Keys to the 2022 Kentucky Derby

       Here’s what you need to know to handicap the 2022 Kentucky Derby

By the Numbers

Since 2000

All but 5 winners hit the board in their debut; 12 won – counting the DQ’d Derby horses that crossed the finish line first.

Three Derby winners competed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Since the inception of qualifying points, only three Derby winners ran in a stakes race as a 2-year-old, and two earned points.

14 of the last 22 winners made their first start as a 3-year-old in January, including the last five. 5 of the last 22 debuted in February. 17 (including the DQ’d winners) won.

7 of 22 winners had only two preps before the Derby. The last 7 winners had between three and four preps.

NOT counting the winners via DQ, 17 of 22 won their last prep; 3 finished second. The winners via DQ finished sixth and third, respectively.

All except 4 of the last 22, counting the winners via DQ, gained ground in their final prep.

Kentucky Derby Winners last prep

Florida Derby

Santa Anita Derby

Arkansas Derby

Wood Memorial

Blue Grass

Other (Haskell, Sunland Derby, Illinois Derby)

Sire Lines

Lately, Storm Cat has played a significant role in the pedigrees of the top three finishers of the Kentucky Derby.

Dating back to 2015 and including the DQ’d Derby winners, Storm Cat has an overwhelming presence in the lineage within the first three generations.

2019 was the only year the winner (Country House) and DQ’d winner (Maximum Security) didn’t carry Storm Cat’s blood.

Last year, Storm Cat was a heavy influence when his descendants sired Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and Media Spirit (Protonico). Third-place finisher Essential Quality claims Storm Cat as his second damsire.

Six of the last seven Derby third-place finishers have carried Storm Cat bloodline within three generations through their sire or damsire lines; the only deviation was Battle of Midway (2017).

Common threads are woven through America’s most famous horserace. Knowing the current trends and long-standing rules will help horseplayers sort the contenders from the pretenders and maybe find a price horse who will blow up the tote. – PS – one did!