Kentucky Derby Longshots & Odds: Vegas Expert’s Tips On Winning Plays

Longshot Classic Causeway is one to watch in Saturday's Kentucky Derby. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Betting on the Kentucky Derby is in full swing at sportsbooks across the country, and we’re here to give you the best longshots to back.

Don’t just take our word on these longshot selections, either, as we’ve enlisted veteran horse racing oddsmaker Paul Zilm to provide his expert analysis on these picks. Las Vegas-based Zilm sets the horse racing odds at the market-making Circa Sports.

Let’s begin at the top of Circa’s Kentucky Derby oddsboard. Zandon (4.9-to-1 odds) is the betting favorite. Meh. You’re looking for some bang on your hard-earned buck at the betting window. Here’s the 411 from Zilm on horses that can put a serious bulge in your wallet on Saturday.

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Circa’s odds are current as of Tuesday afternoon, and it’s important to note that horses must start for action after the post-position draw took place Monday.

HorseCirca Odds To Win 2022 Kentucky Derby
Mo Donegal10-1
White Abbarrio12-1
Smile Happy14-1
Charge It17-1
Tiz The Bomb27-1
Crown Pride30-1
Classic Causeway35-1
Pioneer of Medina40-1
Barber Road45-1
Ethereal Road81-1
Summer Is Tomorrow90-1
Tawny Port90-1
Happy Jack90-1

Best Longshots To Bet In 2022 Kentucky Derby

Tawny Port (90-1)

Zilm’s take: “Ran well on synthetic turf and then had an impressive performance in Lexington to solidify his spot in the starting gate here. Trained by Brad Cox, he needs to carve out a trip from the 18th hole, but I think he could surprise some people at a huge price. My favorite of the longest of longshots.”

Classic Causeway (35-1)

Zilm’s take: “Will need to be at the front and go as far as he can. He was awesome in his preps in Tampa and abysmal at Gulfstream Park. He likely needs a lead by himself and then prays he holds the distance.”

Tiz The Bomb (27-1)

Zilm’s take: “His dirt prep in Florida wasn’t good, so you have to ask yourself, ‘is this horse simply a turf/synthetic type, or can he put it all together on the traditional dirt?’ His maiden win last summer at Ellis Park on the dirt was impressive, but he beat a really weak field. I think he’s a sneaky player and one to watch on the oddsboard.”

Longshots To Use In Kentucky Derby Exotics

Summer is Tomorrow (90-1)

Zilm’s take: “A key pace factor and will dictate in my opinion a little bit of what Epicenter does. If he can break well, get out in front without a completely torrid pace, he could stick around for a minor placing. Not a win candidate for me, though.”

Barber Road (45-1)

Zilm’s take: “He seems to always be around, but didn’t win any of his prep races. His running style may keep him around at this distance, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him closing at the end. But, as a win contender, he’s a pass for me.”

Pioneer of Medina (40-1)

Zilm’s take: “He has middle price ‘wiseguy’ horse written all over him. Excuses in his last couple races, but a solid trainer in Todd Pletcher. Pletcher chose not to run him in the last couple weeks of the prep season and said, ‘if he gets in, we will go.’ Seems like a logical choice to clunk up the exotics.

Longshots To Fade In The Kentucky Derby

Happy Jack (90-1)

Zilm’s take: “I’ll pass. Seems overmatched. He was a distant finisher to the better horses in California.”

Ethereal Road (81-1)

Zilm’s take: “Lucky to have found his way into the race. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas gave him every chance to qualify and gain points and he struggled. I think he’s a substantial cut below the top horses in this field. Throw in that he’s breaking from the far outside, and in my opinion, he should be the longest shot on the board.”

Also read: Kentucky Derby futures odds from Vegas

About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Senior Writer
Kris Johnson is a senior writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Johnson's work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and other publications. He also authored a sports betting novel titled The Endgame.

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