May 3, 2022 - Sports

Minnesota's Zandon is early Kentucky Derby favorite

zandon
Zandon runs on the track during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A thoroughbred owned by a Minnesotan is the early favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.

Driving the news: Bettors placing wagers ahead the Saturday race see 3-year-old Zandon as the horse to beat following the announcement of gate placements.

  • The colt's betting odds to win are 3-1.

The local angle: Zandon is owned by St. Cloud businessman Jeff Drown, co-founder of Lyon Contracting and co-owner of Trident Development. It's the developer's first time with a horse racing Churchill Downs.

  • Another horse, Zozos, is owned by Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie; it is among six horses given 20-1 odds.

The intrigue: This year's Derby "features a deep field with no true favorite," the Washington Post's Neil Greenberg notes.

  • Rival Epicenter might have come out ahead with a better spot at the starting line, he added.

What they're saying: "It's a great position to be in. I feel lucky to have the favorite. I think it's a close call between the two horses," Zandon trainer Chad Brown told the Star Tribune.

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