2018 Preakness Stakes Picks
Preakness Stakes Preview and Odds
Since splashing his way to the win two weeks ago in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, the horse racing world has been buzzing about Justify’s chances to become the second horse to win the Triple Crown in the past four years, and the thirteenth overall. On Saturday he’ll try to take the next step by winning the Preakness.
Undefeated in four lifetime starts, Justify (4-9 in Bovada’s racebook odds) has already made some history by becoming the first colt in 135 years to win the Derby after not racing in his two-year-old season. Trained by Bob Baffert – who became the first person to train a Triple Crown winner in 37 years when American Pharoah completed the three-race sweep in 2015 – and ridden by Hall Of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Justify faced the toughest test of his young career two weeks ago at Churchill Downs, and went on to win the race with relative ease.
After breaking sharply from the Churchill gate, Justify quickly grabbed a forward position just off the flank of pacesetter Promises Fulfilled, taking over at the 3/4-mile mark when that one began to tire, and was never seriously threatened from there. He opened up a 1 1/2 length lead over a very game and very good Good Magic with a quarter-mile to run, and increased that margin to 2 1/2 lengths by the time he hit the finish line.
It was an excellent, professional performance from the Kentucky-bred colt, and a repeat of that race is very likely to end in the very same result on Saturday.
Quip Needs to Take a Big Step Forward
Although he had gained enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field, the connections of Quip (14-1) decided to skip that race and give him some time off to prepare specifically for the Preakness. The extra rest should have him ready, but quite frankly he’s gong to have to run the race of his life to even keep it close.
He’s a colt that likes to run near the lead, and it will be interesting to see what tactics trainer Rodolphe Bisset employs, as his best chance is to let someone else engage Justify out of the gate and hope the champ runs out of gas. He has won three of five lifetime races, but how he’ll deal with the wet track is unknown.
It’s altogether possible that the Preakness plays out as a carbon copy of the Derby, with Good Magic (3-1) trying all he can to run down Justify, but coming up short and settling for second place. Based on his solid effort in the Derby, the track conditions shouldn’t be a concern for the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ, but it’s difficult to see what he can do differently on Saturday to make up those 2 1/2 lengths on the Derby winner.
To round out the bottom of the ticket, look for a late runner like Lone Sailor (20-1) or Bravazo (18-1), who have met five times already in their career, and have essentially traded results back and forth, one finishing ahead of the other, and then the other taking his turn. Last out in the Derby, Bravazo was sixth and Lone Sailor was eighth, but here we’ll give the nod to Lone Sailor, based on the fact he has had better overall results, and does boast his single lifetime win over a sloppy track.
The 2018 Preakness Stakes goes Saturday, May 19 from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s race #13 of 14 on the day, with an expected post time of 6:48 PM Eastern.
Entries w/Bovada Odds
- Quip (14-1)
- Lone Sailor (20-1)
- Sporting Chance (33-1)
- Diamond King (20-1)
- Good Magic (3-1)
- Tenfold (33-1)
- Justify (4-9)
- Bravazo (18-1)
Preakness Stakes Picks
- 1) #7 – Justify
- 2) #1 – Quip
- 3) #5 – Good Magic
- 4) #2 – Lone Sailor
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