Top 7 Kentucky Derby Contenders for 2022

This weekend in New Orleans, the first significant preparation race for the 2022 Kentucky Derby will occur.

Although there have been other low-point preparatory events this year, the $400,000 Grade 2 Risen Star, which will be on Saturday at Fair Grounds, will be the first race in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. The winner of that race will collect 50 points, thus ensuring a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

The Blue Grass at Keeneland, the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and the Santa Anita Derby, all of which award 100 qualifying points to the winner, will all take place on Apr. 9, bringing the championship series to a close.

Are you looking for horse racing picks to place a bet on? Here’s a list of prospective Kentucky Derby contenders for 2022 can be found below.


One of the most renowned horse races globally is the Kentucky Derby. It’s also one of the toughest competitions to win. To win the Kentucky Derby, a horse must first win the Kentucky Derby Prelude (a race run a few weeks before the Kentucky Derby) and then the Kentucky Derby’s formal event.

Pappacap is a horse with a reasonable probability of winning. Two of Pappacap’s five races have resulted in victories. Pappacap’s trainer, Mark Casse, believes he can win because his most vital feature, according to a study conducted by The Horse Racing Authority (a racehorse authority), is endurance—the ability to cover long distances without tiring. Thus, the horse will be well-prepared for the demanding Derby.

Classic Causeway

In the Sam F. Davis Stakes on Feb. 12, Classic Causeway took the lead immediately out of the gate, set some swift fractions, and held on for an easy-looking victory under Irad Ortiz Jr. For his victory, he received an 88 Beyer Speed Figure, which is lower than the fantastic visual might suggest. Still, it’s unclear how good the competition was. 

Classic Causeway made his 3-year-old debut in 2021, finishing second in Churchill Downs’ top juvenile race to Smile Happy, another of the current Derby favorites. 

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Several of these young horses are only beginning their racing careers. Corniche has gone from an unknown promising colt to one of the most talked-about horses entering this season’s racing.

Corniche has achieved several significant battles, but he’s only getting started. Whether in the Kentucky Derby or other major events across the country, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to establish himself this season and in the years ahead. 


Two Saturdays ago, Epicenter dominated the top Risen Star Stakes field, winning by almost three lengths and earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure (second-best among 3-year-olds this year).

With 64 points, he now leads the Kentucky Derby points rankings.

Last year, he won his maiden at Churchill Downs and was most outstanding in defeat in his 3-year-old debut, finishing second to Call Me Midnight in the Lecomte Stakes. Following his Risen Star victory, Caesars has him as a co-Derby favorite. It’s difficult to argue with that status at this time. With Derby starts, Asmussen, a Hall of Fame trainer, is 0 for 23.  


Emmanuel is a horse with a chance of winning the Kentucky Derby. He has a strong background and has already demonstrated what it takes to succeed at the highest level. Emmanuel was born and raised in Kentucky; thus, he is well acquainted with the state’s environment and racecourse conditions. His sire, More Than Ready, was a multiple race winner, so he’s got some excellent bloodlines. 

Emmanuel has proven to be a winner and has shown that he can go the distance. If Emmanuel stays healthy and sustains his current form, he will be a Triple Crown candidate in 2022.

Forbidden Kingdom

The Forbidden Kingdom appeared like a superstar when he won the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 29, even though the race was just 7 furlongs, the longest he had ever run. He’ll run his first two-turn race this weekend, and the main question for this colt is how he’ll handle the extra distance, significantly if he’s extended out to the one ¼-mile Kentucky Derby.

American Pharoah, the Triple Crown champion who won the Derby (along with the Preakness, Belmont, and Breeders’ Cup Classic) 7 years ago, is Forbidden Kingdon’s sire. The Saudi Derby was won by Pinehurst, who came second in the San Vicente to Forbidden Kingdom race.

Costa Terra

Costa Terra is a Thoroughbred racehorse bred in Kentucky and is expected to participate in the Kentucky Derby in 2022. At three years old, Costa Terra is still too young to race in the Derby, but Steven Asmussen, his trainer, feels he has everything it takes to succeed.

According to Asmussen, Costa Terra’s debut on Jul. 1 was a big success. “He’s got a lot of natural paces, and he’s incredibly competitive.” “I believe he can sprint with the greatest of them, and he’s always been quick,” Asmussen said. He prevailed by six lengths, and he anticipates even better victories in the future.

Costa Terra is undeniably a Kentucky Derby candidate, and racing enthusiasts will be keeping a close eye on him as the competition approaches.

Wrapping Up

Many horses compete for a chance to win the Kentucky Derby, which is one of the most renowned horse races in the world. This year, the horses covered in this article are anticipated to be among the favorites and most promising horses in the Kentucky Derby, even though no official list of competitors for the 2022 Kentucky Derby has been posted.

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