Held two weeks following the Kentucky Derby at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness Stakes is a Grade 1 event with a purse of $1.5 million and is run at a mile and three-sixteenths on the dirt main track. It is well-known as the second jewel of the US Triple Crown of racing that includes the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. It is one of the best wagering events of the year, and this is the place to find Preakness Stakes betting odds and racebooks.
The Preakness Stakes dates back to 1873 and is named after the colt Preakness who won the Dinner Party Stakes on the day that Pimlico Race Course opened its doors in 1870. The race has one of the oldest and richest histories of any race in the United States.
Keep reading to find out the best Preakness Stakes betting tips.
Online Betting: Preakness Stakes
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Preakness Stakes Betting Odds 2023
The Preakness Stakes odds begin to take shape after the Kentucky Derby ends. That make sense: once the Kentucky Derby finishes, the picture of which horses are going to run in the Preakness Stakes become clearer.
This page was updated on April 25, 2023:
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How to Bet the Preakness Stakes
When deciding how to bet on Preakness Stakes horses, you can maximize your value by taking into account all of the information you can comprehend. This is a mix of information about the horses running in the Preakness Stakes that year, as well as historical information about what people and horses fit the profile of Preakness Stakes winners.
Even though the Preakness Stakes does not typically take shape until after the Kentucky Derby, it is not too early to learn the trends that help you find winners. Keep reading this Preakness Stakes betting guide and find out the trends that will help you maximize your profit!
Preakness Stakes Betting Odds
The favorite wins the Preakness about half of the time. This is a stronger strike rate than favorites have in the other two jewels of the Triple Crown. The longest-priced Preakness winner ever, Master Derby, was only a 23-1 shot.
However, with the advent of the points system in 2013, this trend may be changing. In the first ten years of the points system, only three of the ten Preakness Stakes winners were favorites. Two of the ten longest-priced Preakness winners ever, Oxbow and Cloud Computing, won during that time.
What does this mean for how to bet the Preakness Stakes? It means that now, more than ever, do not be afraid to bet a mid-priced horse or longer shot that you like.
Preakness Stakes Pace
As the old adage says, the pace makes the race. In most editions of the Preakness, a deep closer doesn't win the race. Instead, the Preakness Stakes best bet is a horse who has tactical speed. That means they can set the pace (especially if no one else wants to), or they can set up close enough to the pace not to have too much to do in the final half mile of the race.
Of course, any blanket statement about the pace of a race has its exceptions. Even though tactical speed often wins the Preakness, if a particular year's edition of the Preakness is full of nothing but closers, don't be shy about deciding that a price horse with good late pace ability will be able to come pick up all of the pieces.
Preakness Stakes Trainers and Preakness Stakes Jockeys
When choosing a winner in the Preakness Stakes, looking at trainers and jockeys who have won the race before can help. Though the price can be a little lower on horses trained by known successful competitors, that can be okay if the horse is good enough, because connections who know how to win truly can increase a horse's chance.
Among active trainers, Bob Baffert leads all active conditioners with seven victories. Five of his seven winners also won the Kentucky Derby, though he can also win the race with a good horse who did not win the Derby. Other active trainers who are frequent Preakness winners, and who deserve a long look if their horses enter the race, include D. Wayne Lukas, Chad Brown, and Steve Asmussen.
From a riding perspective, looking at riders who have won multiple editions of the Preakness can point you toward someone who can get the best out of a horse at the 1 3/16-mile trip of the Preakness. Among active riders, Kent Desormeaux and Victor Espinoza lead with three Preakness wins, while Mike Smith and Javier Castellano have two.
2023 Best Bets for Preakness Stakes
As the 2023 Preakness Stakes draws closer, the field will take shape. Even though the field is heavily dependent on the Kentucky Derby, it is still not too early to consider which horses who are likely to find their way to the Preakness Stakes.
Preakness Stakes betting choices tend to fall into two categories: Kentucky Derby alumni, and horses who bypassed the Kentucky Derby to target the Preakness instead. Since these categories tend to solidify a few weeks before the Derby, you can start looking for possible Preakness contenders a bit early, and be ready when Preakness Stakes online betting opens.
2023 Kentucky Derby Horses
Typically, the horses from the Kentucky Derby who go on to the Preakness run well in the Kentucky Derby. Forte is the 2023 Kentucky Derby favorite. He was the juvenile champion in 2022, and impressed in both the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Florida Derby (G1) this year. If he wins the Kentucky Derby, expect him to be favored in the Preakness. If he loses, expect trainer Todd Pletcher to route Forte to a later race, either the Belmont or a summer goal.
Other Kentucky Derby contenders who may come to the Preakness if they win or run well in the Run for the Roses include Tapit Trice, Kingsbarns, Derma Sotogake, and Practical Move. Tactical speed tends to lead to good Preakness Stakes results, so give an extra look to Kingsbarns, Derma Sotogake, and Practical Move in particular if they press on to Baltimore.
2023 Preakness Stakes New Faces
Horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby can run well in the Preakness, and they tend to be the horses who can win the Preakness Stakes as a price. When deciding how to bet the Preakness Stakes, finding a new face who is a legitimate win candidate can mean better value than you would get on a horse from the Kentucky Derby who is already more familiar to more players.
Some of the possible horses for the Preakness earned Kentucky Derby points but not enough to make it to the Run for the Roses. These include Mandarin Hero, who missed by only a nose to Practical Move in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), as well as First Mission, who did not earn his first points until mid-April in the 20-point Lexington (G3) at Keeneland.
Other new faces in the Preakness may come out of races that award Preakness bids. This was a fruitful path in 2021, when Rombauer earned his Preakness bid in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, got a tune-up on dirt in the Blue Grass (G2), and then won the Preakness Stakes impressively.
In 2023, three horses have earned Preakness bids through such races. Chase the Chaos earned the berth in the El Camino Real. Perform won the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel, while Red Route One won the Bath House Row at Oaklawn. Red Route One has already bee competitive against Derby-quality horses in other preps, though his presence in the Preakness depends on whether his stablemate (and ownership-mate) Disarm runs well enough to press on to the Preakness or not.