Whether you like one of the top contenders or a continued shot, Saturday’s Kentucky Derby promises to action affluence of solid action options.
Blue Grass champ Zandon (3-1 odds) and Louisiana Derby champ Epicenter (7-2 odds) are the top choices in the morning band appear Monday. But there absolutely are several added arresting options in a chase advised “wide-open” by many.
Kentucky Derby 2022: Live updates on favorites, odds, contest and added at Churchill Downs
Kentucky Derby 2022: Aggregate you charge to apperceive about this year’s race
With that in mind, The Courier Journal offers its anniversary breakdown of why anniversary horse can and can’t win the Kentucky Derby – abounding serious, a few argot in cheek, one destined to be appropriate and one destined to be wrong.
Click on anniversary horse’s name to apprentice added and watch a video of his aftermost basic race.
Why he can win: Brisnet Acceleration Abstracts admired his Wood Memorial victory, giving it a 111 amount that matches the best of any horse in the field. Closer should adulation the 1 ¼-mile distance.
Why he can’t win: The No. 1 column hasn’t been affectionate of late, with Ferdinand in 1986 the aftermost champ from there. A new starting aboideau that fabricated its admission in 2020 was meant to accumulate the No. 1 horse from accepting awkward at the rail, but owners and trainers still would adopt to abstain the spot.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Mo Donegal, right, puts in a final conditioning forth with a abiding acquaintance at Churchill Downs one anniversary afore the race. Mo Donegal is accomplished by Todd Pletcher. April 30, 2022
Why he can win: Trainer Doug O’Neill has won the Kentucky Derby twice, so he knows how to get it done.
Why he can’t win: Happy Jack – which has absent his accomplished three contest by a accumulated 49 lengths – is not I’ll Accept Another or Nyquist.
Printable guide: Print or save this Kentucky Derby action adviser afore you go to Churchill Downs
Why he can win: He’s bigger in his aftermost three contest and showed some versatility in laying off the clip and again acceptable the Louisiana Derby. Abounding anticipation he’d be the morning-line favorite. A horse bred in Bowling Green – ravaged by tornadoes aftermost December – seems like a feel-good story.
Why he can’t win: Is Steve Asmussen jinxed? No trainer has entered added horses in the Kentucky Derby (23) afterwards acceptable one. Conceivably it’s not meant to be for him.
More: Steve Asmussen has won aggregate but the Kentucky Derby. Could Epicenter end the drought?
Why he can win: Because you accept in miracles?
Why he can’t win: He’s never won a chase best than 7 furlongs. The beloved had his adventitious in the UAE Derby at 1 3/16 afar but couldn’t authority off Crown Pride bottomward the stretch.
Why he can win: He was cool absorbing as a 2-year-old with romps at Keeneland and Churchill. Trainer Kenny McPeek has kept him beginning this year with aloof two contest and is acquisitive to absolve a big one Saturday.
Why he can’t win: He’s 0 for 2 this year with a brace of runner-up finishes. He had every adventitious to win the Blue Grass but couldn’t authority off Zandon bottomward the stretch.
More: This abstracted trainer’s agog eye, different access led 2 horses to Kentucky Derby
Why he can win: He’s as accomplished as anyone and may not accept been as fit as bare in the Santa Anita Derby, aback he achromatic to additional abaft Taiba. It’s adamantine to brainstorm he’ll breach as aerial as 8-1 odds, but can you canyon on action him that high?
Why he can’t win: How are the Derby gods activity to adjudicator these horses who ahead were accomplished by Bob Baffert and now are in the easily of Tim Yakteen? And will Yakteen accept them as able as Baffert would have? It’s one of the best arresting questions of this Derby.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Messier is bathed on the abaft of Churchill Downs afterward its aboriginal cruise to the track. The above Bob Baffert abecedarian is actuality handled by Tim Yakteen due to Baffert’s abeyance from the track. May 2, 2022
Derby 2022: Who is Tim Yakteen? Meet the man abaft Bob Baffert’s above horses in this year’s Derby
Why he can win: From aftermost year’s Breeders’ Cup to this year’s Dubai World Cup, Japanese horses accept been on blaze on the civic stage. Crown Pride’s training methods at Churchill Downs accept been different to say the least, but calculation him out at your own risk.
Why he can’t win: Aback 2000, the UAE Derby has produced 16 Kentucky Derby starters and none has accomplished bigger than fifth (Master of Hounds in 2011). Thunder Snow adeptness still be out there bent around.
Why he can win: Abounding accept he would accept won the Florida Derby had he not hit the aboideau and been slowed at the start.
Why he can’t win: Didn’t chase as a 2-year-old and has alone three contest in his career. Justify airy a lot of those “curses,” but does this one accept abundant acquaintance to breach through?
Why he can win: Throw out the Holy Bull and he’s 5-1-0 in his accomplished six races. A achievement would be huge for trainer Kenny McPeek and the Magdalena Farm he bought in 2006.
Why he can’t win: Nearly all of his success has appear on all-weather surfaces or turf. He did win a one-mile beginning chase on clay at Ellis Park aftermost July but accomplished seventh in his added two starts on dirt.
Why he can win: No horse has looked bigger aback the jet-black Zandon accustomed actuality in backward April. His four-furlong breeze April 29 had trainer Chad Brown beaming, and he garnered cachet as the morning-line admired for a reason.
Why he can’t win: It’s adamantine to acquisition a bang adjoin him, but he did accomplishment 3 ¼ lengths abaft Epicenter in their abandoned antagonism Feb. 19 in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.
Zandon, with Flavien Prat up, wins the Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Keeneland chase course.
Why he can win: He hasn’t been able to bout Epicenter in his accomplished two races, but he hasn’t been far back, either. If he can booty a footfall forward, he has a adventitious to be in the mix at the end.
Why he can’t win: The acceleration abstracts aloof don’t bout up with the best, and several added closers in the acreage assume a bit better.
Why he can win: A $1.7 actor purchase, he’s the best big-ticket horse in the acreage and may be the best talented. He took a huge footfall advanced in acceptable the Santa Anita Derby.
Why he can’t win: Alone one horse has anytime won the Derby with aloof two career starts – Leonatus in 1883. It’s adamantine to avoid that history.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Taiba is bathed afterward a amble about the Churchill Downs track. The above Bob Baffert abecedarian is now actuality handled by Tim Yakteen. May 2, 2022
Why he can win: He’s won every added chase in his career and is due a achievement afterwards finishing third in the Florida Derby. Showed some aboriginal acceleration in the Florida Derby but couldn’t adhere on bottomward the stretch.
Why he can’t win: He’s had two affairs adjoin White Abarrio at Gulfstream Park and hasn’t been able to get the job done. He’s spent his accomplished career at Gulfstream, so there are above catechism marks about his adeptness on a new surface.
Kentucky Derby hopeful Simplification takes to the clue at Churchill Downs for the aboriginal time for a morning jog. May 2, 2022
Why he can win: Maybe he assuredly puts it all calm afterwards a agglomeration of abutting calls at Oaklawn Park. Trainer John Ortiz is one of the nice guys in the bold and gets his aboriginal attempt in the Derby.
Why he can’t win: He consistently tries hard, but he’s winless in his accomplished bristles starts. His acceleration abstracts lag abaft the best in this field.
Why he can win: Feels like he’s actuality disregarded afterwards acceptable four of bristles career starts, including the Florida Derby. Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. was captivated afterwards his final conditioning Saturday in Florida.
Why he can’t win: The alone accident of his career came at Churchill Downs. Conceivably he’s artlessly a “horse for the course” at Gulfstream. No gray horse has won the Derby aback Giacomo in 2005.
Why he can win: Looks to be the best of the three for Louisville trainer Brad Cox, who got the Derby win aftermost year with Mandaloun via disqualification. Throw out the Lecomte, and his 4-1-0 almanac in bristles added starts is adamantine to ignore.
Why he can’t win: There are big questions about who he exhausted in the Arkansas Derby and whether he’s able of demography the abutting footfall advanced he’ll charge to attempt with the best in the Run for the Roses.
Kentucky Derby 2022: 5 things to apperceive about Louisville horse trainer Brad Cox, including his alley to success
Why he can win: Really alone one way – go War Emblem and booty them aboideau to wire.
Why he can’t win: No horse anytime has won the Kentucky Derby from the No. 17 post. Are you accessible to assurance a horse that accomplished 11th in his aftermost race?
Why he can win: This will be his third chase in 36 days. Maybe he’ll be in bigger appearance than anybody else? He assuredly showed the adeptness to win on clay with his achievement in the Grade 3 Lexington at Keeneland.
Why he can’t win: The alone time he faced horses of Kentucky Derby-caliber, he accomplished fifth in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.
Why he can win: Showed some aboriginal acceleration in the Louisiana Derby, and conceivably some bigger conditioning aback again will acquiesce him to abduct it.
Why he can’t win: Didn’t chase as a 2-year-old and alone three career starts. Can’t avoid the history.
Why he can win: Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the horse will be advancing late. What a adventure a achievement would be for the 86-year-old Lukas.
Why he can’t win: Finishing seventh and fourth in your aftermost two contest afore the Derby doesn’t affect confidence.
Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; [email protected]; Twitter: @KentuckyDerbyCJ.
This commodity originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Derby horses 2022: Here’s why your horses accept a shot, or don’t
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