West Virginia bettors will be all-around winners on Saturday.
The $3 million Kentucky Derby, horse racing’s most iconic event, unfolds at 6:57 p.m. from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
And for one of the rare times all season, both West Virginia racetracks are offering live programs to complement it.
Mountaineer Park in New Cumberland, along with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, follow the Derby at 7 p.m. post times. Bettors can swing right from the 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses into an evening of live racing.
This is one of the premier racing days for horse betting in the Mountain State. Bettors can also access the action by way of the TVG mobile app.
Kentucky Derby betting odds in WV
Here are the results of the draw and what WV bettors will focus on all week. The list also includes each trainer, jockey, and the current betting odds:
- Mo Donegal: Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz, 10-1
- Happy Jack: Doug O’Neill, Rafael Bejarano, 30-1
- Epicenter: Steve Asmussen, Joel Rosario, 7-2
- Summer Is Tomorrow: Bhupat Seemar, Mickael Barzalona, 30-1
- Smile Happy: Ken McPeek, Corey Lanerie, 20-1
- Messier: Tim Yakteen, John Velazquez, 8-1
- Crown Pride: Koichi Shintani, Christophe Lemaire, 20-1
- Charge It: Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez, 20-1
- Tiz the Bomb: Ken McPeek, Brian Hernandez, 30-1
- Zandon: Chad Brown, Flavien Prat, 3-1
- Pioneer of Medina: Todd Pletcher, Joe Bravo, 30-1
- Taiba: Tim Yakteen, Mike Smith, 12-1
- Simplification: Antonio Sano, Jose Ortiz, 20-1
- Barber Road: John Ortiz, Reylu Gutierrez, 30-1
- White Abarrio: Saffie Joseph Jr., Tyler Gaffalione, 10-1
- Cyberknife: Brad Cox, Florent Geroux, 20-1
- Classic Causeway: Brian Lynch, Julien Leparoux, 30-1
- Tawny Port: Brad Cox, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1
- Zozos: Brad Cox, Manny Franco, 20-1
- Ethereal Road: D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Contreras, 30-1
Points to consider in the 2022 Kentucky Derby
No horse in the race has ever run this 1 1/4-mile distance. Most have gone no farther than 1 1/8 miles. A couple reached 1 3/16 miles in earlier prep races and thus have a lesser distance to stretch out to 1 1/4 miles.
The best of this group is Epicenter, who prevailed at that distance in the Louisiana Derby and thus became the 7-2 second favorite here.
Crown Pride, who won the UAE Derby at 1 3/16 miles, is one of the long shots because the time in his race was about five seconds slower than Epicenter’s.
Zandon, the early favorite at 3-1, comes off an impressive triumph in the Blue Grass Stakes. He is one of the best horses who can rally in the field and overcome significant traffic problems to get into position for the winning run.
Field of 20 horses is the largest …
… And it’s the longest distance they have ever run.
Taiba is one of the most interesting horses in this race. He won the Santa Anita Derby in just his second race. Taiba would become the first horse ever to win the Kentucky Derby in only his third outing.
He has two Beyer Speed figures above 100, an excellent marker for a Derby hopeful. The speed figure combines the horse’s performance on a given day with the track record at that distance and the track surface (fast, heavy, etc.), among other factors.
Mo Donegal drew the rail, which hasn’t produced a Derby winner since Ferdinand in 1986. But the new gate puts the horses a little farther off the rail.
Mo Donegal is a strong late runner and comes off a victory in the Wood Memorial prep race.
Epicenter breaks from the No. 3 post and may vie early for the lead with Summer Is Tomorrow and possibly Messier. Zozos, in the 19th position, also tends to flash early speed.
Other major prep-race winners include White Abarrio in the Florida Derby and Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby.
Horse racing betting tips
This looks like a nice betting race. None of the favorites figure to go off at a prohibitive price.
And many of the long shots have a good chance to be in the exotics (exacta, trifecta, superfecta) picture.
If there is a hot pace, stalkers like Simplification, Charge It and Smile Happy may be forwardly placed coming for home. They were runners-up in previous prep races and would need a break like a speed duel to enhance their chances.
The win bet should be prominent unless the favorite somehow becomes less than 2-1. With nobody considered head and shoulders above the field, some of the long shots should run well.
Given the large field and massive betting handle, exactas, trifectas, and superfecta payouts should be attractive.
Put some long shots on your tickets.
Also, be sure to mark your calendars. Charles Town will have live cards to follow the Preakness Stakes on May 21 and the Belmont Stakes on June 11.
Post time is 7 p.m.