Kentucky Derby Predictions with Mark Klein

Comedian Mark Klein joins us to share his top picks for the Kentucky Derby:

“When the all-time winningest trainer in North America brings a 3-year-old colt to Louisville in May, and that horse just set a track record for 1 1/16 less than 6 weeks ago, he leads my 2022 KY Derby selection off the van.

Steve Asmussen will send Epicenter out on Saturday to try and win his long-overdue Kentucky Derby. He has already won at Churchill Downs, has Joel Rosario in the irons, and is working beautifully, including a breeze over a muddy track that put some bottom in him, and tells his backers not to fear the weatherman. Great trainer, solid horse, record times – it’s a match.

So who can crash this wedding? Lightly raced Taiba (he won the Santa Anita Derby in only his second start, waxing stablemate Messier like a surfboard in the process) is a threat. Formerly in the barn of trainer/fiction writer/lab agnostic Bob Baffert, Taiba has had only one significant workout since his California score. Still, if he duplicates that form or improves, he cashes a check.

Another long-odds mudlark is Fountain of Youth winner Simplification. His connections are new to the Derby, but their horse is capable and handles traffic like a Tel Aviv cabbie. He needs to be a little better than his 3rd place effort in the Florida Derby, but I like his bullet work at Gulfstream last week in the slop.

Finally, Todd Pletcher-trained Charge It is a green, gangly, long-striding colt with more upside than sunflowers in June, and his trainer (with whom we will not argue) assures us that Charge It learned a lot in school last time out, and might just move to the head of the class on Saturday. I think they all get lessons from Epicenter on May 6.

Here’s how I spend $100.00 on Derby Day:

  • $10 win Epicenter #3,
  • $10 place Taiba #12,
  • $2 exacta box Epicenter/Taiba/Charge It (3,12,8)($12 total)
  • $2 exacta box Epicenter/Charge It/Simplification (3,12,13)($12 total),
  • $2 trifecta box Epicenter/Taiba/Charge It (3,12,8)($12 total) Life-Changing
  • $1 Superfecta Box 3,8,12,13)($24 total)
  • This leaves $8 left over for a $4 exacta box ($8 total) on Taiba/Messier, both formerly with Baffert, now clean and sober.

Good luck to us all!

Mark Klein