Kentucky Derby Favorites’ Owners — Get Ready for the Big Race

The 2022 Kentucky Derby will include 20 horses racing for a $3 million purse. Owners will receive a portion of those winnings. Who owns the favorite horses?

Kathryn Underwood - Author

May 6 2022, Published 11:19 a.m. ET

Zandon training
Source: Kentucky Derby FB

Zandon, one of the 2022 Kentucky Derby Favorites.

The 148th racing of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs is set to take place on Saturday, May 7, 2022. While horse racing fans may try to make profits by betting on the Kentucky Derby on online gambling sites, other people have a bigger stake in the race by owning elite horses. Here’s a look at some of the 2022 Kentucky Derby favorites and their owners.

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The forecast for heavy rain may dampen some spirits and impact some horses’ performance, but several horses are favored to win what some call the “greatest two minutes in sports.” Zandon, the winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and Epicenter, the winner of the Louisiana Derby, are two popular choices to win the majority of the $3 million purse.

Kentucky Derby Roses
Source: Kentucky Derby FB

The winner of the Kentucky Derby receives 554 roses, and the race often is called Run for the Roses.

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Zandon’s owner is Jeff Drown.

For Jeff Drown, a thoroughbred owner from Minnesota, 2022 has been his most lucrative year yet. He has owned competitive horses since 2003 when he earned $14,665 from the business. So far in 2022, Drown has already earned over $652,000, according to His 2022 earnings are from one first-place finish, one in second, and two in third.

Drown’s overall career includes 350 starts with 54 first-place finishes. His total career earnings, for an approximation of his net worth, are $2.681 million prior to the 2022 Kentucky Derby. Zandon, who will race at Churchill Downs this year, won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes for $713,000 on April 9.

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Epicenter’s owner is Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC.

The partners in Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC are Joan Winchell and her son Ron, who are continuing the family business started by Verne Winchell, Joan’s late husband. Verne founded a doughnut company that merged with Denny’s, of which he was the CEO and chairman.

Winchell Thoroughbreds has made over $1.4 million in 2022. The owners' lifetime earnings are nearly $27.45 million.

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Mo Donegal
Source: Donegal Racing FB

Mo Donegal will also race for the roses on May 7.

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Mo Donegal’s owners are Donegal Racing and Repole Stable.

Another top contender in 2022 is Mo Donegal, owned by Donegal Racing and Repole Stable. Donegal Racing has taken in $136,000 in 2022 with lifetime earnings of $12.971 million. Jerry Crawford, an Iowa attorney, partnered with nine others in 2008 to form Donegal Racing with the goal of a Derby win.

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Taiba is trained by Tim Yakteen and owned by Zedan Stables.

Amr Zedan, a Saudi venture capital investor, owns Kentucky Derby contender Taiba. Zedan also owned Medina Spirit, the horse whose 2021 Derby victory was disqualified. Zedan’s net worth is approximately $400 million.

Taiba, who won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita on April 9, is trained by Tim Yakteen. Yakteen has made $1.263 million this year and $12.285 million in lifetime earnings. Early in his career, Yakteen worked with Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert.

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Churchill Downs has banned Baffert for two years after Medina Spirit had a positive drug test last year and was disqualified after winning the Kentucky Derby. Baffert has trained Taiba and Messier, two horses running in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. He asked Yakteen to take over training them so they can still run despite his ban.

White Abarrio has two stable owners.

C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC own White Abarrio. The owners have amassed lifetime earnings of $796,000 and the majority of that was in 2022 at $731,600.

The Kentucky Derby yotal purse is $3 million in 2022.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Derby purse is $3 million. The winning horse will come away with $1.86 million.


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