When is Kentucky Derby 2022: Time, start, post positions, race distance, date, full coverage

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The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune into NBC to watch top race horses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.” At this year’s race, there are high expectations on Epicenter (7-2), trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen has never won the Derby in 23 attempts. Zandon, trained by Chad Brown, opened as the early favorite at 3-1.

NBC is home to the 148th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock before, during and after. Coverage begins on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and moves to NBC from 2:30 to 7:30.

NBC will also broadcast the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, 2022 Preakness Stakes and 2022 Belmont Stakes.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby 2022 post positions, odds announced

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby, traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4-mile (10 furlongs) race kicks off the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

What time is the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 7, 2022 on NBC, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The weekend kicks off with the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6 from 1 tp 5 p.m. ET on Peacock before moving to USA Network from 5 to 6. On Derby Day, coverage runs from 12 to 2:30 p.m. on USA Network and gallops over to NBC from 2:30 to 7:30. Post time is at approximately 6:57 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The Derby is held on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

How can I watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

NBC is home to the 148th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock before, during and after. NBC will also broadcast the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, 2022 Preakness Stakes and 2022 Belmont Stakes.

RELATED: America’s Day to Wager: The experts weigh in on betting the 2022 Kentucky Derby

How are horses picked for the Derby?

Only three-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of prep races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby. (However, sometimes horses will scratch, giving another the opportunity to run in the Derby.)

RELATED: Kentucky Derby Contender Epicenter: Descended from Donuts and the American Dream

Kentucky Derby 2022 post positions, horses

1. Mo Donegal
2. Happy Jack
3. Epicenter
4. Summer Is Tomorrow
5. Smile Happy
6. Messier
7. Crown Pride
8. Charge It
9. Tiz the Bomb
10. Zandon
11. Pioneer of Medina
12. Taiba
13. Simplification
14. Barber Road
15. White Abarrio
16. Cyberknife
17. Classic Causeway
18. Tawny Port
19. Zozos
20. Ethereal Road
21. Rich Strike

Who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

On Monday, February 21, Brad Cox’s colt Mandaloun was named the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stripped Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit of the title due to a failed post-race drug test.

Medina Spirit surprised at Churchill on the first Saturday in May with a wire-to-wire win, giving Baffert a record seventh victory in the race.

Just days later, Baffert, who has a contentious history with positive drug tests, publicly announced that the colt had failed his postrace drug test. Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone in his system, and though a picogram is a trillionth of one gram, it was still double the legal threshold to race in Kentucky. It was later revealed that the betamethasone came from a topical antifungal ointment called Otomax that was used to treat dermatitis.

Churchill Downs later suspended Baffert from racing at its facility, and the New York Racing Association followed suit.

Medina Spirit went on to race in the Preakness under strict conditions, finishing third. He raced three more times, winning the Shared Belief and Awesome Again (G1) and taking second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Exactly one month after his final race, Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at Santa Anita on Dec. 6. He was posthumously named a finalist for 2021 Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male.

Juddmonte-owned Mandaloun was second to the wire with Florent Geroux in the irons. He’s since picked up wins in the Pegasus Stakes (Listed) and the Haskell Stakes (G1) (elevated to first after Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified for interference) at Monmouth, as well as the Louisiana Skates (G3) at Fair Grounds.

What are the biggest Kentucky Derby traditions?

Formal yet bold outfits for both men and women are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities and fans a like go all out, donning creative and colorful hats, bright colors and wild patterns. In fact, hats and outfits are such a big part of the Kentucky Derby that the Derby Museum has a whole exhibit for the most lavish fashions. The Mint Julep, made with Kentucky bourbon, is the signature drink of the Derby.

Kentucky’s state song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during the pre-race post parade. The song, written by Stephen Foster in the 1850s, depicts slavery in the pre-Civil War South, and the song’s exact origins and intentions have been subject to debate and varying interpretations over the last 170 years. There have been renewed calls to re-examine the song’s place – on Derby Day and in American society at large – in recent years. After the race, the champion horse is given the iconic garland of roses in the winner’s circle.

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. There will be a whole weekend of stacked racing cards at Churchill Downs, but the Kentucky Derby takes the betting cake.

Watch the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET.

Breeders’ Cup spots on the line this weekend, top trainers hold keys to 2-year-old tests

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Sometimes, in assessing stakes races, it is best to look at the history of the race and see if there is a dominant factor in that history. This weekend’s racing features both the Champagne Stakes and the Miss Grillo Stakes, two Win and You’re In races for the Breeders’ Cup (coverage begins Saturday at 4 pm ET on NBC). For both races, you need to look no further than the “winning trainer” column, which provides some unavoidable facts:

  1. Since 2004, Todd Pletcher has won the Champagne Stakes a record-setting six times.
  2. In recent times, Chad Brown has asserted himself in this race, winning 3 of the last 6 runnings.
  3. In the 14 runnings of the Miss Grillo since 2008, Chad Brown has been the winning trainer 8 times.

All observations and handicapping of these two races must begin with these facts. Is there something that makes horses from these barns better than others? Not necessarily. But history tells us that these two barns have high-quality and expensive horses and they tend to get them to peak at this time of year. You can try to beat them at the betting windows, but be aware of the history that you are running into.

Further research brought up some interesting notes about these two races and their Breeders’ Cup divisions.

First, a look at the 2-year-old colt division. Since 2004 (when Todd Pletcher won the first of his 6 Champagne Stakes), three 2-year-olds have won the Champagne, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the 2-year-old Eclipse Award. They were War Pass (2007), Uncle Mo (2010) and Shanghai Bobby (2012).  Pletcher trained Uncle Mo and Shanghai Bobby, and Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito handled War Pass.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races

Looking at the 2-year-old turf fillies, the dominance of Chad Brown is even more striking. Since 2008, when Chad Brown captured his first Miss Grillo and the first running of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, four 2-year-old fillies have captured the Miss Grillo and the Juvenile Fillies Turf. They were Maram (2008), Lady Eli (2014), New Money Honey (2016) and Newspaperofrecord (2018). All four fillies were trained by Chad Brown.

A review of charts from the Champagne back to 2004 (the year of Todd Pletcher’s first winner in the race) reveals that he had 20 starters, with 6 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third. That means he has won 30% of the time and been in the money 50%.

A review of the charts from the Miss Grillo dating back to 2008 (Chad Brown’s first winner in the race) shows that he has had 23 starters, with 8 wins, 1 second and 4 thirds. That means he has won approximately 35% of the time and been in the money 56%.

RELATED: Olympiad cruises to Jockey Club Gold Cup victory

Storylines to Watch for 2022 Champagne Stakes

So, what does this mean for this year’s editions of these two “Win and You’re In” races for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup?

In the Champagne, it seems that the dominant trainers in the sport are putting forth the major contenders.

  • 2021 Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is likely to start Verifying, who was a solid winner at Saratoga as a big favorite in his only career start.
  • The sport’s all-time winningest North American trainer is Steve Asmussen, who is rapidly closing in on 10,000 career wins. Asmussen, who won this race in 2020 with Jackie’s Warrior, will send out Gulfport, a very impressive son of Uncle Mo. Gulfport won his first two races by an average winning margin of almost 10 lengths. Then, he had some real misfortune in his next two starts, finishing 2nd in both races at Saratoga. In the Saratoga Special, he had major traffic problems that led to losing several lengths at the top of the stretch. As the favorite in the Hopeful, he endured a wide trip on a sloppy surface to be 2nd best again. With a clean trip, he will be a major contender in the Champagne.
  • As previously stated, Chad Brown has won the Champagne in 3 of its last 6 runnings. He is likely to enter Blazing Sevens, who is a son of Good Magic, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. After a big win in the first race of his career at Saratoga, Blazing Sevens endured a wide trip on a sloppy track in the Hopeful Stakes, and he should improve here, especially on a fast track.
  • The horse who beat Gulfport in the Hopeful was Forte, trained by the 6-time winner of this race, Todd Pletcher. The stretchout to a one-turn mile in the Champagne would have seemed to be made to order for his closing kick. At entry time, Pletcher chose to not enter Forte in the Champagne Stakes, in all likelihood because he plans to enter the horse in the Breeders’ Futurity next Saturday at Keeneland. The Breeders’ Futurity is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and can be seen on CNBC.

RELATED: Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

Storylines to Watch for 2022 Miss Grillo Stakes

Moving on to the Miss Grillo, Chad Brown is likely to enter Free Look, who was an impressive late-closing winner of a Maiden race in her second career start. In her first start, she was a victim of a slow pace, and the best she could do from the back of the pack was close to be 3rd. She seems to be a horse who is likely to improve with more racing. Free Look is a daughter of the leading sire Tapit.

Two others to watch in the Miss Grillo are Be Your Best and Pleasant Passage. Be Your Best is undefeated in two starts for trainer Horacio DePaz. Her last start was the P.G. Johnson Stakes, and she displayed the stalking style that has led to wins in both of her starts. Another with a license to improve is Pleasant Passage, from the barn of legendary trainer Shug McGaughey. In her only career start, she rallied up the rail and endured a stretch battle to get up for a narrow win. She has outstanding grass breeding, and the experience of that win should work in her favor in this race.

It is hard to predict outcomes with lightly-raced 2-year-olds. What we do know is that two horses will win their way into two Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday. That’s the great thing about these “Win and You’re In” races… they are running for something other than purse money, and it often produces some outstanding outcomes.

Lookahead to 2022 Breeders’ Cup

These races lead up to two of the 14 championship races on November 4th and 5th. For those who have never watched an entire Breeders’ Cup, get ready for the rush of witnessing a world championship event every 35 minutes or so. It’s like the Olympics of our sport. Be ready to watch and wager, and you’re sure to come away with some great memories. If you pick some winners, you might come away with a nice profit, as well. The Breeders’ Cup…there’s nothing like it!

Pegasus on Jan. 28, Florida Derby on April 1 at Gulfstream

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Gulfstream Park announced the schedule for the 2022-23 Championship Meet, highlighted by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 28.

Also on Pegasus day: The $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, as well as the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Gulfstream’s top Kentucky Derby prep race, the $1 million Florida Derby, will be run on April 1 as part of a card with 10 stakes races. Other top 3-year-old preps at Gulfstream in early 2023 include the $150,000 Mucho Macho Man on Jan. 1, the $250,000 Holy Bull on Feb. 4 and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth on March 4.

The Pegasus is returning for a seventh time. The format has changed several times in the race’s infancy; the purse structure for the Pegasus World Cup no longer requires owners to put up $1 million apiece for a spot in the starting gate for what was, at its inception, the world’s richest race with a purse that reached $16 million.

This much has remained constant: Winning the Pegasus changes a horse’s resume. No Pegasus winner has ever finished worse than sixth in the yearlong earnings among North American horses, and two past winners – Arrogate and Gun Runner – are two of the three highest-earning thoroughbreds in U.S. history.

Gulfstream’s Championship Meet runs from Dec. 26 through April 2, featuring 60 stakes races, 35 of them graded, and worth a combined $13.6 million.