Fast Track

Kentucky Derby Picks

Free Kentucky Derby Contenders PPs for Saturday, May 7, 2022 at Churchill Downs

UPDATE: Wiz Capper’s Projected Odds and Picks for Kentucky Derby 148

Kentucky Derby 2022 PPs Courtesy of Brisnet

148th Kentucky Derby
Grade 1
Post Time: 6:57 p.m. Eastern
Television: NBC (2:30-7:30)
Race 12
Distance: 1 1/4 miles
Purse: $3 million

1 Mo Donegal – 96/111 Pletcher 10-1 11th
Some horses run better in New York than they do in Kentucky. He may be one of them. Earned a strong BRIS closing number last time in winning the Wood. A deep closer who can best navigate the rail position by saving ground and he’s won 2 of 3 when drawing the 1 post. Note he beat the ML favorite Zandon three back in the Remsen. The last Wood Memorial winner to win the Derby was Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000.
2 Happy Jack – 83/97 O’Neill 30-1 10th
O’Neill said he was hoping for an outside draw for his son of 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow. Split the field in 3rd LTO in the Santa Anita Derby as an also ran. Bejarano will be aboard for the first time. Horse has only a maiden win in 4 starts and twice beaten by Messier. 
3 Epicenter – 102/101 Asmussen 7-2 3rd
Needs a clean break. Inside all other speed and should get the jump on the others. Cruising speed will help him despite being so close to the rail. The last time a Louisiana Derby winner won the Kentucky Derby was in 1996 when Grindstone did it for D Wayne Lukas. The only other winner of both the Louisiana and Kentucky Derby was Black Gold in 1924.
4 Summer Is Tomorrow – NA Seemar 30-1 17th
Runner up in the UAE Derby has early speed and jockey Barzalona will travel with him for this. But so does the UAE Derby winner Crown Pride who will get a new rider in Christophe Lemaire.
5 Smile Happy – 94/101 McPeek 20-1 6th
Won his first two including the Kentucky Jockey Club which his grandsire won on his way to winning the 2010 Derby. Could excuse his runner up finish as the favorite in the Risen Star when making his first start at 3. But showed distance limit LTO in the Blue Grass when he tired in deep stretch to get passed by Zandon.
6 Messier – 103/108 Yakteen 8-1 2nd
Canadian bred won the Lewis by a bunch over four who would be also rans in here. Defeated LTO in the Santa Anita Derby by stablemate Taiba who was making his second career start after a maiden win. Expect him to be sent aggressively at the break but appears to have distance limitations.
7 Crown Pride – NA Shintani 20-1 16th
UAE Derby winner was bred in Japan. Grand sire Sunday Silence won the 1989 Derby in a flat 2:05 timed as one of the slowest Kentucky Derby races in decades. Should have no problems with the distance but his class is in question.
8 Charge It – 93/98 Pletcher 20-1 5th
Good post for Florida Derby runner up. Oddsmaker has him double the price of the Floriday Derby winner White Abarrio. But he was gaining on the winner with every stride even as he lugged in, switched off his right lead and just missed. Sire Tapit has 4 Belmont winners, but no Derby winners.
9 Tiz the Bomb – 94/101   30-1 15th
The Jeff Ruby Stakes (formerly the G3 Spiral at Turfway) winner seeks to join Animal Kingdom and Lil E Tee before him as the only two winners of the Kentucky Derby prep from Turfway Park. He’s a five time winner on turf and all-weather but in his two dirt races he truly bombed out.
10 Zandon – 98/103 Brown 3-1 4th
Second in points earned, his morning accomplishments of late have made him favorite over Epicenter who sits atop the leaderboard. Prat was perfect in the Blue Grass and his patience paid off with a strong closing finish to victory over the tiring Smile Happy.
11 Pioneer of Medina – 93/96 Pletcher 30-1 14th
Pletcher has to go to the well to give the leg up to the seventh different rider for this son of Pioneerof the Nile. Expect a quick break and a hustle to get position going into the first turn. But he lacks the necessary speed to clear and will be hung out wide before tiring.
12 Taiba – 103/111 Yakteen 12-1 THE PICK
Won the Santa Anita Derby in impressive fashion over a small field and will be making only his third career start. Mike Smith could become the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. And this horse could give Zedan Racing Stables an “official” winner of the Kentucky Derby after the DQ of last year’s winner Medina Spirit.
13 Simplification – 96/103 Sano 20-1 9th
Won the Fountain of Youth from off the pace while being restrained in traffic. The race was marred by a spill at the top of the stretch when two horses clipped heels. He was six wide and circled the leaders to draw off down the lane. In Due Time closed late to finish second after causing the spill at the top of the stretch. Third in the Florida Derby after pressing the pace. Seems he’s better from off the pace but Ortiz will need to hustle a little from outside to get into a stalking position to make a middle move.
14 Barber Road – 88/93 Ortiz 30-1 20th
Winner of two in a row early on but has only been able to complete the exacta in 4 of his last 5 including a 2nd in the Arkansas Derby. He’s a closer and will have to drop, save ground and hope for the speed to back up.
15 White Abarrio – 97/97 Joseph Jr. 10-1 8th
After winning his first two career starts at Gulfstream connections tried him in the KYJC where he finished 3rd. His Holy Bull win to open 3YO season flattered Smile Happy’s KYJC. His Florida Derby win puts him right there turning for home. Will need to break quick enough to keep Cyberknife outside of him.
16 Cyberknife – 92/94 Cox 20-1 7th
“Open air trip” probable for him as his style will allow him to get into a nice stalking spot behind the top speed horses. Worked a 6F bullet in preparation after his Arkansas Derby win. Could be on top turning for home but distance will be a factor.
17 Classic Causeway – 90/99 Lynch 30-1 19th
Leparoux will have to be aggressive from the break or he’ll be hung out wide. Final workout was perfect according to connections. He stopped so suddenly in the Florida Derby that he had to have bled
18 Tawny Port – 90/99 Cox 30-1 13th
Will need to save ground which means he’ll have to take back and drop in.
19 Zozos – 98/98 Cox 20-1 12th
Needs to get aggressive from the gate. Long run into first turn.
20 Ethereal Road – 84/91 Lukas 30-1 18th
Was the beneficiary of two late defectors who had more points than his 22, but won’t run. Draws widest of all and has no early foot to get position so will have to drop over and hope for the best. Trainer looking for his 5th lifetime Derby win (1988, 1995, 1996, 1999).