2022 Kentucky Derby Field - Messier

Last Updated: 05/04/2022 at 6:43 PM ET

2022 Kentucky Derby Field - Messier

Messier is one of the favorites to win Saturday’s Kentucky Derby and will be ridden by John Velazquez. The Tim Yakteen trained colt will leave from gate 5 on Saturday, presses the pace and has odds of 8-1. In six career starts, Messier has three wins and three seconds. Messier has career earnings of $435,600.

Messier has been overshadowed by the recent success of stablemate Taiba but has finished first or second in each of his six career outings. As a 3-year old, Messier opened with a 15-length victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Messier at the time was trained by Bob Baffert but when he became a possible book-favorite for the Derby, transferred to Yakteen’s barn.

Messier qualified for the Derby by finishing second in the Santa Anita Derby by overtaking Forbidden Kingdom down the homestretch but being caught by eventual winner Taiba. Messier has become a quality thoroughbred, but has been caught and overtaken in each of his last two prep races.

Messier will push the pace and is likely to be in contention through the far turn but is not likely to have the wheels to hold off the talented field on Saturday. Yakteen will compete for the first time in the Kentucky Derby with Messier and Taiba. Velazquez is a big plus, as the veteran jockey has three wins in the Derby and two seconds in 23 starts.

Messier has the third-best odds as of midweek prior to the running of the Kentucky Derby but is not expected to reach the winner’s circle because of lacking a strong finish and the field has a handful of top finishers down the stretch. If Messier can hold on long enough a place or show will be in the cards for the talented thoroughbred.

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