Racehorses to Keep an Eye on in 2022

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BetMGM @BETMGM Dec 09, 2021, 11:57 PM

If you know how to bet on horse racing, you’ll probably have a good idea of what your favorites are when indulging in a little online sports betting. However, there are several hot contenders making a name for themselves. Take a look at some of the racehorses that have been turning heads on the track, and look set to be a good option for possible NYRA bets in 2022.

‘Crown Jewels’ contenders

A highlight on the US horse racing circuit is the annual Triple Crown. It comprises the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes, the latter held at Belmont Park on the NYRA horse racing circuit. This trio of horse racing tournaments is hotly contested each year, with the winner of all three crowned the Triple Crown champion. The title brings with it considerable prestige, since only 13 horses have achieved the feat since 1875.

With the Kentucky Derby heading up the trio on 7 May, all eyes are on the possible entrants for this race. Hosted at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby is open to three-year-old racehorses that have been nominated and earned enough qualifying points for the series. Among those nominated, several have caught the attention of bettors with an eye on the Triple Crown field. Let’s have a look at just a few of them.


This son of Gun Runner has put in some solid efforts, with only one disappointing race – a fourth place in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity Stakes – marring a string of wins. While there’s room for improvement, experts believe his pedigree should provide the stamina needed for the longer distances, which should stand him in good stead.

Rattle n Roll

Although this chestnut colt by sire Connect took a while to find his groove, he won his next two starts, including the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity Stakes by 4¼ lengths. This makes him one of only three Grade 1 winners in the running so far, and perhaps a good long shot to consider.

Jack Christopher

This unbeaten winner of the Champagne Grade 1 stakes has recently been out of the running owing to an injury, but remains a firm favorite. The two-year-old son of Munnings won his Saratoga Park debut in August, in addition to the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. He’s scheduled to resume training in early 2022 after a two-month break.

Smile Happy

Sired by Claiborne Farm’s Runhappy, Smile Happy debuted at Keeneland in October with an impressive 5½-length win. He then went on to win his next start in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in November, earning himself 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in May 2022.

Major General

This gutsy brown colt by sire Constitution has shown he can win under pressure. Major General set the pace at Saratoga in August 2021, winning by a neck, despite some late rallies among the field. He also took the lead in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs in September, earning a spot in the Grade 1 TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar in November.


An eye-catching gray son of Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, Commandperformance has yet to truly shine, but remains one to watch if his breeding is anything to go by. With three-time leading sire Tapit on his dam side, he should have enough staying power for the longer races, and could offer better odds than other favorites.

Other horse racing events

For those with an interest in other types of horse racing, you might want to keep an eye on a number of fresh prospects that have been lighting up the steeplechase track. Bareback Jack had his first start at Musselburgh and has subsequently won three of his four runs. Meanwhile, with a year behind him, Big King has several strong performances in his career, and has been making a name for himself as a great jumping horse. Dysart Dynamo had a strong debut in March 2021 and has put in some solid runs against tough competition since then. Finally, while still coming into his own in terms of style in the field, Easy As That has room to improve over the hurdles, but shows plenty of raw talent that should shine in the 2022 season.

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Whatever events you’re keen on, you’re bound to find a sports betting line to capture your imagination, whether it’s league, college, or professional fixtures. And while you’re waiting for your horse – or other result – to come in, you can even play your choice of casino table games and online slots, which you’ll find at our online casino.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.