Jockey Mike Smith will try to make history on Saturday in the 2022 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, and he just might have the horse to do it. The 56-year-old will be aboard Taiba, trained by Tim Yakteen while legendary trainer Bob Baffert serves a suspension. If Smith ends the day with the roses draped over Taiba’s back, he would become the oldest jockey to win the coveted Triple Crown race. It would be his third win in the Kentucky Derby and his eighth victory in a Triple Crown race. Taiba is one of the top 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites at 5-1 in the 2022 Kentucky Derby odds, along with Epicenter. Churchill Downs will host the 148th Kentucky Derby with a post time scheduled for 6:57 p.m. ET. With so much to consider while making your 2022 Kentucky Derby picks, a little expert help can go a long way.
After a rainy week at Churchill Downs, the 2022 Kentucky Derby weather forecast is calling for dry and breezy weather come post time. The track was rated as sloppy for training on Saturday morning, but has dried out considerably. Baffert horses have won three of the last four races on fast tracks at the Kentucky Derby and while he’s serving a suspension, two horses he trained previously will be in the 2022 Kentucky Derby field: Messier (7-1) and Taiba (5-1). Doug O’Neill horses have also been strong on fast tracks, as he’s had two Kentucky Derby wins in those conditions over the last decade. O’Neill will have Happy Jack (21-1) breaking from the No. 2 post on Saturday, which last produced a winner when Affirmed broke from the second stall in 1978.
Given all the history, there’s a method to picking which horses to focus on for exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets in a Kentucky Derby like this, and SportsLine expert Jody Demling knows what it is. He can help you make the best 2022 Kentucky Derby picks possible.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling has been on-point with his horse racing bets. He hit the exacta in the Wood Memorial in April. Last year, he hit the exacta, trifecta and superfecta in the Belmont Stakes. This is the same handicapper who hit the Derby-Oaks double at Churchill Downs nine times in the last 13 years. That means he held a ticket with the winners of both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby all but four times in his last 13 tries.
In addition, at one point in 2020, he picked the winners of six straight races: the Saudi Cup, Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes. On Friday, he nailed the exacta in the 2022 Kentucky Oaks. Anyone who has followed him on these races is way up. Now, he’s sharing all of his 2022 Kentucky Derby bets here.
Top 2022 Kentucky Derby expert picks
Here’s a refresher on these types of bets from SportsLine’s Jody Demling:
Kentucky Derby Exacta: Pick the first- and second-place finishers in the correct order. A $2 exacta returned $503 at the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit and Mandaloun.
Kentucky Derby Trifecta: Pick the first-, second- and third-place finishers in the correct order. A $1 trifecta returned $1,696.90 at the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit, Mandaloun, and Hot Rod Charlie.
Kentucky Derby Superfecta: Pick the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place finishers in the correct order. A $1 superfecta returned a colossal $9,456.40 at the 2021 Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit, Mandaloun, Hot Rod Charlie, and Essential Quality.
While Demling has no quibbles with the favorite status of Epicenter (5-1) and Taiba (5-1), he plans to hold tickets with Messier (7-1), Zandon (8-1), as well as four double-digit underdogs who could really spice up the payouts. You can see his picks here.
How to make 2022 Kentucky Derby bets
Demling has specific recommendations for exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagers so you can cover all your bases at the Kentucky Derby 2022. He’s sharing them over at SportsLine.
So which horses do you take? And in what combinations? Visit SportsLine to get Demling’s picks for exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.