It’s officially racing week for the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
And for fans of horse racing and sports betting (or extravagant hats), this is a peak event.
Twenty-two horses will battle for a $3 million prize at Churchill Downs Saturday. Zandon, a colt owned by Jeff Drown, is the favorite heading into the weekend, leading the pack with 3-1 odds. Epicenter (7-2) and Messier (8-1) round out the top three-favorable horses for the event.
“It’s going to be a great race,” Zandon’s trainer Chad Brown said. “I see (Zandon and Epicenter) as the two main contenders, and right behind them are some super talented horses.”
Here’s what to know about the horses competing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby and how you can place a bet in Iowa.
How to bet on the 2022 Kentucky Derby in Iowa
Aside from betting in-person (like at the Prairie Meadows Casino and Racetrack in Altoona), sports bettors in Iowa interested in placing a wager on the derby can do so with TVG, a simulcast and online horse race betting operator. TVG offers a great deal for bettors Saturday:
Make a deposit and place your first win-type bet up to $200 on a single horse in any race at any track and get it back as wagering credit within 24 hours if you don’t win. Only the win portion of a win/place, win/show or win/place/show wager will count toward the promotion.
Plus, you’ll get automatically opted into the Money Back Special Promotion when you sign up with TVG — no extra steps required! Get up to $10 back as wagering credit on select races if your horse finishes in 2nd or 3rd. Minimum run qualifications apply.
Be sure to use the promo code LSRDERBY.
OTB sites in Iowa
Several casinos in Iowa are licensed to allow pari-mutuel horse betting. They are:
- Iowa Greyhound Association/Q Casino, Dubuque
- Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs
- Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Altoona
- Wild Rose casinos in Clinton, Emmetsburg and Jefferson
At this time last year, Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport and Riverside Casino & Golf Resort near Iowa City approached the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission about adding off-track betting. Both casinos ultimately decided not to add the option at their locations.
How to watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby coverage kicks off at 11 a.m. Friday on USA Network and runs until 1:30 p.m. From there, NBC will televise the actual race.
NBC’s coverage runs from 1:30–6:30 p.m. Saturday. The coverage leads up to the 5:57 p.m. post time.
For those interested in streaming the derby, they can do so by using Peacock and the NBC Sports app.
2022 Kentucky Derby post positions and betting odds
- Mo Donegal: 10-1
- Happy Jack: 30-1
- Epicenter: 7-2
- Summer Is Tomorrow: 30-1
- Smile Happy: 20-1
- Messier: 8-1
- Crown Pride: 20-1
- Charge It: 20-1
- Tiz the Bomb: 30-1
- Zandon: 3-1
- Pioneer of Medina: 30-1
- Taiba: 12-1
- Simplification: 20-1
- Barber Road: 30-1
- White Abarrio: 10-1
- Cyberknife: 20-1
- Classic Causeway: 30-1
- Tawny Port: 30-1
- Zozos: 20-1
- Ethereal Road: 30-1
- Rich Strike: 30-1
- Rattle N Roll: 30-1
What to know about Zandon, the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorite
Zandon’s 3-1 odds lead the pack heading into the weekend, and it makes sense; he won his last event, the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, on April 9, to qualify for the derby. Prior to that, he finished third in the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 19 and placed second in the Remsen Stakes on Dec. 4, 2021.
Another thing to keep in mind: Historically speaking, the 10th post has been successful, with nine horses winning the Kentucky Derby from that post.
“It’s a good spot,” Drown said. “I’m excited. It gives us a good chance to get out of the gate and get decent position.”
Zandon will be jockeyed by Flavien Prat, who won the derby in 2019 with Country House.
What to know about the other horses competing
Call it a hot streak if you will, but Epicenter has placed first in four of its last five races. Epicenter won the 2022 Louisiana Derby on March 26, the Risen Star S. on Feb. 19, Gun Runner Stakes on Dec. 26, 2021, and the Maiden Special Weight on Nov. 13, 2021.
Epicenter is trained by Steve Asmussen, who is the all-time leading trainer in North America by wins.
“For what we were looking to do with (Epicenter), it just felt perfect,” Asmussen said Sunday after the derby’s final tune-up. “I think he’s in a beautiful rhythm and we’re trying to create circumstances to prepare for what we’re expecting to happen in the races this weekend. Honestly, we have so much confidence in Epicenter right now.”
Joel Rosario will be Epicenter’s jockey Saturday, and he won the Kentucky Derby in 2013 as the jockey for Orb.
Coming behind Epicenter in the odds, Messier has placed in the top two in its three previous races. Messier won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 6 and finished second in both the Santa Anita Derby (April 9) and the Los Alamitos Futurity (Dec. 11, 2021). Tim Yakteen is Messier’s trainer.
For the hockey fans out there: Messier is named after Hall of Famer Mark Messier.
Mo Donegal: 10-2
Mo Donegal won the Wood Memorial on April 9 and finished third in the Holy Bull Stakes on Feb. 5. He also finished first in the Remsen Stakes on Dec. 4, 2021.
White Abarrio: 10-1
White Abarrio enters the derby having won his last two races: The Florida Derby (April 2) and the Holy Bull Stakes (Feb. 5). He finished third at the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov. 27, 2021.