• Robert Routt

You probably made the wrong Kentucky Derby picks.

There are several reasons why each horse can or cannot win in a 'wide-open' race.

Derby horses and jockeys:

  1. Mo Donegal, Irad Ortiz Jr. (10-1)

  2. Happy Jack, Rafael Bejarano (30-1)

  3. Epicenter, Joel Rosario (7-2)

  4. Summer Is Tomorrow, Mickael Barzalona (30-1)

  5. Smile Happy, Corey Lanerie (20-1)

  6. Messier, John Velazquez (8-1)

  7. Crown Pride (JPN), Christophe Lemaire (20-1)

  8. Charge It, Luis Saez (20-1)

  9. Tiz the Bomb, Brian Hernandez Jr. (30-1)

  10. Zandon, Flavien Prat (3-1)

  11. Pioneer of Medina, Joe Bravo (30-1)

  12. Taiba, Mike Smith (12-1)

  13. Simplification, Jose Ortiz (20-1)

  14. Barber Road, Rey Gutierrez (30-1)

  15. White Abarrio, Tyler Gaffalione (10-1)

  16. Cyberknife, Florent Geroux (20-1)

  17. Classic Causeway, Julien Leparoux (30-1)

  18. Tawny Port, Ricardo Santana Jr. (30-1)

  19. Zozos, Manny Franco (20-1)

  20. Ethereal Road, Luis Contreras (30-1)

Churchill Downs

The Derby is Saturday.

No matter whether you back a top contender or a longshot in the Kentucky Derby, you'll find plenty of options.

Zandon (3-1 odds) won the Blue Grass while Epicenter (7-2 odds) won the Louisiana Derby. Nevertheless, as many people see the race as "wide open," there are quite a few other interesting candidates.

Kentucky Derby Picks

Favorites: Zandon, Epicenter, Taiba

Longshots: Cyberknife and Barber Road


  • Trainer: Chad Brown

  • Jockey: Flavien Prat

The Derby prep season has seen Zandon compete with the top students in his class. Despite finishing third behind Epicenter and Smile Happy in the Risen Star Stakes, the son of Upstart had not run since November and he showed some improvement. After a disappointing start in the Blue Grass Stakes, he rallied from last to finish well ahead of Smile Happy and everyone else. Several of the top Derby prospects prefer to run on or near the lead, so he could get a good trip from Flavien Prat, who has won the Derby with longshot Country House and is two other in-the-money finishes away from winning the race.


  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen

  • Jockey: Joel Rosario

Epicenter leads the division entering the Kentucky Derby. In all of his Kentucky Derby preps, Not This Time's son has performed well, and he has shown that he can win at the front or just off it. It is true that the Louisiana Derby does not have the best record in the Run for the Roses compared to other preps, but recent winners such as Hot Rod Charlie and Gun Runner have done well in the Derby, so you cannot entirely write the race off.


  • Trainer: Tim Yakteen

  • Jockey: Mike Smith

As a 2-for-2 debut winner, Taiba is lightly raced and has won both of his stakes starts. Following Bob Baffert's 90-day suspension in March, the former Bob Baffert colt was given to Tim Yakteen, his former assistant trainer, so he could be eligible for the Derby.Bob Baffert Despite his late debut, Taiba won the Santa Anita Derby in only his second start after defeating Messier in the Gun Runner son's stable.

Even though the Kentucky Derby has often been a formful race during the points era, it's always a good idea to use one or two longshots, especially in exotics. bet to lean on some longshots in the Derby to rise to the challenge at a price.


  • Trainer: Brad Cox

  • Jockey: Florent Geroux

Despite blooming later than some of his fellow Derby contenders, Cyberknife has been improving at the right time. This son of Gun Runner was well beaten in the Lecomte Stakes, but he bounced back with an allowance victory and won the Arkansas Derby decisively. In addition to tactical speed and a smart pedigree, Cyberknife holds morning line odds of 20/1 and is a strong contender over the Classic distance.

Barber Road

  • Trainer: John Ortiz

  • Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez

In five stakes races, including three graded stakes, Barber Road has finished second or third. This includes the Derby trail's Arkansas segment, which has always been interesting. Running well at the pace or well off of it, he keeps showing up as the distances increase. With Barber Road, longshots can once again pay off.

Kentucky Derby contenders

Bettors will be able to place a full array of wager types on Kentucky Derby Day. The most popular wagers remain win, place, and show, but exotic wagers are also a good option with big odds available on some of the runners. The majority of people still bet "on the nose"-that is on a horse to win-although multi-race and multi-horse wagers often provide more profitable returns.

There are some favorites and contenders to consider, as well as a few longshots. As you celebrate in style in the Run for the Roses if you win, you may be able to enjoy Woodford Reserve - the straight bourbon whiskey sponsor of the Derby.

Bet on it.

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