Why Messier Is a Kentucky Derby Favorite

The 2022 Kentucky Derby is on May 7th with post time at 6:57 p.m. ET. Using TVG projections and Horse Racing Nation as a guide, here are the horse profiles for America’s biggest and most popular race.

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As always, check the program for racing information after the post position draw on May 2nd, and monitor the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure and BRIS and Beyer speed figures, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

#6 Messier

Morning Line Odds: 8/1
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Trained by Tim Yakteen and ridden by jockey John Velazquez, Messier was installed at 8/1 on the morning line odds breaking from post No. 6. He's one of three horses including Epicenter who have pari-mutuel wagering odds below 10/1. Yakteen is now in the spotlight, having taken over training duties from Bob Baffert, who he worked under as an assistant previously.

Messier posted super strong 100+ BRIS Pace/Speed Rating figures throughout his recent 2nd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby. He's finished 1st of 2nd in all six of his starts and won the Robert B. Lewis in his other race in 2022. Horse Racing Nation notes his elevated and balanced Energy Distribution Profile fits perfectly with the pace/presser running style that has defined the past several Kentucky Derby winners.

Messier does meet some key trends and respected metrics in horse racing when determining a contender or winner of the Kentucky Derby. His best Beyer Speed Figure is 103, and his best BRIS Speed Rating is 108, which came in the Santa Anita Derby.

History shows that 27 of the last 30 Kentucky Derby winners (90.0%) have entered the race with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of at least 95. And 18 of the past 22 Kentucky Derby winners (81.8%) had a BRIS Speed Rating of at least 100 prior to the race.