Why the Experts Are Taking a Closer Look at Mo Donegal
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.)
#1 Mo Donegal
Morning Line Odds: 20/1
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Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by top jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Mo Donegal was installed at 10/1 on the morning line odds, breaking from the rail in post No. 1. He's a main Derby contender like favorites Zandon, Epicenter, and Messier, who all have pari-mutuel wagering odds below 10/1.
Mo Donegal recently won the Wood Memorial and posted his top Equibase Speed Figure of 103. He profiles as an emerging and improving 3-year-old, and his pedigree profile is solid as a son of Uncle Mo.
In chasing down Early Voting to win the Wood Memorial, Mo Donegal posted a stunning BRIS Late Pace figure of 123. Only one Kentucky Derby runner in the last 30 editions has run a faster BRIS Late Pace figure than what Mo Donegal did in the Wood. His 111 Final BRIS Speed Rating is the highest figure earned by any of this year's Derby starters.
Like the top contenders above, Mo Donegal 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 96, and his best BRIS Speed Rating at 111 is the best in this Derby field.
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.