Kentucky Derby Picks: Cyberknife a live longshot

Brad Cox has Cyberknife in the Kentucky Derby field who JN Campbell likes a lot
Brad Cox has Cyberknife in the Kentucky Derby field who JN Campbell likes a lot

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The Kentucky Derby happens later today and our turf-man has put together his views on the race below. It looks set to be one of the most open betting races we've seen in recent Derby history as the live pools have Epicenter at 5-1 as the joint favorite along with Taiba. With no overwhelming short-price it should mean this is one of the most fascinating Derbies in recent years. Anyway on with the analysis and selections. Remember you can bet on the Kentucky Derby with any of our partners via our Race Card or the offers on the site.

We have arrived at 148, and it is statement time … of the macro-variety … this might be one of the toughest Derby races in recent memory. With no true, overwhelming favorite (Zandon #10 and/or Epicenter #3), there are so many directions you can go in, we could see a major long shot obliterate the tote board. Be ready! Looking at this field, I already tipped my hand yesterday, when I handicapped the Oaks-Turf Classic-Derby P3. Brad Cox has a trio of runners for this year’s edition, but to my eye, Cyberknife #16 is the one to support. There are a myriad of reasons why I think this is the case. It all begins with Cox …

At the beginning of “The Trail” it was apparent that the Eclipse Award-winning conditioner was going to be searching for a “Derby candidate.” At the turn, as of Jan.1, he still did not have one. Bred by the Ramseys and owned by Gold Square, this colt went for $400k back in 2020. Cox brought him to Churchill for the start of his career, and he started well, even though he was DQ-ed on debut. What I like best about his spring run through the Fair Grounds and Oaklawn was how he faced down adversity. Regular Cox-swain, Florent Geroux, was along for all of it, and even though some might think the Lecomte S. (G3) was a setback, I beg to differ. A contentious race, it was the colt’s 1st time to face that kind of company, and he needed a chance to get that one out of the way. The recalibration he experienced next time out did the trick … winning an OC50kn1x in fine style.

Coming into the Arkansas Derby (G1), with so many strong contenders afoot, it shaped up to be one of the toughest of the “Preps.” The way in which Geroux carefully managed his mount's speed during that trip in Hot Springs was truly impressive. When asked … the colt went … Coming into the Derby, Cox understands how to manage expectations, and though his runner can be contrary at times, he is peaking at the right time.

Filling out my ticket, I am also interested in including both the Tim Yakteen (Baffert) entries in Messier #6 and Taiba #12. This pair were brought up through the “Baffert System” before their owners were forced to switch barns. The former has a strong early foot, and will get the services of Derby Legend John Velazquez. The latter, owned by Amir Zedan (Medina Spirit’s brash advocate), is making only his 3rd career start. The services of Mike Smith should help. Rounding out tickets, I would not miss out on including Chad Brown’s Zandon #10. Jeff Drown’s colt has faced tough company dating back to the Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct, and once Flavien Prat climbed aboard for the Blue Grass (G2), it was clear that the team had found their rider.

Last, but certainly not least, I would not give up on Saffie Joseph’s White Abarrio #15, nor Johnny Ortiz’s Barber Road #14. Both of these salty young colts have turned in performances over the past few months that were nothing short of stellar. Never the “favorite,” they get hot riders in Tyler Gaffalione and Reylu Gutierrez. Tracking ability and a strong late kick … those were attributes that we saw time and time again. Those should round out my Derby selections, and allow us to have some depth in what is shaping up to be a fabulous Kentucky Derby. The “Run for the Roses” is on … and so is the Pick 6, so enjoy! This ticket I have put together is not going to come cheap, but the rewards … they could be superb! Time to head to the window …

Selections: 6/10/12/14/15/16 (6-Deep)

Side Bets: $10 Win, $15 Place, $75 Show, #16

$2 Superfecta Wheel, 16 w 6/10/12/14/15 w 6/10/12/14/15 w 6/10

Kentucky Derby 2022

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Kentucky Derby 2022 Racecard

10
PP 10

Zandon

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Prat /
  • Trainer: C. Brown /
Morning Line Odds
3
PP 3

Epicenter

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Rosario /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
6
PP 6

Messier

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: T. Yakteen /
Morning Line Odds
1
PP 1

Mo Donegal

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
15
PP 15

White Abarrio

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: T. Gaffalione /
  • Trainer: S. Joseph Jr. /
12
PP 12

Taiba

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: M. Smith /
  • Trainer: T. Yakteen /
8
PP 8

Charge It

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: L. Saez /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
13
PP 13

Simplification

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Ortiz /
  • Trainer: A. Sano /
7
PP 7

Crown Pride

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: C. Lemaire /
  • Trainer: K. Shintani /
16
PP 16

Cyberknife

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Geroux /
  • Trainer: B. Cox /
Show All Runners
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