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Kentucky Derby Horses: 2022 Field, Expert Rankings & More

The Kentucky Derby is loaded with the top three-year-olds in racing. See how the horses rank leading up to the race on May 7.

Last Updated: May 4, 2022 7:40 AM ET Read Time: 3 min
The field of horses running in the 147th Kentucky Derby in 2021.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Run for the Roses returns to its familiar place during the first weekend in May, with the 2022 Kentucky Derby scheduled for May 7. 

The horse racing experts at TwinSpires have ranked all the horses and provided analysis on which horse has the best odds to win the Kentucky Derby.

Who is running in the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The 148th Kentucky Derby (G1) is on tap at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 7, and this year’s “Run for the Roses” features contenders with star quality as well as promising up-and-comers and even a couple of international shippers.

A maximum of 20 horses can race in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of the Triple Crown for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Horses earn their way into the field by scoring points in designated prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby” that began last September and recently concluded April 16.

Here are the top 20 on the points leaderboard, all assured of a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May. As many as four additional horses may enter on Monday as “also-eligibles,” in case any horses in the main body of the field are scratched. So we’re including the next four on the points list, the horses “on the bubble” awaiting defections.

For more betting intel ahead of the Kentucky Derby, read our detailed analysis of our favorite horses and the long shots in the running.

Rank Horse Category Odds
1 Epicenter Favorite 7/2
2 Zandon Favorite 3/1
3 Mo Donegal Favorite 10/1
4 Messier Favorite 8/1
5 White Abarrio Contender 10/1
6 Simplification Contender 20/1
7 Cyberknife Contender 20/1
8 Smile Happy Contender 20/1
9 Crown Pride Contender 20/1
10 Taiba Contender 12/1
11 Charge It Long shot 20/1
12 Tiz the Bomb Long shot 30/1
13 Zozos Long shot 20/1
14 Pioneer of Medina Longshot 30/1
15 Tawny Port Long shot 30/1
16 Rattle N Roll Long shot 30/1
17 Classic Causeway Long shot 30/1
18 Ethereal Road Long shot 30/1
19 Barber Road Long shot 30/1
20 Summer is Tomorrow Long shot 30/1
21 Rich Strike Long shot 30/1
22 Happy Jack Long shot 30/1

Odds courtesy of TVG as of May 7, 2022.


2022 Kentucky Derby points standings

Rank Horse Points
1 Epicenter 164
2 Zandon 114
3 White Abarrio 112
4 Mo Donegal 112
5 Tiz the Bomb 110
6 Cyberknife 100
7 Crown Pride 100
8 Taiba 100
9 Simplification 74
10 Smile Happy 70
11 Classic Causeway 66
12 Tawny Port 60
13 Barber Road 58
14 Un Ojo 54
15 Early Voting 50
16 Messier 40
17 Zozos 40
18 Summer Is Tomorrow 40
19 Charge It 40
20 Happy Jack 30
21 Pioneer of Medina 25
22 In Due Time 24
23 Ethereal Road 22
24 Rich Strike 21
25 Rattle N Roll 20
26 Skippylongstocking 20
27 Major General 18
28 Golden Glider 15

Point standings as of May 2, 2022

Printable Kentucky Derby horses list

The field and the post positions are set, be sure to download our printable Kentucky Derby horses list to take with you on the go!

How horses qualify for the Kentucky Derby

There are a series of qualifying races for eligible three-year-old horses, also known as the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which begin in September and runs until early April. These races are mostly held in the United States, however, there are qualifying races in Japan and the United Kingdom. 

These races are part of a points system that will decide the starting field for the Kentucky Derby, with some races worth more points than others. Horses are awarded points based on their performances in these qualifying events and the top 18 horses in the points standings (if the top points horses from Japan and UK opt-in) are awarded starting spots in the Kentucky Derby. 

Kentucky Derby prep races

There are 48 total prep races for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, starting with the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs on September 18, 2021, and wrapping at the Lexington at Keeneland on April 16, 2022. 

Types of Kentucky Derby horses

The Kentucky Derby isn’t open to just any horse. The “Run for the Roses” is limited to thoroughbred colts and fillies racing as three-year-olds.

Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred horses are predominantly used for racing, as they have a taller and slimmer build and are more athletic than standardbred horses, which are muscular and used in harness racing. Thoroughbred horses are able to sustain speeds over longer distances, with the Kentucky Derby raced at a 1 ¼ miles. 

Age of horses

Three-year-old horses can be considered teenagers in terms of growth, nearly fully developed but not quite at the maturity or muscle build of the four-year-old horse. Limiting the field to three-year-old horses allows for only a handful of prep races and adds an aura of mystery to the Kentucky Derby field, serving as a coming-out party for the next generation of elite race horses. 

Where can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?

Several legal horse racing betting sites allow you to wager on the Kentucky Derby, but not every sportsbook is allowed to offer Derby odds. We have created a guide outlining the best Kentucky Derby betting sites available in your area.

Which states have legal betting on the Kentucky Derby?

Kentucky Derby betting is legal in 34 states, available at both TVG and TwinSpires.

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Find the best Kentucky Derby betting sites in your region. The best betting sites offer sharp odds, quick payouts and are safe and secure when it comes to depositing and withdrawing your money. 

Canada (excluding Ontario)

Almost all sports betting sites offer fixed-odds betting on horse racing. Check out the best sports betting sites in Canada or sign up now with one of our top partners, Bet365, and earn up to $200 in bet credits!

Ontario

Following the changes to the iGaming regulations on April 4, 2022, horse racing betting is no longer available at sportsbooks. Those in Ontario who are looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby will need to sign up at one of Woodbine's two online offerings, HPIbet and Dark Horse Bets

Kentucky Derby Horses FAQs

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