Which horse will win the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The 2022 Kentucky Derby field is set. Every horse has its post for Saturday’s 148th running.

Need guidance about which horses to bet? The Courier Journal tracked down some horse racing experts immediately after Monday’s draw.

Kentucky Derby 2022: Live updates on favorites, odds, races and more at Churchill Downs

Here are their picks for this year’s Run for the Roses:

Meet the favorites: Zandon: What to know about the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorite

Epicenter: what to know about the Steve Asmussen trained horse

Taiba: What to know about the 2022 Kentucky Derby horse

Darren Rogers – Churchill Downs

Winner: Zandon

On the board: epicenter

Comment: “The way he won the Bluegrass Stakes, the way he trained in his last two workouts, he’s touting himself as the horse to beat. … I think Zandon is an absolute standout to these eyes.”

Printable guide: Print or save this Kentucky Derby betting guide before you go to Churchill Downs

Jody Demling – 247 Sports

Winner: Zandon

On the board: epicenter, Messier

Comment: “He has trained better than any horse out here in the field. Unless something happens between now and the race, he’s my pick to capture the roses for Chad Brown.”

Tim Sullivan – Courier Journal

Winner: taiba

On the board: Messier, Zandon

Longshot: charge it

Comment: “The former [Bob] Baffert horse has been as impressive as any of the other candidates, and has done so with only two starts. There’s a lot going against him, but I like his talent, I like his pedigree and I like the fact that he comes from a Baffert barn — if indirectly now trained by Tim Yakteen.

Travis Stone – Churchill Downs track announcer

Winner: Messier

Comment: “I feel like he needed the Santa Anita Derby. It was the perfect prep for the Kentucky Derby. He’s got the fastest race on paper two starts ago and I think he’s going to be a little bit under the radar with horses like Zandon and Epicenter taking so much action.”

Haley Wheeler – Miss Kentucky

Winner: Zandon

On the board: Crown Pride, smile happy

Comment: “I’m going to have to go with Zandon on the odds, he’s in a really good position. Crown Pride because — hello? (Points at crown.) And Smile Happy because I’m a pretty happy person.”

Ed DeRosa – Horse Racing Nation

Winner/Longshot: Tiz the Bomb

Comment: “I loved the run in the Jeff Ruby Stakes. I don’t have much of a concern over his ability on dirt, and at 30-1 on the morning line I’m willing to pay the price to find out.”

Eric Crawford – WDRB

Winner: Zandon

On the board: epicenter

Comment: “I’m going to pick Zandon. He’s looked great in workouts. Love Epicenter, would love to see Steve Asmussen get it, but I’m going to go with Zandon.”

Dominique Yates – WLKY

Winner: epicenter

On the board: Smile Happy, Cyberknife

Longshot: barber road

Comment: “The horse has been consistent. It’s been six weeks since that Louisiana Derby, so he’s gonna be fresh and ready to go. Looked great during workouts this week.”

Sara Elbadwi – Horse Racing Nation

Winner: Zandon

Comment: “I’m looking at Zandon as the favorite. … He seems to be getting better and better and I think this could be Chad Brown’s first Derby victory.”

Mark Blankenbaker – ESPN 680

Winner: Classic Causeway or Messier

On the board: Zandon

Comment: “I think they both have live shots. I think both of those horses will be up at the front from the beginning, and I think that it’s a matter whether or not they get challenged up front or can hold up tight. If not, then you’re probably going to see a late charger like a Zandon coming down the stretch to take it from them.”

Keith Farmer – WLEX

Winner: Zandon

Comment: “It seems like favorites have been winning a lot lately… and also the fact that he ran down there in Lexington at Keeneland and got the win in the Bluegrass Stakes.”

Rick Bozich – WDRB

Winner: Messier

On the board: epicenter

Comment: “Bob Baffert isn’t here, but he’s the one who got the horse ready for the race. He’s raced six times, he’s finished first three times and second three times. Although he got beat in the Santa Anita Derby, I don’t think he was all out of that race. So make it Messier on top, I’ve got Epicenter second.”

Steve Bittenbender – Courier Journal

Winner: happy jack

On the board: cyber knife

Comment: “My son’s name is Jack and he turns 18 this week before the Derby. He also graduates from DeSales High School later this month. If I didn’t bet on him I’m pretty sure my wife would divorce me.”

John Clay – Lexington Herald-Leader

Winner: taiba

On the board: Cyberknife, Zandon

Comment: “Because crazy things happen in the Kentucky Derby, my Kentucky Derby pick is Taiba. I’m picking him first with Cyberknife second and Zandon third.”

Kent Taylor – WAVE

Winner: epicenter

On the board: Messier, Charge It

Longshot: barber road

Comment: “The horse I thought would be the morning-line favorite, I’m a little surprised he isn’t because he looks to me like the best horse in the field — I’m going Epicenter to win Kentucky Derby 148.”

Kent Spencer – WHAS

Winner: taiba

Comment: “The Derby — odds things happen. Let’s get weird once again.”

Will Clark – WHAS Radio

Winner: cyber knife

Comment: “I love the backstory. I love the connection to Brad Cox and his Louisville background. I just think that’s a great story, and I’d love to see him in the winner’s circle come Saturday evening.”

Fred Cowgill – WLKY

Winner: Zandon

Comment: “I had Zandon in the Bluegrass — loved him. Almost tore up my ticket when he was on the far turn sitting dead last, and then he swept the field in just three-eighths of a mile.”

Pat Forde – Sports Illustrated

Winner: Zandon

Longshot: Crown Pride

Comment: “Chad Brown, the trainer of Zandon, seems really confident and really happy with the way things are going. I’m going to read that and say Zandon should be the favorite.”

Kendrick Haskins – WAVE

Winner: epicenter

On the board: Zozos, Messier

Comment: “I was high on Messier coming into the Derby, kind of disappointed with his finish in the Santa Anita Derby.”

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky Derby 2022 free expert picks by horse racing pros and others

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