This year's Kentucky Derby will be a little different with no Bob Baffert-trained horses in the field. Due to suspension in Kentucky and New York, Baffert isn't eligible. This verdict stems from last year's first-place finisher Medina Spirit's disqualification after testing positive for a banned substance.
This news really opens the door to hunting for some value to use in your Derby wagers.
Racing analyst Monique Vág gives her free picks and predictions for the 2022 Kentucky Derby — including her favorite trifecta bet.
Kentucky Derby picks
Additionally, make sure to watch the Kentucky Derby odds.
- Win pick: Zandon (10)
- Place pick: Cyberknife (16)
- Show pick: Charge It (8)
- Trifecta pick: 10-16-8
Kentucky Derby pick analysis
Post positions vary in importance based on the type of running style each horse has. Horses with early speed typically favor an outside draw because it can help them get to the front end easier and they can usually avoid being squeezed back towards the rail during the first turn.
Horses from the No. 5 gate have won the most frequently with 10 victories over the years, with post 10 following closely behind with nine. Post 17 still remains winless.
For my exotic bets — and horses to round out the bottom of the trifecta and superfecta wagers — I like to look for long-shots that could benefit the most from their preferred running style.
Here's a look at the three horses I will for sure be using to round out my 2022 Kentucky Derby trifecta pick.
- Jockey: Flavien Prat
- Trainer: Chad Brown
- Post position: 10
Zandon impressed in December's Remsen Stakes, getting into a duel down the stretch. He split rivals in tight quarters but couldn't fend off the late rally from Mo Donegal. He gamely fought on late in the race after it looked like he was passed and put away. I love that type of grit and he's only gotten better since that narrow loss.
He enters Saturday coming off a dominant win in the Blue Grass Stakes. He didn't get out to the greatest of starts but was able to navigate in tight quarters once again and gobbled up ground when given clear racing room in the stretch.
He's my clear-cut top choice despite having a little bit of history against him with 15 years going by since Street Sense was the last Blue Grass Stakes winner to win the Kentucky Derby.
Pick: Zandon SU (3/1)
- Jockey: Florent Geroux
- Trainer: Brad Cox
- Post position: 16
Winner of the Arkansas Derby, Cyberknife also enters Derby Saturday coming off a victory. He seems to be peaking at the right time, having won each of his last two races and three of his last four.
With so many of these horses so lightly raced, it wouldn't be surprising to see this colt take another big step forward and continue to improve.
Cyberknife has tactical speed and a good pedigree to handle the distance. He also projects to be close to the pace early on and should have every single chance to hang around for a big piece at a huge price.
Pick: Cyberknife to place
Show: Charge It
- Jockey: Luis Saez
- Trainer: Todd Pletcher
- Post position: 8
Charge It had a slew of problems in his most recent effort, the Grade 1 Florida Derby. First, he broke slow and was all over the track, going wide and ducking inside before veering back to the outside for a late stretch rally.
It was a tough trip, and he still fought on gamely. Of course, this horse showed signs of being green, but he's another in this field that could take a huge step forward. To finish second versus a tough Florida Derby field in only his third career start is very impressive and there's plenty of upside.
It also helps that he experienced the type of traffic trouble that could ensue in a full field of 20 runners compared to going up against 11 in Florida.
Pick: Charge It to show
Kentucky Derby straight trifecta pick: Zandon-Cyberknife-Charge It
Which states have legal betting on the Kentucky Derby?
Kentucky Derby betting is legal in 34 states, available at both TVG and TwinSpires.
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)
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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