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the Kentucky Derby is the first stop in the Triple Crown of horse racing and will take place Saturday night at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
The derby of the year will be one of the most interesting in recent memory as legendary manager Bob Baffert will not be allowed on the track as he is serving a 90-day suspension. The ban was given to him by Kentucky racing officials after last year’s winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test.
Not only will Baffert miss the race this year and next year, but he will be out of the entire Triple Crown series.
Baffert has trained 34 horses for the Derby since his first appearance in 1996. He has combined six wins, three second places and three third places. It is only the sixth time that he will not have a horse in the field.
However, two of Baffert’s formerly owned horses are set to compete.
Tim Yakteen, a former assistant to Baffert who runs his own stable for more than two decades, oversees Messier and Taiba. Yakteen has no immediate ties to Baffert and the other horse owners have agreed to transfer Baffert’s horses to others. Baffert cannot have contact with Yacti.
Read below for the Kentucky Derby odds and the field for the race one day before things begin.
Who runs and what are the odds?
1). Mo Donegal (Irad Ortiz Jr), 10-1
2). Happy Jack (Rafael Bejarano), 30-1
3). Epicenter (Joel Rosario), 7-2
4). Summer is tomorrow (Mickael Barzalona), 30-1
5). Smile Happy (Corey Lanerie), 20-1
6). Messier (John Velazquez), 8-1
7). Crown Pride (Christophe Lemaire), 20-1
8 °). Load it (Luis Saez), 20-1
9). Tiz La Bomba (Brian Hernandez Jr.), 30-1
10). Zandon (Flavien Prat), 3-1
11). Medina Pioneer (Joe Bravo), 30-1
12). Taiba (Mike Smith), 12-1
13). Simplification (Jose Ortiz), 20-1
14). Barber Road (Rey Gutierrez), 30-1
15). Bianco Abarrio (Tyler Gaffalione), 10-1
16). Cyberknife (Florent Geroux), 20-1
17). Classic Causeway (Julien Leparoux), 30-1
18). Porto Bruno (Ricardo Santana Jr.), 30-1
19). Zozos (Manny Franco), 20-1
20). Ethreal Road (Luis Contreras) 30-1
21). Rich Strike (Sonny Leon), 30-1
22). Rattle N Roll (James Graham), 30-1
Who are the favorites?
Epicenter, whose jockey is Joel Rosario, is a 7-2 favorite to win the race. Steven M. Asmussen is the foal’s trainer. Asmussen is one of the all-time winners in North America, but he hasn’t won the Derby yet. Messier won the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby in March, the Risen Star S. presented by Lamarque Ford in February and the Gun Runner States in December.
Messier, whose jockey is John R. Velazquez, is one of Baffert’s old horses. Messier finished first at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in February. Velazquez won the Derby in 2011, 2017 and 2020. Messier is an 8-1 shot to win the Derby. Velazquez led Medina Spirit to victory last year before the title was stripped.
Zandon, whose jockey is Flavien Prat, is entering the Derby with a 3-1 shot. The colt took a win last month at the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. His coach Chad Brown only won in Preakness in 2017 when it comes to the Triple Crown. Prat won the Derby in 2019 while driving Bill Mott’s Country House.
How to watch?
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
When: May 7, 2022
Expected release time: 6:57 PM ET
TV: NBC / NBCSports.com
Bag: $ 3 million