The early Kentucky Derby Odds are pointing towards Corniche
We are five races into the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby so it is a good time to look at the odds for the 2022 race with the help of the international Ante Post with the help of our colleagues across the pond. It should come as no surprise that Corniche is currently the favorite but things will have to change if he's going to be allowed to take to the track at Churchill Downs...
We may only be five races into the Road to the Kentucky Derby but that doesn’t mean it isn’t too early to have an overview of the odds. Vegas has no fewer than 141 horses listed in their Futures Market for the 2022 edition of the race whereas the international Ante Post only has 11 but both of them have the same favorite - a horse who currently isn’t eligible to take to the track under the Twin Spires.
That of course is the two-time winner on the 2022 Road, Corniche. The son of multiple Grade I winner Quality Road has looked strong in winning the American Pharoah at Santa Anita before securing victory at the Breeders’ Cup in the Juvenile. That race was meant to be a big matchup of Grade I winners from both coasts but Jack Christopher was scratched and that left the Bob Baffert trained two-year-old to become the early choice in the betting markets.
The aforementioned Bob Baffert however is the issue. The Hall of Fame trainer is currently barred from entering horses at Churchill Downs for the next two years following multiple drug violations culminating in the still disputed win for Medina Spirit in the 2021 Derby. At this juncture Corniche has accrued no qualification points for the Derby because of this. If he is to race on the first Saturday of May in the Run for the Roses then his connections will have to move him away from Baffert unless the ban is lifted. That isn’t likely to happen so the 14-1 favorite in the international markets is a bit of a punt.
Surprisingly the second choice is currently Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Tiz The Bomb. Bettors will have been paid out for the win in the race due to the bizarre circumstances surrounding winner Modern Games but it looks as though trainer Kenny McPeek has eyes on the Derby and a return to dirt with the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes being mentioned as his next start. He did break his Maiden on the dirt at Ellis Park before the highly successful three-race swing on turf. His 16-1 price on the UK Ante Post seems too short to me.
Two highly thought of horses are available at 20-1 but surely only one will be running on May 7. That is Jack Christopher who is expected to be rested through the end of the year to clear up the issue that saw him scratched from the Juvenile. No doubt he’ll come back and be prepped for big races in the spring. For me he’s a value 20-1 play, which is the same price as you’ll find in Vegas.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Echo Zulu is also priced up at 20-1 in the UK but I wouldn’t pay a single sliver of attention to that price. She is pointing strongly towards the Oaks. Even if for some reason her connections did choose to go for the Derby, 20-1 is way too short.
The other seven listed are 33-1 or longer. So the international Ante Post markets aren’t giving us much just yet but we’ll keep you updated on the fixed odds overseas throughout the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby.