Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred horse racing! This Grade 1 stakes race covers 1 3/16 miles (9 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is traditionally run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, so it happens Saturday, May 18, 2024. The horses compete for a $2 million purse, the iconic blanket of black-eyed susans...and, the Kentucky Derby winner competes for a chance to go into the Belmont Stakes with a live Triple Crown bid at play!

The race always draws some of the best three-year-old horses in the country, and it is one of the most exciting wagering events of the year. This is the place to find out how to bet the Preakness Stakes!

Preakness Stakes Betting Odds

The Kentucky Derby winner is almost always the favorite in the Preakness Stakes betting odds. Occasionally it does not turn out that way: in 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike did not run in the Preakness, so Derby second-place finisher Epicenter was the Preakness Stakes favorite. And, in 2009, Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird did run in the Preakness but impressive Kentucky Oaks winner Rachel Alexandra was the favorite.

This can provide good betting value. When deciding how to bet on Preakness Stakes horses, finding a horse who does not come out of the Kentucky Derby but gets the proper pace setup or otherwise has enough upside means you can increase your Preakness Stakes payouts if the Kentucky Derby winner gets upset two weeks later.

As the field for the race begins to solidify, start following Preakness Stakes betting odds at your chosen sportsbook. Online racebooks offer fixed-odds wagering on the Preakness, so you can go ahead and lock in an overlay once you see it on your horse.

Preakness Stakes odds start taking clearer shape after the Kentucky Derby. This is because the Preakness Stakes field does not usually firm up until then. In the days following the run for the roses, trainers decide if their Kentucky Derby horses are in the right form to go to the Preakness, or decide whether up-and-coming horses are in good enough form to step up to Triple Crown-caliber company.

Online Betting: Preakness Stakes

Choosing a winner in the Preakness is important, but it is just as important to choose the right place for betting the Preakness Stakes online.

Betting the Preakness Stakes online is better than playing it at the track. It is more convenient because you can do it anywhere with an internet connection. It is also better because online sportsbooks offer fixed odds on major races: you can lock in the best Vegas price when you bet, instead of waiting until Preakness Stakes post time for the odds at the track to become official. Finally, they offer benefits you’ll never see at the track like horse racing rebates, deposit bonuses, and other promo codes.

For many bettors, the best place to lay down a bet is through Bovada Racebook, our top online racebook choice. Make sure to look through all of our trusted options, however; different betting sites offer different bonuses. You can maximize your Preakness Stakes betting profits as well as your returns on racing and sports betting all year long by picking a site that fits your betting style.

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* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!

Preakness Stakes Betting Guide

Preakness stakes history can help you focus on horses with a good chance to win. Keep these Preakness Stakes betting tips in mind: they can help you figure out how to bet and maximize your profit on the race!

Preakness Stakes Post Positions

Since up to 14 horses can run in the Preakness Stakes, take the post draw seriously. A post too far inside is a recipe for heavy traffic, whereas a post too far outside means a horse can lose a lot of ground on the turns, or will have to be used too much to get a place on or near the early pace.

The 6 gate has been the best draw throughout Preakness history; 16 winners of the race have broken from that nice middle gate. Other gates that have done particularly well are the 4 gate and the 7 gate. So, if your Preakness Stakes best bet draws one of those middle few gates, you can feel confident that the post position will not hurt them, and they may even be helped by it.

Preakness Stakes Weather

Make sure to keep an eye on the weather reports for the Preakness Stakes. It often rains in Baltimore, meaning that horses often have to deal with a muddy or sloppy track in the race.

When you are handicapping the Preakness Stakes, make a note of horses who can run well in the mud. Sometimes it is as simple as looking at their race record; Preakness Stakes past performances will point out track conditions, so if they have run in the mud you can easily see whether they run well or run below their other form.

Even if a horse has not run over an off track before, you can get an idea of how they will handle that. Look at their pedigree: did their sire (father) or dam (mother) handle wet tracks well? Have their parents produced other horses who run well over a rain-affected course? If they have, you can often find a good price horse who can outrun their odds on a rainy day.

Preakness Stakes Pace

There is an old saying in horse racing that the pace makes the race. This holds true in the Preakness Stakes. Though what so many people say about the tight turns is a myth – the turns at Pimlico are no tighter than the turns at many other major horse racing tracks – it is true that unless the pace appears to fall apart, horses with good tactical speed have an advantage in the Preakness.

Of course, if most of the Preakness Stakes field needs to be on the lead, Pimlico is just like any other track when that happens: races can fall apart, and a good closer can pick everyone off. On the other hand, if a horse looks likely to be alone on the lead, it can be a good idea to bet that lone speed.

But, in normal circumstances with a more balanced pace setup, give the advantage to a horse who can track in range of the lead and see out the 1 3/16-mile trip.

Preakness Stakes Form Cycle

When deciding your best bets for Preakness Stakes, choose a horse who is coming out of a good race. The horse does not have to come out of a win: horses who come out of close-behind finishes in either the Kentucky Derby or a classy Kentucky Derby prep races can take another step forward and be perfectly primed to win the Preakness.

However, Preakness Stakes winners usually do not come out of a poor effort. Perhaps a horse who did not do as well in their last race can come back into better form and nip at one of the underneath shares in the Preakness, but that is not where you usually find a Preakness Stakes winner.

Preakness Stakes Trainers and Preakness Stakes Jockeys

When looking for your Preakness Stakes betting choice, make a note of which horses are trained or ridden by people who have won the Preakness Stakes before. It means they have a proven record of getting horses ready for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Among active jockeys, Kent Desormeaux and Victor Espinoza have won the Preakness three times, and Javier Castellano and Mike Smith have each won it twice. This is important, since it proves that they can work with multiple horses and get the best out of them over the demanding 1 3/16 mile trip at Pimlico Race Course.

Bob Baffert leads all trainers with eight Preakness winners. Most of his winners have been Kentucky Derby winners, though he has also won the Preakness three times with horses who did not win the first Triple Crown race. That includes National Treasure, who in 2023 bypassed the Kentucky Derby, set the pace in the Preakness, and held off a rallying Blazing Sevens for trainer Chad Brown.

Preakness Stakes Bets and Odds

On Preakness Stakes day, you will have the full range of horse racing betting options available to you. You can bet anything that is available on any other major horse racing day. This means, when deciding how to bet the Preakness Stakes, you will have to pick out which wagers maximize profit on your opinions in the race.

This includes straight wagers on individual horses: win bets, place bets, and show bets. These are excellent choices if your strongest opinion is about a single horse, since they only depend on one horse’s performance and not the performance of others in the race. A win bet cashes if your horse wins. Place and show hit if your horse finishes second or better, or third or better, respectively.

You can also bet intra-race exotics like exactas, trifectas, and superfectas in the Preakness Stakes. These are excellent wagers if you have a few horses who you think can run well or if your strongest opinion in the race is that a particular horse can run second or third in the race but does not like to win.

Another great option for betting on the Preakness Stakes is a multi-race exotic like a Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, or Pick 6. These require you to pick winners in not just the Preakness, but other races before or after the Preakness Stakes on the card. If you have strong opinions about other races at Pimlico on Preakness day this can be a good idea: large multi-race exotics are a challenge, but they can result in a life-changing score!

2024 Preakness Stakes Betting Tips

Though the Preakness field does not begin to take clear shape until after the Kentucky Derby, you can still get a head start. After all, horses who advance to the Preakness are typically either horses who run well in the Kentucky Derby or horses who choose to target the Preakness in particular either because they did not earn enough points for the Derby or because they chose to target the slightly shorter and slightly later race.

Preakness Contenders from the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby winner is usually the Preakness Stakes favorite, so if you are trying to get an early jump on your Preakness handicapping, it makes sense to get to know the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby favorite is likely to be either Fierceness or Sierra Leone. Fierceness, trained by Todd Pletcher, was the champion juvenile of 2023. He came up flat when finishing third in the Holy Bull in his three-year-old debut, but bounced back to his impressive best with a 13 1/2-length Florida Derby triumph. If he can bring his best to the second leg of the Triple Crown, his forward running style should fly well at Pimlico. But, if Fierceness loses the Derby, Pletcher will probably point him elsewhere.

Sierra Leone comes into the Kentucky Derby out of a victory in the Blue Grass, where he made an impressive sustained run. His off-pace style may not be as well suited for Pimlico as a horse with more tactical speed, but his class, consistency, and stamina would all bode well if he proceeds to Baltimore.

Other top Kentucky Derby contenders to watch include Louisiana Derby and Smarty Jones Stakes winner Catching Freedom, UAE Derby winner Forever Young, Santa Anita Derby winner Stronghold, and Blue Grass second-place finisher Just a Touch. Any of these horses will be well bet in the Preakness if they run well at Churchill Downs.

Preakness Contenders from Other Races

There are always some runners who do not contest the Kentucky Derby who show up in the second leg of the Triple Crown, ready to play spoiler. There is a strong chance one of these will be the Preakness favorite in 2024: Muth. One of the best sophomores of 2024, Muth shined in California and won the Arkansas Derby impressively. However, since trainer Bob Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs through at least the end of 2024, Muth must wait until the Preakness to face Triple Crown company.

Other Preakness horses come out of races that award bids to the race. The first such race was the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. Michael McCarthy, who used that race as a Preakness springboard for 2021 winner Rombauer, won it again in 2024 with Endlessly. However, there is a chance Endlessly actually contests the run for the roses first, since he earned 100 points in the Jeff Ruby at Turfway.

Two other horses have earned automatic Preakness bids: Informed Patriot earned his in the Bath House Row Stakes at Oaklawn, while Copper Tax took his in the Federico Tesio at Laurel. Patriot Spirit, winner of the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne, also earned $20,000 toward his Preakness entry if his connections choose to route him there. However, Patriot Spirit’s team would have to pay for a $150,000 supplemental nomination to the Triple Crown in order to run him there.

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On Saturday May 18 Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course will play host to the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Although Kentucky Derby winner Country House will skip the race with an illness, the Preakness has drawn a wide-open field of 12. They'll be racing 1 3/16 miles on the Preakness dirt for a total purse of $1.5 million.  […]

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