Top 10 2022 Kentucky Derby Contenders You Should Watch Out For

Top 10 2022 Kentucky Derby Derby Contenders You Should Watch Out For
As we are nearing the much-awaited Kentucky Derby race this year, the top contenders are starting to come to light. Even though the top earners on the Road to the Kentucky Derby will still change before the big event starts, they are most likely to be the ones you will see on the racetrack on May 7, 2022.

Al let us present the list of the current top 10 contenders of the 2022 Kentucky Derby according to their performance in the Derby Prep Races. It will help you project who you should expect on the field and run after the first triple crown trophy.

Classic Causeway

The first in our list of top contenders for Kentucky derby is Classic Causeway. Classic Causeway is the current top earner of the Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022, with an accumulated point of 66. The horse is trained by Brian A. Lynch and provided an excellent performance in his last four races.

He finished third on Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity last October 9, 2021, and second on Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last November 27, 2022. He also ran in Sam F. Davis Stakes last February 12, 2022, and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby last March 12, 2022, where he finished both races in first place.


The second achiever on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard is Epicenter. This horse that Steven M. Asmussen trains accumulated 64 points throughout his journey on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

He participated in three Derby Prep Races, where he finished two of them as a first placer and the remaining one race as a second placer. Epicenter is known to be Asmussen’s ticket to win his first-ever Kentucky Derby trophy.

Un Ojo

This third horse gains 54 points by finishing second on the Withers Stake last February 5, 2022, and first on the Revel Stakes that happened last February 26, 2022.

He achieved the third best spot in the Road to the Kentucky Derby this year even though he only has one functioning eye after he lost he suffered from an accident and lost his left eye when he was just a yearling.

However, he still shows strong performance in his races and can win the Kentucky race this year with the help of his trainer Anthony W. Dutrow.


The fourth-best horse on the leaderboard who currently has 54 points where he acquired when he won the Fasig-Tipton Foundation of Youth Stakes last March 5, 2022, and finished second on the Holy Bull Stakes last February 5, 2022.

Antonio Sano is trained and a descendant of a long line of great performers such as his sire Not This Time and his Dam Simply Confection.

Forbidden Kingdom

Another Kentucky Derby contestant that you should watch out for is Forbidden Kingdom, trained by Richard Mandela with 50 points. He is now on the fifth spot on the derby leaderboard and can move up in these coming weeks.

It was pretty easy for Forbidden Kingdom to earth his 50 points in the Derby Prep race. Participated with only one race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby so far, yet he made it to the fifth spot with an instant 50 points.



Morellos quickly made it to the number six on the leaderboard after winning the Gotham Stakes last March 5, 2022. He is another Steve Asmussen horse who works so hard to make it to the top and win this entire thing.

Many believe that Morello is a promising horse and have his popularity rises after his amazing win at the Gotham Stakes. So, he is indeed a horse that everyone should watch out for as he might surprise you with what he can do.

Smile Happy

After winning his first starting race, Smile Happy established himself as a leading Kentucky Derby contender. He currently has 30 total points after an astonishing win on his debut race, plus finishing second place on his second derpy prep race participation.

Smile Happy, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club by 3 1/4 lengths last November 27, 2022, is a progeny of Super Saver’s Son Runhappy.


8th on the leaderboard is Grantham, the progeny of Declaration of War, and Darby Blush. Grantham earned his current 21 points after successfully finishing fourth on the Withers Stakes and second on the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby.

Ethereal Road

With 20 accumulated points, Ethereal Road is not in ninth place on the Kentucky Derby 2022 leaderboard. However, he made it in the top 10 contenders after winning the Rebel Stakes last February 26, 2022, as the second placer.

In Due Time

Finally, In Due Time, the contender landed on the tenth spot on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. In Due Time has quite a record when it comes to racing. He has participated in numerous horse racing events outside the Kentucky Derby and has stunning results.

However, he only participated in one Prep Race and finished it as a second placer which gave him his current 20 points. Due Time is still expected to participate in more prep races to ensure his spot on the Kentucky Derby race this May 7.

In Conclusion

Use this list provided to help you know who will likely win the Kentucky Derby this year. In addition, it can serve as a guide when you start choosing which horse you will bet on this upcoming Kentucky Derby Race.

Author: Gus Barge

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