2022 Kentucky Derby: Three horses outside the favorites to consider | Betting

By Joe Sullivan For FrontPageBets

There is money to be made in the Kentucky Derby every year. Figuring out the best path to that goal is the challenge.

If only we could somehow convince ourselves that we’ve found the next Mind That Bird in this year’s field. Churchill Downs again hosts this year’s Run for the Roses on May 7. Mind That Bird was an impossible-to-predict winner of the 2009 Derby at 62-1 odds. One could argue that price should have been larger but the result was so shocking they made a bad film about it.

Remember, the favorites don’t always win, but finding that live long shot is a difficult business. Most likely, the winner of this year’s Derby will be one of the logical runners such as Epicenter, Mo Donegal or Zandon. But there are some outsiders who are interesting. FrontPageBets presents three to consider.

Keep in mind these horses might not win, but they could be valuable in exotic wagering. All three could prove useful in your exactas, trifectas or superfectas.

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The colt is Japanese bred, owned and trained. When Japan first started sending horses to the Derby, they were automatic tosses for wagering purposes. You can no longer think that way.

Japan is making a bigger impact in world-wide racing as evidenced by two victories in last year’s Breeders’ Cup and four on Dubai World Cup Day, including this horse’s impressive 2¾-length victory in the UAE Derby.

Crown Pride beat a 16-horse field at 1 3/16 miles so he already has experience in navigating a big field, while also winning at a distance close to the Derby’s 1¼ miles. It’s an advantage he has over most of the field. He started his career in a Japanese stakes race and won by six lengths. Overall, he’s won three of four.

Meanwhile, he impressed the professional clockers at Churchill Downs with a fast workout on Monday, which is unusual for Japanese-trained horses. It might just be a matter of time until a Japanese horse breaks through in the Derby and this horse has a chance to be the one.

This horse placed second, finishing 2½ lengths behind the Derby’s possible favorite, Epicenter, in the Louisiana Derby. Notably trained by Brad Cox, last year’s Eclipse Award winner. It was his first attempt in a stakes race after winning his first two races. His speed figures have been ascending and he’s got a versatile running style that could help him avoid trouble.

The well-bred son of Tapit is trained by one of best, Todd Pletcher. He’s only raced three times and two of those were against maidens. After winning his first race by 8½ lengths, Pletcher jumped him up into a very difficult situation in the Florida Derby. Surprisingly, the horse finished second even after hitting the gate at the start and then failing to keep a straight course in the stretch. There’s tons of potential here, especially if Pletcher has been able to get some maturity into him in the last few weeks.

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Joe Sullivan is the former sports editor of the Boston Globe and an avid horse player. His college basketball column “Sully’s Court” was a staple in the Globe. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeSoullivan

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