2022 Kentucky Derby: 'Greatest Two Minutes In Sports' Appears To Be Wide Open

Crazy hats and crazy suits sippin’ on a Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep on the first Saturday in May. Yep, that must mean that the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports" is on the horizon.

The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is set to commence Saturday at Churchill Downs at 6:57 p.m. ET on NBC. The first of U.S. horse racing’s Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, will go on with controversy looming in the shadows.

This year’s race will notably be absent of Bob Baffert, who was suspended for two years from Churchill Downs after his horse, Medina Spirit, tested positive for a banned substance after crossing the line first in 2021. Medina Spirit was stripped of the victory and second-place finisher Mandaloun was announced as the victor.


With the six-time Kentucky Derby and two-time Triple Crown winning trainer absent, the field appears to be as wide open as ever. Mo Donegal is the betting favorite at 10/1, followed by Happy Jack at 30/1 and Epicenter at 7/2. A victory for Mo Donegal would be a triumph of the ages for Donegal Racing.

The race team based out of Des Moines, Iowa, has just its fourth Kentucky Derby horse entrant in Mo Donegal and first since Keen Ice in 2015. Donegal Racing CEO Jerry Crawford has seen his share of ups and downs with Mo Donegal since purchasing him at the Keeneland September Sale for $250,000, but always believed he could one day win the Kentucky Derby.

"My long-term goal is very simple: Win the Kentucky Derby on May the 7th and die happy," Crawford said, via the Des Moines Register. "Preferably not right after."

But beyond who takes home the blanket of 564 roses, the event itself always attracts the country's best athletes and celebrities, who always show up in grand fashion. Singer/songwriters Janet Jackson and Jason Aldean, as well as Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson are a few of the names expected to be in attendance.

A celebrity in his own right, Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is slated to be betting once again on the Kentucky Derby. The Gallery Furniture owner out of Houston, Texas, is expected to put down $2-$3 million on the race, per Forbes.

McIngvale had between $2-$4 million on Essential Quality last year, money that wilted away after Essential Quality finished fourth behind Medina Spirit, Mandaloun, and Hot Rod Charlie.

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