The 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes is set to go off on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. The “Run For The Black-Eyed Susans” is the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles, which means there won’t be much time for the field to catch up to Justify. Note, these odds are prior to the post-position draw, which will take place on Wednesday afternoon. The odds could definitely change, and you’ll also know who is locked into the field, barring late injuries.
The Kentucky Derby winner, Justify, is favored at a whopping -250. Justify won a sloppy Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs but didn’t come away unscathed as he bruised his heel. Still, it was a very impressive run from Justify, the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old. It’s a quick two-week turnaround for him and he’ll face a number of fresh faces, but the fact that he didn’t race as a two-year-old should help him here in terms of wear and tear.
Bob Baffert, who trains Justify, has won six Preakness Stakes, so he knows what he’s doing here. His job got a lot easier when Bolt d’Oro, who was originally third in line in terms of the odds, pulled out of the race.
Good Magic second in Preakness odds
Next is Good Magic, who comes in at +300 in Preakness odds after finishing second to Justify at the Kentucky Derby. He has placed in the money in all six of his starts, which includes two wins. One of those wins came at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Diamond King is third in line at +1600 after winning the Federico Tesio, which is a non-graded race. He has two graded stakes starts so far, finishing 14th at the Grade Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and third at the Swale (G3). He has won four non-graded races but seems to have trouble against higher competition. However, with this distance, a horse can get out to a quick start and sustain it.
Quip is rated at +1600 after finishing second at the Arkansas Derby (G1). He has three wins in five starts, including at the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). He didn’t run at the Kentucky Derby, so he’s a newcomer to this field. That means he is rested for the Preakness Stakes and could be worth a look with his fresh legs.
Further down the list is Bravazo at +1800, Telekinesis at +2000 and Sporting Chance at +2200. That rounds out the list of horses inside of 25/1.
Post positions 5 and 6 productive recently
Taking a look at post positions, No. 5 and No. 6 are ideal as each have produced two winners apiece since 2008. Traditionally, No. 4 is fairly successful as it has produced 13 winners, even though no winners have come from the fourth slot in over a decade.
Overall, 12 horses have won the Triple Crown while 11 more have won the first two jewels before falling short at the Belmont Stakes. In the last six years, Baffert has won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015 and fallen one win short with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome in 2014.