Ranking the top five horses with the current best odds to win the Kentucky Derby

 

After the scandal involving Medina Spirit and controversial trainer Bob Baffert at last year’s Kentucky derby, people are looking for some more normalcy this time around. This will be the 148th Kentucky Derby and right now there’s a lot for fans and bettors alike to look forward to.

The top five horses who lead the odds are all vying for a chance to take this often elusive crown as the countdown to Kentucky continues to tick. 

 

1. Epicenter 

 

The leader in odds for the Kentucky Derby right now is the three year old Epicenter. Epicenter is a bay colored, native Kentucky colt who foaled in late January of 2019. 

He leads the rest of the pack with 64 points behind owner Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC as well as very successful trainer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen is the all-time leading trainer of North American winners, but he has yet to take home a victory at the Derby. 

This may be Asmussen’s best chance yet. Epicenter has been absolutely elite recently, finishing first in three of his last four races and finishing as the runner-up in the race he didn’t win. 

Since November, Epicenter has won victories at the Maiden Special Weight, Gun Runner Stakes and Risen Star Stakes and came in second at the Lecomte Stakes. His most recent victory at the Risen Star Stakes came just a few weeks ago.

Asmussen is primed and ready to prove why Epicenter leads the odds for the Derby this year, and there’s very good reason to think that he’ll live up to the hype. 

 

2. Un Ojo

 

Coming in second in odds for this year’s Derby is the soon to be three year old gelding, Un Ojo. Un Ojo is a dark bay native New Yorker trained by Anthony Dutrow, and stands with 54 points as of now.

Dutrow is a well-experienced trainer with more than 8,000 career starts and just under 2000 career first place finishes. His last two races with Un Ojo have shown promise, as he finished second at the Withers Stakes back on February 5th and then first at the Rebel Stakes less than two weeks ago.

Un Ojo has the most earnings of the top five with $655,000. With an experienced trainer and a recent win under his belt, there should be a lot of confidence in Un Ojo’s barn. 

 

3. Simplification 

 

Tied with Un Ojo at 54 points is the three year old colt, Simplification. Simplification is a bay colored Florida native who is led by another experienced trainer in Antonio Sano. 

Sano has over 7,000 career starts and 859 career first place finishes, including 18 in 2022 alone. Under Sano, Simplification most recently won the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes just last Saturday. 

Simplification will have a good chance to separate himself from the competition in May, and his very recent win bodes well for the coming weeks. It’s just a matter of keeping it up. 

 

4. Forbidden Kingdom 

 

Coming in 4th in odds with 50 points is Forbidden Kingdom. Forbidden Kingdom will turn three in April and is a Kentucky native like Epicenter. A chestnut colored colt, Forbidden Kingdom is trained by Richard Mandella. 

Mandella has a very impressive +12,000 starts in his career and over 2,200 first place finishes. Most recently he oversaw Forbidden Kingdom’s victory at San Felipe Stakes last Saturday along with jockey Juan Hernandez.

The experience of his trainer, coupled with a fresh win, have Forbidden Kingdom right where he needs to be with two months to go until the Kentucky Derby. 

5. Morello 

 

Number five in odds, also with 50 points is Morello. Morello is trained by Steve Asmussen like Epicenter. He’s unsurprisingly also a Kentucky native and is coming off a first place finish last Saturday at the Gotham Stakes. 

When your trainer is Asmussen, there shouldn’t be much worry for your horse on the breeders’ and owners’ side. For Morello it’s now just a matter of staying around the top of the pack until May.