Two of the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites have already faced each other this year. Epicenter got the better of Zandon in the Risen Star Stakes in February. Zandon has the better post position for Saturday's race though, and he's 8-1 in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds. Epicenter is one of the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites at 5-1, while Messier is close behind at 7-1. Epicenter has momentum coming into Churchill Downs after winning four of his last five races. Will he be able to overtake Zandon for the second time this year? The 2022 Kentucky Derby post time is 6:57 p.m. ET. With the Kentucky Derby 2022 featuring the largest field in North American racing, you'll want to see what astute racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2022 Kentucky Derby picks.
Few people in racing are as connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders' Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.
She also has tremendous handicapping chops. In the 2011 Kentucky Derby, she correctly tabbed Animal Kingdom to win at a hefty 21-1. In the 2017 Breeders' Cup, she nailed 11-1 long shot Wuheida to win the Filly and Mare Turf. Last year in a wide-open Kentucky Derby, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1.
Since joining SportsLine in November, her picks have cashed in six of 12 races, including the exacta in the Breeders' Cup Classic. On Friday, she nailed the 2022 Kentucky Oaks winner, Secret Oath. Anyone who has followed her is way up.
Now, Yu has handicapped the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, made her picks and constructed her bets. Click here to see them.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby predictions
One surprise: Yu is tossing Messier, even though he is one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites at 7-1. In fact, Yu says Messier barely cracks the top 10. Messier put together several strong results over the past few months, but he will be facing a better 2022 Kentucky Derby lineup on Saturday. He was unable to come through down the stretch at the Santa Anita Derby last month, as Taiba's speed was too much to overcome. The track was longer than what Messier is used to, so this Churchill Downs' 1 1/4-mile length could pose a problem as well.
Messier is one of the fastest horses in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field, but it could be difficult for him to contend with other top 2022 Kentucky Derby contenders. Zandon is being ridden by Flavien Prat, who has been outstanding at Churchill Downs in the past, but Yu believes there are better values than backing Messier at 7-1.
Instead, Yu is high on Cyberknife, even though he is a 14-1 long shot. He is quickly becoming one of the most popular Kentucky Derby long shot picks since he is coming off a win at the Arkansas Derby. Cyberknife has won his last two races and three of his last four. He is sired by Gun Runner, who won 10 graded-stakes races during his career.
Cyberknife is trained by Brad Cox, who has broken through over the last few years. Cox won the Eclipse Trainer of the Year award in 2020 and then added another victory in 2021. He led Mandaloun to a win in the Kentucky Derby last year after Medina Spirit was disqualified.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby picks, bets
Yu's top pick is an overlooked horse who has the "speed to press and has top connections." Yu is also high on an enormous long shot who is her "must-use-in-exotics horse." She said this colt "has shown race after race that he belongs in the Kentucky Derby." She is including these horses in her 2022 Kentucky Derby bets, and so should you. She's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby? Which enormous long shot is a must-back? Check out the Kentucky Derby odds 2022 below, then visit SportsLine to see Yu's picks for the Kentucky Derby, all from the expert who nailed last year's winner on Derby Day.
2022 Kentucky Derby odds, horses, post positions
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