French-born and Japan-based jockey Christophe Lemaire will try to transfer his international success to the United States when he leaves the starting gate aboard Crown Pride in the 2022 Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs. The 42-year-old Lemaire has led all Japan Racing Association jockeys in wins for five straight years. On Saturday, he will ride in his first Kentucky Derby aboard UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, a 17-1 long shot in the live 2022 Kentucky Derby odds. Zandon, who will be ridden by Flavien Prat, is 8-1 in the 20-horse 2022 Kentucky Derby field after opening as the favorite, while Epicenter, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario, is 5-1 along with Taiba. Post time for the Kentucky Derby 2022 is 6:57 p.m. ET. With a talented 20-horse 2022 Kentucky Derby field expected to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see what racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker Bob Weir has to say before making any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks.
A Saratoga Springs-based racing insider and Beyer Speed Figure maker, Weir is a two-time qualifier for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. He has produced multiple five-figure days at the track over the years, including a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar in 2014. Last year, he was on fire. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes, Blue Grass Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes.
This year, he has been red-hot in the 2022 Kentucky Derby prep races, hitting the superfecta in the Blue Grass Stakes, the trifecta in the Louisiana Derby and the exacta in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby. He also has hit the trifecta in the Pegasus World Cup and multiple Pick 4s, among other scores. Now, he has handicapped the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, made his picks and constructed his bets. Click here to see them.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby expert picks
One surprise: Weir is fading Zandon, even though he is one of the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites. The colt's typical approach of closing from off the pace might not work in the Kentucky Derby 2022 with so many horses jockeying for position and Weir expecting it to start off at a fast pace. A quick start could spell trouble for Zandon, who would need to work hard to stay close to the pack and could lack burst at the end.
Zandon also has just four races under his belt as a three-year-old, and the scene at Churchill Downs can be a lot to handle, even for the most experienced horses. There will be more traffic than he has seen, and with the quality of the field it could prove difficult to make up ground. He has two wins, a second-place and a third in his four races, finishing behind Epicenter and Smile Happy in the Risen Star and Mo Donegal in the Remsen Stakes. "I'm not convinced he's the right favorite in this race based on what he's done," Weir told SportsLine.
Another curveball: Weir is high on UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, even though he's a 17-1 long shot. A Japanese-bred son of Reach the Crown, Crown Pride has won three of his four career starts. He is coming off a 2 3/4-length victory in the UAE Derby.
Horses from Japan have broken through in the biggest races around the world over the last six months. They won two Breeders' Cup races in November, the country's first two wins in the Breeders' Cup, and then five races on the Dubai World Cup card, including the UAE Derby with Crown Pride. "Considering how Japanese horses have been running during recent international competitions, he's hard to ignore," Weir told SportsLine. Weir will be using Crown Pride prominently in his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions, bets
Weir is all-in on a massive double-digit long shot who should be in "a dangerous position at the top of the stretch" and has a "big chance at a potentially great price." Weir is including this horse in his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. He's only sharing his 2022 Kentucky Derby cheat sheet and picks here.
Who wins the Kentucky Derby 2022? And which enormous double-digit long shot is a must-back? Check out the latest Kentucky Derby odds 2022 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who has nailed this year's prep races.
2022 Kentucky Derby odds, contenders, horses, post positions
|1||Mo Donegal||8-1||SEE PICKS|
|2||Happy Jack||21-1||SEE PICKS|
|4||Summer is Tomorrow||42-1||SEE PICKS|
|5||Smile Happy||14-1||SEE PICKS|
|7||Crown Pride||17-1||SEE PICKS|
|8||Charge It||13-1||SEE PICKS|
|9||Tiz the Bomb||25-1||SEE PICKS|
|11||Pioneer of Medina||47-1||SEE PICKS|
|14||Barber Road||40-1||SEE PICKS|
|15||White Abarrio||11-1||SEE PICKS|
|17||Classic Causeway||67-1||SEE PICKS|
|18||Tawny Port||67-1||SEE PICKS|
|20||Rich Strike||99-1||SEE PICKS|