Everything You Need to Know Before the Kentucky Derby 2022

Photo of a horse race
Sascha Grabow/Creative Commons

2022 sees the Kentucky Derby run for the 148th time. This race is known as the most exciting two minutes in sport, but what do you need to know about it?

The racetrack is held at the historic venue of Churchill Downs in Louisville is once again the setting for this event, which is the first leg of the coveted American Triple Crown of horse racing. The horses that take part are all three-year-old thoroughbreds and the race sees them complete over a mile and a quarter. 

This race takes place on Saturday, May 7, but the Kentucky Derby Festival begins before then. For example, April 30 is the date for the running of the marathon and mini-marathon that are part of the festivities. The Great BalloonFest takes place on the same day, with the much-loved Great Balloon Race providing one of the highlights of the whole thing.

Who Are the Favorites?

The 20 horses that take part in the Kentucky Derby will have earned the right to take part by winning prior races and picking up points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby. A series of races form part of this qualification process and let us see who is likely to win the big race. The Louisiana Derby and the Santa Anita Derby are just a couple of high-profile events where points and prize money can be won.

At the time of writing, the horse at the top of the list is called Epicenter. It’s no surprise to see that Epicenter is also the favorite with sportsbooks at this stage, as many bettors have decided to put some money on him winning long before the day of the race. With 164 points already on the board, his place in the Derby is already confirmed.

White Abarrio is another horse that has caught the eye in the build-up to the Kentucky Derby. He recently won the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park to climb to second place on the leaderboard in the Road to the Kentucky Derby. With 112 points already to this name, this horse will definitely be taking part on May 7 and is already being classed as one of the favorites.

Tiz the Bomb is in third spot, with an impressive 110 points already to his name. This horse has also confirmed his entry to the Derby with a win in the Jeff Ruby Steaks, following his earlier triumph in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. 

Cyberknife is another of the Derby contenders that have been impressing in recent weeks. He won the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby and currently has exactly 100 points on the leaderboard, so has already virtually assured his presence on the big stage on May 7.

 How Can You Place a Bet?

Having seen the basics, you might be wondering how to take the next step and place a bet on the horse that you think will win. This is traditionally the American horse race that attracts the biggest crowd of the year, but if you can’t get to Churchill Downs you can still place your wager online.

The first big decision is whether to bet now or wait until closer to the big day. Wagering in advance can give you the advantage in that the odds on the favorites tend to be more attractive. No one is yet sure who will win, but if you think you know then you can find attractive odds just now.

Alternatively, if you wait until the start of May, the situation may be a lot clearer. We will soon get to see the remaining build-up races such as the Lexington Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes. These are some final opportunities to see which horses are in good form for the Kentucky Derby.

Another option is to look beyond a single horse and place a bet that includes two or more of them. This is tricky to get right, but can be a good option if you think you know which horses will finish strongly but aren’t sure of the order in which they will arrive at the finish line.

 If you plan to place your Kentucky Derby bet online, the first step is to look for a reputable, secure sportsbook where you can choose from all of the latest odds and most popular bet types. Signing up is a short process and you should look out for any welcome offers that let you get started with bonus funds or a free bet.

The process of placing a bet online is also simple, as you need to choose the race you have in mind and then click on a certain horse. Choose the amount of your stake and then confirm the wager when you’re ready.

This looks like being another great year for the Kentucky Derby, and placing a bet on your favorite horse will help you to feel part of it.


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