The first Saturday in May is traditionally Derby Day. Hundreds of thousands of spectators come to Churchill Downs for the spectacle and the hope of hitting it big. The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse racing event in the United States, and it traditionally has one of the largest fields of any race. We may see as many as 20 horses in the 2022 Kentucky Derby since everyone has Triple Crown hopes until the horses are loaded into the starting gate.
The 2022 Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. There are races throughout the day, and NBC will start to broadcast the festivities at 2:30 p.m. ET. The post time for the Kentucky Derby is expected to occur just before 7 p.m. ET.
Kentucky Derby Field
We won’t know all the horses that will take part in the Kentucky Derby until next week. However, the qualifying process in the Road to the Kentucky Derby gives us a pretty good idea of what horses we will see at Churchill Downs next week.
Epicenter is going to receive a lot of attention. Although Epicenter has yet to post a speed figure over 97, he won the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby and finished runner-up at the Lecomte Stakes. Epicenter earned more points than any other horse in the Road to the Kentucky Derby thanks to those two graded stakes victories.
Taiba will be another popular horse as the winner of the Santa Anita Derby. Although Taiba only ran his first race last month, he was extremely impressive in his first real race at Santa Anita. Taiba bested favorites Forbidden Kingdom and Messier, and he ended up winning by 2 ¼ lengths.
Although Messier has lost two of his last three races, there will be some that project this horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Messier won the Bob Hope Stakes last November and finished runner-up at the Los Alamaitos Futurity to Slow Down Andy in December. His performance at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February won the horse a lot of fans as he posted a 107 speed rating and won by an incredible 15 lengths. It’s hard to ignore dominant wins like that.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Mo Donegal since last year. Mo Donegal won the Remsen Stakes in December, and that put this horse on the map. He finished in third place at the Holy Bull Stakes back in February, but we saw what Mo Donegal could do at the Wood Memorial Stakes. He posted a 103 speed rating to beat Early Voting by a neck for the victory.
The last horse to keep an eye on is Zandon. Zandon finished runner-up to Mo Donegal at the Remsen Stakes and earned a third-place finish at the Risen Star Stakes. However, the horse took his performance to the next level at Keeneland three weeks ago. Zandon easily won the Blue Grass Stakes over Smile Happy and Emmanuel.