Kentucky Derby Trifecta Picks, Advice and Tips

Here are my 2022 Kentucky Derby Trifecta picks. I’ve made my picks for a winning trifecta part wheel. Hitting a straight trifecta is extremely difficult. It’s better to wheel multiple horses into your trifecta bet. It’s a smart way to win more money with less risk.

Epicenter was the +400 likely favorite as of May 1, 2022. Taibi and Messier are tied for second at +650. Now, let’s review my trifecta picks for this year’s race!

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Kentucky Derby Trifecta Part Wheel Keys

  • 1: Messier, Zandon, Mo Donegal
  • 2: Messier, Zandon, Epicenter
  • 3: Messier, Mo Donegal, Epicenter, Taiba

Total Cost: $18, $1 per combination

Ways to bet Trifectas

There are 3 ways to bet trifectas. The most common is the straight trifecta. It’s also the most difficult to reliably win. Trifecta Boxes and Wheels are solid alternatives. You can add more than 3 horses to your trifecta bet. This increases the likelihood of winning with a higher investment upfront.

The following video explains how to place a wheel bet. The procedure is the same for exactas and superfectas. Watch the entire video for help with other bets!

  1. Straight Trifecta Bet – Pick 3 horses to finish in the top 3 positions. Final order matters.
  2. Trifecta Box Bet – Pick any number of horses to finish in the top 3 positions. Final order does not matter.
  3. Trifecta Part Wheel Bet – Select horses to key into each position: first, second and third. Final order does matter depending on how you key each horse.

Efficiency Matters

Trifecta Boxes are more likely to win because final order does not matter. But a box is less efficient than a wheel because you end up buying more combinations than you need.

Trifecta Part Wheels are harder to win because you must select and key horses correctly. However a part wheel is more efficient than a box. You will invest less bankroll to potentially win more money.

Kentucky Derby Trifecta Betting Advice

I recommend a 5 horse Trifecta Part Wheel, keying 3 horses in the first and second position, then 4 horses in the third. Why?

A 5 horse Trifecta Box costs $60, $1 per combination. But a 5 horse Trifecta Part Wheel using my recommendations is only $18, $1 per combination.

That means our 4th horse must finish second or third. I add a less-likely 5th horse to finish third, just to cover the bases.

You’ll be making a more efficient bet with higher profit potential. And you’ll be way ahead of the novices betting it all on one horse!

Picking 5 horses to finish first, second or third shouldn’t be hard. Plus you get bonus horse for the third key.

2022 Kentucky Derby Odds

Horse futures odds are aggregated and estimated

Horse
TwinSpires TwinSpires
Epicenter
Taiba
Messier
Zandon
Mo Donegal
White Abarrio
Smile Happy
Charge It
Tiz The Bomb
Early Voting
Cyberknife
Zozos
Simplification
Barber Road
Pioneer of Medina
Crown Pride
In Due Time
Tawny Port
Happy Jack
Summer Is Tomorrow
Un Ojo
Ethereal Road

How to Key Horses in a Trifecta Part Wheel

Review this clip from our “How to Bet on Horses” video tutorial. I’ll discuss this wager and each horse below.

Let’s assemble our Trifecta Part Wheel keys from the table above. As of writing, Epicenter is the heavy favorite. He’ll be put in Key 3 with our other picks. Our favorite is Messier. He’ll be put in all 3 keys.

Key 1

Messier’s last graded stakes win was the G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on February 6, 2022 at Santa Anita. I think Epicenter peaked too early on a heavier racing schedule. Messier, though entering the derby with fewer big wins, is well prepared to run fast.

Let’s also add Zandon and Mo Donegal to the first key. Zandon won Keeneland’s G1 Blue Grass stakes on April 9, 2022. On the same day at Aqueduct, Mo Donegal claimed victory in the G2 Wood Memorial stakes.

Key 2

Put Messier and Zandon in the second key. Add Epicenter as Key 2’s third horse. Epicenter won both the 2022 G2 Risen Star Stakes and the 2022 G2 Louisiana Derby.

Key 3

Finally, the last key. Reuse Messier, Mo Donegal, and Epicenter again. Add Taiba as Key 3’s fourth horse. Taiba has one G1 stakes race to his credit: the RunHappy Santa Anita Derby on April 9, 2022.

MSW Abbreviation: MSW means “Maiden Special Weight”. It’s an event reserved for horses who have never won a race.

2022 Kentucky Derby Part Wheel Keys

  • 1: Messier, Zandon, Mo Donegal
  • 2: Messier, Zandon, Epicenter
  • 3: Messier, Mo Donegal, Epicenter, Taiba

Total Cost: $18, $1 per combination

How to Place a Kentucky Derby Trifecta Wheel Bet?
Visit our recommended online race books below. Wait until the field is set and each horse is assigned a starting position. Fill out your Trifecta Wheel ticket with each horse’s corresponding number. Then sit back and get rich!

Bet On the Derby Now

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Good luck from Ron Halfback and the SportsBetting3.com gang!

Kentucky Derby Required Reading

References

More Trifecta betting information, cost tables and advice:

  1. Trifecta Wheel Betting – Includes trifecta wheel equation, calculations and cost tables.
  2. Trifecta Box Betting – Discussion of Trifecta Box Bet, cost calculation and tables