The Run For the Roses is finally right around the corner. Many bettors are now at the edge of their seats, anticipating their victory.

However, choosing the winning horse could be challenging as the Kentucky Derby 2022 lineup consists of the best horses of their generation.

It has been a long time since many horse racing enthusiasts have been waiting for the official Kentucky Derby 2022 contenders list, and finally, it is here.

So, without further adieu, let us present the top five best contenders that qualify for Run For the Roses.


Leading the prep race leaderboard with 164 points overall is Epicenter. Epicenter is the number one favorite in some sportsbooks to win the Kentucky Derby, while in others, he is number two.

You can opt to bet on the Kentucky derby with TVG if you are confused as to what sportsbook you will use for betting. This way, you can ensure that you will have the latest odds update at hand.

However, this Steve Asmussen horse had a rough start when he only finished his first MSW race in number six.

However, this 3-year old colt re-entered the same race in the same year and ended up as the winner in the first place. After that, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Epicenter dominated every race he entered.




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He finished three races out of four in first place while he finished second place in one out of four races. Epicenter put up such a good fight in his derby prep races which earns him his points and puts him on top of the leaderboard as he enters the Kentucky Derby lineup.

Smile Happy

The next derby contender you should watch closely is Smile Happy. Though he is ranked ten on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with accumulated points of 70, he has the second-best odds to win the Kentucky Derby 2022.

However, in some sportsbooks, you will find Smile Happy as the top favorite of the bettors, which puts him on top of the sportsbook. He acquired this spot even though he hasn’t won a single race in 2022.

However, he finished his Derby prep race last year, the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He is the son of the sprint champion and the crowd’s favorite Runhappy, which makes Smile Happy and a very promising horse in his generation.


The third on our list is Messier, who gained 40 points in the Derby prep race and also ended number 16 on the leaderboard. This 3-year-old colt is trained by Tim Yakteen and currently has the fourth-best odds to win the Kentucky Derby 2022.

You should consider his Derby prep race history when looking for a horse to bet on. He has a good record and a strong performance throughout the prep races.


Landed on the 9th spot on the Derby leaderboard is Simplification with points of 74. He has a long list of experience, which makes him a good candidate to win the Kentucky Derby 2022. Simplification ensures he stays within the top three finishers during his Derby prep races.

Even though he missed the start in the Holy Bull Stakes, where he finished as the third placer, he got back on his feet during the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Simplification ran for the Curlin Florida Derby following the Fountain of Youth Stakes, where he ended up in the second spot.

If trainer Antonio Sano improves their strategy for the Kentucky Derby race, there is a high chance that Simplification will win the race. Given the fact that he has more experience in the field than the other contenders on this list.


The second best point earner in the Kentucky Derby leaderboard is Zandon. He earned 114 total points throughout the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Zandon hasn’t finished any derby prep race below the third place and even finished the Blue Grass Stakes as the first placer.

He only raced four times, starting with the MSW race, where he won. Smile Happy, who is the second on our list, only came in second behind him during the Blue Grass Stakes last April 4, 2022.

He gushes from the back of Smile Happy, who is the favorite to win the race. However, Zandon overtook the favorite contender and victorious that Saturday Evening. It was the highlight of Zandon’s racing career, especially in his journey to the Kentucky Derby 2022.

This year’s Kentucky Derby race is something you should look forward to. It is yet another year for the new generation of 3-year old thoroughbreds to take a chance for the Triple Crown.

Do Your Research and Trust Your Instinct

It is always best to do your research before picking a horse to bet on in a horse race. It would be best if you also trusted your instinct.

Although the odds can help you decide which horse to bet on, they should only be a support for the facts that you acquire during your study.