The Preakness Stakes Has A Lot Riding On It. So Who Should You Bet On?

Written By Darren Cooper on May 18, 2022 - Last Updated on May 19, 2022
Preakness Stakes Inside Look Of Contenders and Storylines

Saddle up this weekend for the 147th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore.

The Preakness is the second delight in horse racing’s Triple Crown. It’s older than the Kentucky Derby but just hasn’t been run as many times.

It’s also shorter at a mile and three-sixteenths, which calls for a different kind of champion, more speed, less stamina. Post time is 7:01 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday and broadcast on NBC. The forecast is for temperatures near 90.

The legend goes that the Preakness Stakes was named after the horse that won the Dinner Party Stakes the first year in Pimlico. I wonder what the odds were on Preakness that day. You know they had them!

But you don’t need to be at Pimlico to put down some money on the winner or an exacta. You can do that here.

It’s just a nine-horse field that’s missing the Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike. PlayUSA has the storylines and contenders for the big race in Baltimore.

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Is the Kentucky Derby winner racing in the Preakness?

Rich Strike caught America’s fancy with his come-from-nowhere win in the Kentucky Derby. The horse was a late entry to the Derby and became the second biggest longshot in the history of the race to win at 80-1.

Right after the race, Rich Strike’s trainer said they would head to Pimlico and chase the coveted Triple Crown but then reneged and said they would focus on the Belmont Stakes in New York in three weeks.

It’s a let-down for the sport not to see Rich Strike race again, and cynically, I wonder if the horse really will ride at Belmont. It’s a double-edged sword.

Rich Strike’s value as a stud is high right now, but if he flopped at the Preakness that would reduce his value.

Look sharp ponies, it’s a girl!

One of the major storylines heading into the Preakness is the presence of female Secret Oath.

Six fillies have won the Preakness in the past, but female horses usually (let me be careful here) don’t have the stamina or speed to match the thoroughbreds.

Also, the presence of a filly can sometimes make for a strange race. People still talk about the 1980 Preakness, which featured Codex riding filly Genuine Risk off the rail.

Genuine Risk had won the Derby that year, the first filly since 1980, but it was almost like a male ego wasn’t going to let her win. But was it the horse or the jockey?

Secret Oath is trained by iconic trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won six Preakness Stakes before. She romped in the Kentucky Oaks (which is the Kentucky Derby, just for fillies).

Closer look at the Preakness Stakes field and odds

If you’re thinking about betting on Preakness Stakes, take a look at some of the top horses in the race, literally. The odds listed are as of Wednesday, May 18.

Post 1: Simplification 6-1

There are only four horses from the 20-horse field that ran in Churchill Downs who made the trip to Pimlico. Simplification finished fourth as a 35-1 shot. His jockey John Velazquez has never won a Preakness.

Post 2: Creative Minister 10-1

Trainer Kenny McPeek won the Preakness in 2020, but Creative Minister isn’t thought of as a real contender. The Preakness is shorter and does reward horses who show speed out of the gate.

Post 3: Fenwick 50-1

He’s the son of a champion horse, Curlin. He just entered the race on Monday. He finished last at the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland but had a rough ride. He’s the Preakness’ Rich Strike.

Post 4: Secret Oath 9-2

Let’s be clear about something, it’s only nine horses, which means less traffic which bodes well for the filly. Fewer boys to get in her way! Her last time out against the boys, she was a strong third at the Arkansas Derby.

Post 5: Early Voting 7-2

All along, Early Voting was slated to skip the Derby and run here. Let’s play transitive property here for a second. Early Voting was second at the Wood Memorial behind Mo Donegal, who was fifth in the Derby. Early Voting is an early-speed horse looking to go wire to wire.

Post 6: Happy Jack 30-1

Another horse who ran at Churchill Downs and was near Rich Strike before Rich Strike made his move and Happy Jack, um, didn’t. He finished 14th.

Post 7: Armagnac 12-1

Sure, Bob Baffert is “suspended, but this is his horse, so immediate credibility. Armagnac likes to run in the front and won a race in California the day after the Kentucky Derby to make the Preakness field.

Post 8: Epicenter 6-5

The epicenter was the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, only to see Rich Strike come from his left. Had the race been shorter (like the Preakness), Epicenter would have won. Trainer Steve Asmussen has two Preakness wins to his credit.

Post 9: Skippylongstocking 20-1

Easily the best name in the field. Skippylongstocking was third in the Wood Memorial, and this will be his 10th race, which is a lot for a horse. He’s the son of Exaggerator who won the Preakness in 2016.

Photo by Julio Cortez / Associated Press
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper is a staff writer for PlayUSA. He’s been a sports writer in the Northeast since 1998 and developed a keen interest in covering the gaming, casino and sports betting industry and has written for multiple additional Play state sites. He always bets responsibly although his grandfather did have a secret system for betting on the ponies at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

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