled after the second call and finished eleventh by twenty-one lengths.
It definitely won’t work in the Kentucky Derby because CC will face a ton of early pressure. He must also get a good position before the first turn, and he breaks from post 17.
18-Tawny Port 30/1
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Tawny Port could be the fourth sleeper your players consider backing. The horse could go off closer to 40-to-1 odds than 30-to-1.
Even though Tawny has yet to post a speed figure close to Taiba’s or Messier’s, Brad Cox believes in this runner. But Cox is a master horseman.
So who knows? Maybe, Tawny Port blows away the field in the stretch and becomes this year’s Kentucky Derby winner.
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Manuel Franco
Zozos was a top play to win the 2022 Kentucky Derby. But then he ran up against Epicenter in the Louisiana Derby.
Zozos finished second in the Louisiana Derby. He had some excuses. If the third Cox runner had a better post, your players would use your sports betting software and back Zozos.
Front runners breaking from post-19 don’t often race well. How will a lightly raced runner like Zozos react to the Churchill Downs crowd?
20-Ethereal Road 20/1
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Jockey: Luis Contreras
- Wayne has a horse in the Derby. But although it’s nice that Lukas will saddle a horse in the Run for the Roses, we shouldn’t kid ourselves.
With Ethereal Road, price per head agents won’t have much to worry about. Set max limits. It’s doubtful any one of your players bet on Ethereal Road. The second-place finisher in the Grade 2 Rebel has since finished seventh in the Blue Grass and fourth in the Lexington.
Lukas used to be the Churchill Downs king. But the King of Churchill Downs hasn’t produced a Derby winner since Charismatic in 1999.
How to manage the action on the 2022 Kentucky Derby
There are more races at Churchill Downs than the Kentucky Derby. So before getting into how to manage the action on the 2022 Kentucky Derby, it’s essential to make a couple of decisions.
Do you want to offer wagering on any of the pre-Kentucky Derby races? Second, do you wish to provide any Derby bets other than to win?
Answer those two questions and then read the following.
1. Open Kentucky Derby wagering for all your players
The Derby is the only race that grandmas, grandpas, cousins, third-cousins, uncles, and everyone you and every one your players know will pay attention to this year.
Think about it this way. Professional horseplayers live for races other than the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is often a mess. It’s impossible to handicap.
So by opening up the Derby to all of your players, you could make a lot of money. How many of your players will bet on the horse that wins the Derby?
2. Set max bet limits on win, place, and show
Although you should open your racebook for the Kentucky Derby, it’s crucial to set max limits on win, place, and show. Don’t allow players to be more than $50 to $100 on any horse to finish first, second, or third.
3. Set max payout limits on exotics
This is the most crucial rule to remember. Don’t ever pay track odds on exotic bets. Don’t even think about it.
The track makes a percentage of every dollar wagered. Then, racetracks pay out what’s leftover to players with winning tickets. You run a pay per head service bookmaking site.
You don’t take a cut from every dollar wagered on a horse race. So if you decide to allow your players to make bets other than to win, place, or show, and you should think about it, set max payout limits on exotics.
Depending on your sportsbook’s size, you could set a max payout limit of $500 to $1,000 on every exotic ticket.
List of Most Popular Exotic Bets
Players choose the top two finishers in exact order to cash.
Players choose the top three finishers, first, second, and third.
Players choose the top four finishers in a race in exact order.
Players choose three consecutive winners. A Pick 3 is a three-race is sort of like a three-team parlay.
Horseplayers choose the winner in four consecutive races.
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