Kentucky Derby Betting: Long Shots That Are Worth a Wager

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Kentucky Derby Betting: Long Shots That Are Worth a Wager
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With a massive field of 20 horses, there are always plenty of long shots to consider when betting the Kentucky Derby.

The question is, how many truly deserve your attention?

In Derby 148 on Saturday, here are three potential overlays — all double digits on the morning line — that are worthy of consideration.

If not win candidates, perhaps one or more is capable of hitting the board and filling out a lucrative exacta, trifecta or superfecta ticket.

White Abarrio (10-1 morning line)

Despite impressively winning his two South Florida Kentucky Derby prep races, White Abarrio has his share of detractors. Listed at 10-1 on the morning line, the grey/roan colt will likely be sent off at higher odds than that.

In five lifetime starts, White Abarrio has four wins, including the Florida Derby, generally one of the more productive Kentucky Derby preps. His stalking style allows him to stay close to the early pace, which plays well in the Run for the Roses. Breaking from the No. 15 post should allow him to gain a good early position. 

The case against White Abarrio is all four of his wins were at Gulfstream Park, and this year’s South Florida crop of 3-year-olds may be weaker than previous years. In addition, his lone career loss was at Churchill Downs, where he finished third in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.  

Churchill Downs might not feel like home to White Abarrio, but it does to jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who has won six consecutive Churchill Downs meet riding titles. The duo will provide backers excellent value.

Crown Pride (20-1 morning line)

Placing a wager on Crown Pride means disregarding Kentucky Derby  history and some powerful trends. But at 20-1 or higher, you’ll be well-rewarded if you’re right.

Crown Pride is the fourth Japan-based horse to run in the Derby. None of the other three hit the board — the most recent was Master Fencer who finished sixth in 2019. Crown Pride qualified for the field by winning the UAE Derby, a race that couldn’t be less productive. Since 2000, none of the 11 UAE Derby winners who ran in the Kentucky Derby hit the board. In fact, none finished better than sixth. In 2018, Mendelssohn won the UAE Derby by 18 lengths in record time, then finished last in the Kentucky Derby.

But given the recent improvement of Japanese horses on the International stage, Crown Pride deserves some consideration. Japan-based horses won two Breeders’ Cup races in 2021, snapping a 0-for-13 skid. Six weeks ago on the Dubai World Cup card, which draws top international fields, Japanese horses won five of the nine races.

Crown Pride overcame a wide trip to win the UAE Derby by nearly three lengths. Yes, the race might once again prove to be a weak prep. But if this is an evenly-matched Kentucky Derby field with no obvious standouts, taking a shot on Crown Pride isn’t unreasonable.

Barber Road (30-1 morning line)

With no wins in his last five races, Barber Road deserves to be one of the higher prices in the field. While obviously not a win machine, Barber Road should at least be included on exotic tickets.

In eight career starts, Barber Road has finished worse than third only once. He’s a hard-trying type that failed to win any of the four Derby points races at Oaklawn Park, yet accumulated points in all four, including a runner-up finish last time out in the Arkansas Derby.

Barber Road’s late running style is likely to result in a less-than-ideal trip in a congested Kentucky Derby field. But he has consistently shown the ability to navigate through traffic and pass horses late. He’s a logical horse to play at the bottom of trifecta and superfecta tickets.

2022 Kentucky Derby field

Position HorseTrainer RiderOdds
1 Mo Donegal Todd Pletcher Irad Ortiz, Jr.10-1
2 Happy JackDoug O'NeillRafael Bejarano30-1
3 Epicenter Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario7-2
4 Summer Is Tomorrow Bhupat Seemar Mickael Barzalona30-1
5 Smile Happy Ken McPeekCorey J. Lanerie20-1
6 Messier Koichi Shintani John R. Velazquez8-1
7 Crown Pride Todd Pletcher Christophe Lemaire20-1
8 Charge It Todd Pletcher Luis Saez20-1
9 Tiz the Bomb Ken McPeek Brian J. Hernandez, Jr.30-1
10 Zandon Chad BrownFlavien Prat3-1
11 Pioneer of Medina Todd PletcherJoe Bravo30-1
12 Taiba Tim Yakteen Mike Smith12-1
13 Simplification Antonio SanoJose L. Ortiz20-1
14 Barber Road John OrtizRey Luis Gutierrez 30-1
15 White Abarrio Saffie Joseph, Jr. Tyler Gaffalione10-1
16 Cyberknife Brad Cox Florent Geroux20-1
17 Classic Causway Brian Lynch Julien Leparoux30-1
18 Tawny Port Brad Cox Ricardo Santana30-1
19 Zozos Brad Cox Manuel Franco20-1
20 Ethereal Road D. Wayne LukasLuis Contreras30-1

Kentucky Derby TV Info

Post Time: 6:57 p.m.(ET), Saturday

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.