Kentucky Derby 2022: Who will win, top tips, horses, race time, how to watch

Planet Sport have all you need to know about The Greatest Two Minutes In sport, as the 148th Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 7.

The Kentucky Derby is arguably the greatest horse race in the USA, a blink and you'll miss it celebration of the best of American equine sport.

The Grade 1 race for three-year-olds, takes place over one mile and a quarter on the dirt, with the prize fund for the winner, from 20 runners, totalling $3million.

It can be a confusing event but never fear, fix yourself a mint julep and let Planet Sport talk you through the main contenders. Pick the winner and you'll be an honorary Kentuckian for the day.

When is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby should start at 18:57pm (ET) on Saturday May 7, which is 23:57 (BST), so it'll drift into the early hours of Sunday morning for a UK audience.

The race will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, and the Kentucky Derby is the 12th of 14th races at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The favourites

Epicenter

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Steve Asmussen is a legend in American racing and the leading all-time handler of winners in the USA.

Yet, the Kentucky Derby has somehow eluded the adopted Texan, something the lusciously locked trainer is aiming to put right in 2022 with the talented Epicenter.

Sired by Not This Time (a son of Giant's Causeway) and with plenty of stamina in his bloodline, Epicenter was most impressive when taking the Grade 2 Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 26.

The three-year-old bay colt put two and half lengths between himself and fellow 2022 Kentucky Derby entrant Zozoz of Brad Cox and kicked on in the style of a true Kentucky Derby candidate.

Joel Rosario takes the reins, a 2013 winning rider of the Kentucky Derby on Orb and generally a rider who has been there and bought the t-shirt factory.

Likely to start a worthy favourite in a race where favourites do well, Epicenter can live up to his name and send shockwaves through the field at Churchill Downs.

Star Rating: 5 stars

Taiba

Trainer: Tim Yakteen

Jockey: Mike E Smith

A prodigious and unexposed talent, Tim Yakteen's Taiba went from a $140,00 yearling to be sold as a two-year-old for a cool $1.7million.

Raced just twice, Taibi has kept unbeaten at Santa Anita, running away with a six furlong maiden and then following up in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby over one mile and a furlong, showcasing his versatility.

That Santa Anita Derby win saw Taiba overwhelm stablemate Messier, winning going away and suggesting a classy individual.

Sired by the 2016 Kentucky Derby third placed Gun Runner, Taiba has solid breeding credentials and could be the sort of Kentucky Derby winner that needs the bare minimum in terms of preparation.

Jockey Mike Smith renews his riding relationship with Taiba, having been up top in the Santa Anita Derby and the 56-year-old veteran knows all there is to know about the Run For The Roses having been victorious on two occasions.

Taiba's career may have been short but sweet so far but it will be no surprise to see him get a nose in front at the line.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Zandon

Trainer: Chad C Brown

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Opening up favourite for the Kentucky Derby 2022, it's easy to see why Chad C Brown's Zandon is fancied by many to take the historic race.

A healthy nine winners have been drawn out of stall 10 since 1930 and Zandon supporters can point to a mightily impressive warm-up victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Zandon was able to open up the gears and go from the rear of the field to the front, showing exceptional staying ability which could prove crucial on Churchill Downs.

Jockey Flavien Prat is highly rated and won the 2019 Kentucky Derby on Country House after the disqualification of Maximum Security. The Frenchman also came second in the 2021 edition of the Kentucky Derby on Hot Rod Charlie so is well versed on its thrills and spills.

With a prime draw, decent finishing ability and a talented jockey, Zandon looks to have all the key components of a Kentucky Derby champ.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

The Outsiders

Cyberknife

Trainer: Brad H Cox

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Cyberknife has a huge backstory and a similar size chance to cause a Kentucky Derby 2022 upset for Brad Cox.

Named after the cancer treatment used on owner Al Gold, Cyberknife represents a lifetime as a horseplayer for Gold and a win would prove an emotional event.

Gold spent big on Cyberknife, snapping him up for $400,000 as a yearling and the colt repaid the favour by blitzing the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 3.

Temperamental colt Cyberknife ran green in patches for that Arkansas Derby success but there was no stopping the Gun Runner three-year-old who won by two and three quarter lengths with plenty in the tank.

Rider Florent Geroux is looking for back-to-back victories in the Kentucky Derby after guiding Mandaloun to success in the race last year.

Of course, Brad Cox trained Mandaloun and it would be consecutive wins for the Louisville Kentucky native. Cyberknife could slice through the field here and at a nice price.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

Crown Pride

Trainer: Koichi Shintani

Jockey: Christophe Lemaire

Rated as a complete outsider, UAE Derby winner Crown Pride could come under the radar for Japanese trainer Koichi Shintani.

Much like the Prix De l'arc de Triomphe, winning the Kentucky Derby is somewhat of an obsession for Japanese racing and the land of the rising sun may finally have a horse to eclipse the rest.

The horse's owner Teruya Yoshida studied the Kentucky Derby form as a youngster and has long had an ambition to bring a runner to the race, so his appearance is no fluke.

Assistant Trainer Masafumi Matsuda has said he wants to "change history" by winning the race for Japan and a two and three quarter length win in the UAE Derby at Meydan suggests that it is no forlorn hope.

Reported to have settled in well at Churchill Downs, Crown Pride will be ridden by experienced international jockey Christophe Lemaire and this Crown could be ready to shine.

Star Rating: 4 stars

Planet Sport Kentucky Derby 1-2-3-4-5

1. Epicenter 2. Zandon 3. Crown Pride 4. Taiba 5. Cyberknife

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