How to Bet on the 2020 Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes betting odds, tips, and favorites

The Preakness Stakes is a Grade I event for 3-year-olds conducted at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The race is referred to as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” because the winner receives a blanket of these flowers, which are Maryland’s state flower. Normally the Preakness is contested on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks prior to the Belmont Stakes, making it the second jewel in the Triple Crown. Due to the coronavirus, this year’s Preakness will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3. Although the purse has yet to be announced, the 2019 race was $1.5 million.

It is typically 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16 miles) over a track that is nicknamed “Old Hilltop” and is the shortest and second oldest of the three Triple Crown races, as it was first established in 1873, predating the Kentucky Derby by two years. Colts and geldings must carry 126 pounds while fillies receive a five-pound allowance (121).

This guide will walk you through how to bet on the Preakness Stakes legally, types of bets available and odds on 2020 Preakness Stakes.

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How to bet on the 2020 Preakness Stakes

Wagering on the Preakness Stakes follows the same course as other Triple Crown events. The race can gather quite a crowd, as the stadium at Pimlico can fit nearly 100,000 people. Betting on the Preakness, however, is not relegated to merely the individuals at the track, and with the rise of technology there are several alternatives to placing your horse racing bets at the windows.

  • Betting apps: TVG is the most popular and convenient form of wagering for a majority of bettors. You can wager online on the Preakness Stakes via the TVG website or using the TVG iOS app from the App Store. At this time, there is no app for Android, but the website is enhanced for mobile betting. A full menu of straight and exotic bets is available for bettors. You can also use handicapping tools directly from the website for all races. Due to TVG’s huge presence in the horse racing industry, you can view many races streaming live from the website.
  • Betting with a teller: When you are at the track, you can place your bet at the windows with a teller. In this situation efficiency is key, as wagering on races closes at a specific time before a race goes off, and tellers must enter the bets prior to this deadline. Once you have made your choices, you may want to write them down, especially if you are placing exotic wagers or a number of them. There are specific things the teller must be told in order to bet. These are the racetrack you are betting on, the race number, the numbers of the horse or horses you are wagering on, the type of bet or bets you are making and the amount of each wager.
  • Betting off track: There are many facilities where you can place wagers without an app or without attending live racing. You can even go to another track that does not have live racing and is only simulcasting races from other tracks. If this is the case, you simply follow the same guidelines as betting with a teller, as the windows will be open to accept wagers even if there is no live racing. You can also wager on touch-screen machines using vouchers or cash. You simply follow the instructions. Many tracks or off-track betting facilities have tables with televisions to witness the races, as well as touch screens to place bets on.

 

Odds on the 2020 Preakness Stakes

The 2020 odds and post positions will be available after the Sept. 30 post position draw.

Post PositionHorseJockeyOpening OddsMorning Line Odds
1ExcessionSheldon Russell30-1TBD
2Mr. Big NewsGabriel Saez12-1TBD
3Art CollectorBrian Hernandez Jr. 5-2TBD
4Swiss SkydiverRobby Albarado6-1TBD
5Thousand WordsFlorent Geroux6-1TBD
6Jesus' TeamJevian Toleldo30-1TBD
7Ny TrafficHoracio Karamanos15-1TBD
8Max PlayerPaco Lopez15-1TBD
9AuthenticJohn Velazquez9-5TBD
10PneumaticJoe Bravo20-1TBD
11LiveyourbeastlifeTrevor McCarthy30-1TBD

How payouts work on Preakness odds

The Preakness has a smaller field than the Kentucky Derby but a larger one than the Belmont and has the second highest attendance level of any thoroughbred race in North America. Post time for the race typically is between 6:20 and 6:40 p.m. Last year’s edition of the Preakness Stakes went off at 6:37 p.m. Preakness Stakes betting odds become available when post positions are drawn, which is not always on the same day every year. For some years that has been on a Tuesday morning or afternoon, and for others it has been as early as Monday or as late as Wednesday. Immediately after the horses are assigned their post positions, what is referred to as a morning line is introduced. These are the odds that are selected by the track’s handicapper, who performs this task not only for the Preakness Stakes but for every race at the facility.

An example of odds and payouts from last year’s Preakness Stakes, which was captured by War of Will, is as follows:

PositionPostHorseJockeyTrainerOdds
11War of WillTyler GaffalioneMark Casse6/1
210EverfastJoel RosarioDale Romans29/1
35OwendaleFlorent GerouxBrad Cox8/1
43Warrior’s ChargeJavier CastellanoBrad Cox13/1
511Laughing FoxRicardo Santana Jr.Steve Asmussen22/1
64ImprobableMike SmithBob Baffert5/2
713Win Win WinJulian PimentelMichael Trombetta14/1
82Bourbon WarIrad Ortiz. JrMark Hennig6/1
98SignalmanBrian HernandezKen McPeek21/1
1012AnothertwistafateJose OrtizBlaine Wright15/1
117AlwaysminingDaniel CentenoKelly Rubley7/1
126Market KingJon CourtD. Wayne Lukas32/1
DNF9BodexpressJohn VelazquezGustavo Delgado20/1

Win, place, show payoff schedule

HorseWin Place Show
War of Will$14.20$7.40$5.40
Everfast$32.00$14.40
Owendale$6.00

Exacta, trifecta, superfecta winnings

Wager TypeWinning NumbersPayout
$2 Exacta1/10$947.00
$1 Trifecta1/10/5$4,699.80
$1 Superfecta1/10/5/3$51,924.00

Prize money: How much Preakness horses win

1st — War of Will, $900,000
2nd — Everfast, $300,000
3rd — Owendale, $165,000
4th — Warrior’s Charge, $90,000
5th — Laughing Fox, $45,000

Types of bets

A single or straight bet allows beginners to easily familiarize themselves with the wagering process and consists of the win, place and show bets. For decades all three forms of betting had a $2 minimum, but over the course of the last 10 years these wagers have become available for $1. Details on these wagers are below:

Win

All you need to do to place this wager is bet on a horse to win the race. The facility will deduct a portion from the total wagers in order to cover costs. Traditionally this is 15-20% depending on the facility and that state’s racing regulations. The winning bettors split what remains. The pool for this bet is also separate from the place and show pools. Win odds, unlike those for place and show wagers, are easily accessible to the bettor by checking out the toteboard or graphics on your screen if using a smartphone or computer.

Say a horse wins at odds of 29-1; the payoff to the bettor would be $60 to $61.80 due to breakage. This is a system tracks utilize to calculate payoff amounts so they can be rounded to the nearest, lowest 20-cent payoff (it is 10 cents in New York) instead of paying in specified amounts.

Odds for a win bet are based on how many people wager on each horse. It’s difficult to determine how tough this wager is for the bettor, but it is tougher than place or show wagers. For example, if you wagered on the favorite in every race on a card, you could expect to cash in on one of every three events. The average decreases if you place win bets on horses that have higher odds; the payoffs, however, would be much greater.

Place

When you bet on a horse to place, it must come in first or second. This makes it easier to cash in on than a win bet, but the payoff amounts are generally smaller because the pool is being split into two rather than just one. The bettors who win then divide the pool for the payoff, minus the facility’s take.

Odds and payoffs are not easily accessible to bettors because they are based on which horses run first or second. Despite systems to break down approximate payoffs by breaking down the sum bet on each horse in the pool, beginners should stick with enjoying themselves rather than becoming bogged down in math. That should be left up to the tracks to determine.

Show

From the three types of straight wagers, this bet is the easiest for a bettor to collect on as a horse must come in first, second or third. The pool for this wager is split three ways, and the dividends are often the lowest. If you wager on all favorites, your return on investment may even be less than $1 for every $2 wagered. Like place wagers, odds and payoff amounts are not easy for the public to access, but can be deduced through math calculations.

Exotic wagers

These are different from straight wagers and can be quite challenging for beginners to collect on unless they have some luck. The simplest exotic bets are an exacta, where a bettor must pick the first and second place horses in a race; a quinella, where a bettor must select the first two finishers in one race in either order; and a double, where a bettor picks the winning horse in two consecutive races on a card.

One of the best ways to pick an exacta or double would be to wheel several horses in different formats for the smallest price, which is generally $1. For instance, a $1 exacta wheel of horses 4 and 5 in first place over the 1, 2 and 3 horses would cost $6. Also, a $1 double wheel of horses 4 and 5 with horses 6 and 7 would be $4.

Another way for beginners to learn exotic wagering skills is a show parlay. If four people decide to wager together and place $10 apiece on a show parlay, they would then select a horse to place this money on. They would continue to re-wager the payoffs until they begin to lose or decide they have had enough.

There is a bit of luck involved with wagering in this fashion, but it’s an easy way to introduce people to betting without emptying their pockets. It can also make the wager more intriguing and can enhance entertainment value.

Who is favored to the win the 2020 Preakness Stakes?

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Preakness Stakes is in a unique position. In most years the horses that finished in the top three of the Kentucky Derby are the favorites. But this year the Belmont was run first and the Derby is not until Sept. 5. This means many horses that may not have been mature enough in early spring as sophomores will run in the Preakness.

The following are the most recently updated odds and predictions for this year’s Preakness Stakes:

  1. Tiz the Law 2-1
  2. Honor A.P. 3-1
  3. Authentic 8-1
  4. Cezanne 12-1
  5. King Guillermo 15-1
  6. Sole Volante 15-1
  7. Uncle Chuck 15-1
  8. Art Collector 20-1
  9. Modernist 20-1
  10. Dr. Post 30-1

These are considered to be the top 10 horses; however, bear in mind the Preakness Stakes can load up to 14 horses in the gate.

Historic wins in the Preakness Stakes

This will be the 145th edition of the Preakness Stakes, and while it has a long and rich tradition, there are naturally certain years that are more noteworthy than others.

What follows is a list of some of the more historic Preakness Stakes:

  • In 2018, Justify eked out a victory over Good Magic after a contentious battle throughout the entire race to set himself up to capture the Triple Crown only four years after American Pharoah accomplished the same feat.
  • I’ll Have Another (2012) defeated the extremely talented Bodemeister yet again while the other horse was favored. He chased his rival down less than a furlong from the wire and won by a nose.
  • In 2005, favorite Afleet Alex was outdueled to the line by 50-1 shot Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby. In the Preakness, however, the colt asserted his dominance even after nearly going down in the first turn after colliding with Scrappy T. He rebounded and captured this contest in hand by five lengths before winning the Belmont Stakes.
  • In 1997, Kentucky Derby victor Silver Charm defeated champions Captain Bodgit and Free House to hit the line in front by a nose. He lost the Belmont Stakes to the late running Touch Gold to end his Triple Crown bid.
  • Easy Goer and Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence had one of the most historic rivalries in all of horse racing. In 1989 the two champions were eyeball to eyeball at the top of the stretch and remained that way to the finish. Easy Goer only lost because he moved his head at the wire. He later defeated Sunday Silence easily in the Belmont Stakes.
  • One of the most contentious results in Preakness Stakes history came in 1980 when Codex and his pilot, Angel Cordero, bumped Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk on the far turn. Despite extensive analysis after the final results flashed on the toteboard, Codex remained the winner.
  • Affirmed and Alydar are probably the most recognized horse racing rivalry in the last four decades. Affirmed, a Triple Crown winner in 1978, fended off Alydar at Pimlico and would go on to capture the Belmont Stakes. The two horses competed against one another on 10 occasions as freshmen and sophomores, with Affirmed visiting the winner’s circle in seven of those trips to the post. It is also worth noting that Alydar was the sire of Easy Goer, who engaged in his own rivalry with Sunday Silence.
  • According to racing buffs, the first turn over this course is notoriously tight to navigate, and it is unwise to make an early move to the lead. But Secretariat and his rider, Ron Turcotte, decided to buck tradition. Secretariat broke poorly but rushed from last to first in the first 300 yards of the 1973 contest. He bested Sham and still has the fastest time on record after a teletimer mistake that day was rectified years later.

The five fastest Preakness Stakes

Pimlico is known for its tight turns and usually glib surface. The shortest of the Triple Crown events, the Preakness, generally produces the swiftest times of the three races.

Here are the five fastest Preakness Stakes of all time:

  1. Secretariat (1973) 1:53
  2. Curlin (2007) 1:53.40
  3. Louis Quatorze (1996) 1:53.40
  4. Tank’s Prospect (1985) 1:53.40
  5. Summer Squall (1990) 1:53.60

Preakness Stakes and the Triple Crown

Each leg of the Triple Crown has its own history and place within the sport. Each race also has its own traditions, and each race is contested at a different distance. The Preakness Stakes stands alone because it nearly always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner and new horses that were unable to make the Derby field. It also offers the Woodlawn Vase, which is one of the most prized trophies in the sport and historically in the US. To put it in perspective, 52 horses have won two Triple Crown contests. Twenty-three horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, 18 have won the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes and 11 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

History of the Preakness Stakes infield

Although the Kentucky Derby infield has received more press over the years, the Preakness Stakes has its own raucous version that has been popular for decades. There are concerts, Preakness parties and a number of contests as well as other institutions that are very popular with the local population. People also travel from miles around to take part in the Preakness Stakes’ infield festivities.

Secretariat, the Triple Crown winner

He was lovingly referred to as “Big Red” due to his gleaming chestnut coat and large size. Secretariat was born in March 1970 and went on to win five Eclipse Awards, horse racing’s highest honor, during his two-year career.

Sired by champion Bold Ruler and out of the mare Somethingroyal, Secretariat was named Horse of the Year as a 2- and 3-year-old and is the only horse to achieve this honor. Trained by Hall of Fame member Lucien Laurin, Secretariat won five stakes as a 2-year-old and was so impressive, he was syndicated for his stud career early in his sophomore season for then a record $6.08 million.

Not only did Secretariat win the Triple Crown, he set records in all three races that still stand. He is one of only two horses to win the Kentucky Derby in under 2:00, with the other being Monarchos in 2001. His Belmont Stakes victory is considered by many to be the greatest race of all-time, and he is considered to be the greatest horse of all-time. He is the second-highest ranked thoroughbred in the history of the sport behind only Man o’ War.

Secretariat also won major stakes on turf to prove his versatility. He was retired to Claiborne Farm after his 3-year-old campaign and died there in 1989 from laminitis at 19. While he never reached the lofty achievements in the breeding shed that he did on the racetrack, Secretariat is considered to be an outstanding broodmare sire and is in many pedigrees of champion racehorses. It is thought he was such an excellent broodmare sire because he had the largest heart of any American racehorse and that genetic trait was passed on to many of his fillies rather than his colts.

This year’s Preakness will be held in October. This is not the first time in the sport’s history the Preakness has not been held on its normal date. In 1890, the Preakness was run at Morris Park in the Bronx on the same card as the Belmont Stakes. Following a three-year hiatus, the Preakness returned in 1894 and for 15 years was held at Gravesend Race Track on Coney Island before coming home to Pimlico in 1909.

The Preakness was held before the Kentucky Derby on 11 occasions, and both events were held on the same day in 1917 and 1922. In 1931, however, the current order of the Triple Crown races was established with the timing of the events implemented in 1969.

Preakness Stakes traditions

Like its colleagues, the Preakness, which was named by Maryland Gov. Oden Bowie after a colt who won on Pimlico’s opening day, is steeped in tradition. One of the most anticipated events by horsemen is the Alibi Breakfast, which started in the 1930s at the Pimlico Clubhouse. The attendees are media members, owners, trainers, jockeys, horsemen and fans. It’s a chance to make entertaining race predictions and for trainers to provide excuses as to why their horse has no shot at winning.

The Preakness also has another tradition, which is placing the colors of its winner on the infield cupola’s weathervane. The blanket of black-eyed Susans is also handmade. One bit of trivia about the blanket, however: black-eyed Susans are not in season when the race is conducted, so mums are used to simulate the real thing.

Preakness Stakes FAQ

When is the Preakness Stakes in 2020?

The Preakness Stakes is on Oct. 3, and it will be broadcast on NBC. This year it will be the last leg of the Triple Crown.

How many horses run in the Preakness Stakes?

Typically, the field is smaller than the Kentucky Derby but larger than the Belmont Stakes fields and averages 10 to 13 horses. This year’s event could be smaller than normal due to the pandemic. The race is limited to 14 horses.

How long does the Preakness Stakes last?

The Preakness Stakes is the last stakes event on a card that begins around 10:30 a.m. Post time is roughly around 6:30 p.m., and horses run the race in just under two minutes.

How many fillies have won the Preakness Stakes?

Five fillies have captured the Preakness, more than in any other Triple Crown event. Flocarline led the way in 1903 and was followed by Whimsical in 1906 and Rhine Maiden in 1915. Nellie Morse captured the 1924 edition, and Rachel Alexandra was in the winner’s circle in 2009.

Who was the fastest horse to win the Preakness Stakes?

That would be Secretariat. The 1973 Triple Crown winner holds all three records in all three Triple Crown races. His Preakness time was controversial as the teletimer was off the day he raced, and it took more than two decades to establish he was indeed the record holder.

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