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Posted 2022-03-04 10:42:53  
What horse is favored in the Kentucky Derby 2022?

The featured race of the American horse racing season is quickly approaching, as Churchill Downs prepares to host the opening leg of the Triple Crown season in May. The Kentucky Derby attracts all sporting fans to watch, as it is a huge sporting event.

Fans can watch with friends and families and have a small wager on the horse that they believe will win the huge race for three-year-olds.

So, which horses are currently towards the top of the Bovada Kentucky Derby odds to win in 2022?

Corniche

Corniche remains very prominent in the Kentucky Derby betting markets, despite being trained by Bob Baffert, who is currently banned from entering horses at Churchill Downs . Baffert was banned for 90 days recently but is expected to fight the charge, which is why his star three-year-old remains among a leading contenders.

On the track, Corniche looks an outstanding prospect and enjoyed a stunning season as a two-year-old. He boasts a perfect 3-0 record at present, having most recently landed the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November. All three-speed figures recorded have been 93 or greater, and should Baffert’s ban be overturned, he is sure to be cut in price.

Epicenter

Taking out the Baffert-trained horses from the betting, Epicenter is the leading chance for the Kentucky Derby. The three-year-old is trained by Steven Asmussen , and has been in simply stunning form since returning to the track in 2022. Last year, he landed the Gun Runner Stakes with a speed figure of 97, and has maintained that charge with the same speed figures having been recorded in each of his two starts this year.

His only defeat in stakes company came in January, as he was second in the G3 Lecomte, but he soon bounced back with a strong showing when winning the G2 Risen Star Stakes. He is certainly going in the right direction on his way to the Kentucky Derby, but many may be concerned that his three-star stakes wins have all come around Fair Grounds.

Smile Happy

Smile Happy is different to Epicenter in the regard that he has bits on form from a selection of tracks already. He broke his maiden with a stunning 95 speed figure at Keeneland, before a stunning run in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs; the home of the Kentucky Derby. That speed figure of 100 remains the star piece of form that we have seen and could be the interesting form line heading into the big races on the prep trail.

He beat the very impressive Classic Causeway by three and a quarter lengths in that race in November, which looks even better since the beaten horse has come out and won a stakes race. We last saw Smile Happy in the Risen Star, where he hit a speed figure of 93 when finishing two and three-quarter lengths behind Epicenter. However, hopes remain high for the Kenneth McPeek-trained horse.

Emmanuel

Away from the Risen Star Stakes form line, there are still some interesting betting angles that can be found in the current markets. One of the most exciting three-year-olds that we haven’t yet seen in stakes company is Emmanuel for trainer Todd Pletcher.

This colt has already got fans purring, as the excitement builds ahead of his next stop, which is expected to be the G2 Fountain of Youth. A big marker could be put down by that horse in the huge prep race, especially based on the performances that we have seen already.

He broke his maiden in December over a mile at Gulfstream Park when beating Touch Code by six and three-quarter lengths to hit a speed figure of 92. Based on figures, he was even more impressive on his latest start, as he won at Tampa Bay Downs over a mile by four and a half lengths from Glider. This time hitting a speed figure of 98. He could be one to keep on side.

Secret Oath

D. Wayne Lukas trained the last filly to win the Kentucky Derby back in 1988, as Winning Colors produced a shock win. Such is the open nature of the Triple Crown race this year, a female winner of the race could be an outstanding chance. While many are taking a chance on Echo Zulu, the most realistic chance could instead by Lukas-trained Secret Oath.

The three-year-old filly has been simply sensational so far in her career, as she has won three from four. She returned for the first time this calendar year at Oaklawn Park to dismantle the field in the G3 Honeybee Stakes. Her closest rival finished seven and a half lengths behind her, giving her a speed figure of 100. It could be a fascinating sub-plot to watch, and he could line-up on the prep trail next time out.
 

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