The legaces of trainers, horses, and jockeys will be cemented in the 2019 Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Of the 13 horses in the 2019 Preakness lineup at Pimlico Race Course, only two will be ridden by jockeys with a victory in this Triple Crown race on their resume. Mike Smith, who guided Justify to the 2018 Triple Crown and also won the Preakness with Prairie Bayou in 1993, will be aboard Improbable. Javier Castellano, who won aboard Bernardini (2006) and Cloud Computing (2017), will be atop Warrior’s Charge. Castellano also won Pimlico’s Black Eyed Susan on Friday with Point of Honor. Improbable is the morning line favorite at 5-2 Preakness odds as trainer Bob Baffert aims for a record eighth Preakness win. War of Will, jockeyed by rising star Tyler Gaffalione, is at 4-1. Post time is 6:48 p.m. ET. With so many contenders in one of the nation’s premier races, you’ll want to see the 2019 Preakness picks from legendary horse racing handicapper Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg.
Goldberg knew who was going to win the Preakness the last two years before the race even happened. How? Decades of experience as one of the nation’s top horse handicapping experts helps, but he also goes straight to the source.
Two years ago, he was all over Cloud Computing as a massive 14-1 underdog to win the Preakness after chatting up the horse’s trainer, Chad Brown. When Goldberg learned Javier Castellano was getting off Gunnevera to ride Cloud Computing, the Hammer pounced, putting him on top of his exacta, trifecta, and superfecta bets. Cloud Computing beat Classic Empire in one of the most thrilling Triple Crown races ever — if you wagered $50 on his Preakness Stakes picks that year, you would have won an earth-shattering $11,000.
Goldberg nailed Justify at last year’s Preakness, too. In fact, he was all over that horse months before the future Triple Crown winner took the Kentucky Derby. Goldberg cashed the Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 at Pimlico last year, another massive payout for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Goldberg has gotten the 2019 season off to a strong start by nailing the winning horse in the Pegasus World Cup. He also cashed the exacta at the Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby, among others. Anyone who has followed Goldberg’s lead is up big-time.
Now with the race at Pimlico approaching, Goldberg is releasing his 2019 Preakness Stakes picks over at SportsLine.
We can tell you he’s high on Alwaysmining, a long shot at 8-1 Preakness odds. Alwaysmining is a local challenger, looking to become the ninth Maryland-bred horse to win the Preakness and the first in 36 years. The Kelly Rubley-trained colt will have the hometown crowd on his side and will make his first start at Pimlico.
No horse comes in hotter. In fact, Alwaysmining has won six races in a row, all at nearly Laurel Park. He’s consistently posted fast times and also beat Win Win Win (15-1 Preakness odds) in the Heft Stakes last December. His major claim to fame is winning the Federico Tesio Stakes, a Preakness “win and you’re in” qualifier, by a whopping 11 1/2 lengths over Trifor Gold. In that race a month ago, he ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.12. There’s plenty of history at stake for Alwaysmining as well, as a victory would make Rubley the first female trainer to win the Preakness. “He’s won six races in a row. You have to respect that,” Goldberg told SportsLine. “He’s a really talented horse.”
Another shocker: Goldberg is fading War of Will, one of the top Vegas favorites at 4-1. In fact, Goldberg says War of Will doesn’t even hit the board.
War of Will may go down in history as the horse that was impacted by Maximum Security at the Kentucky Derby, which led to the first disqualification of a winning Derby horse on objection. War of Will faded after the incident and ended up in seventh. The front-running colt didn’t get his race going at the crowded Derby after starting in the No. 1 post position. He’s drawn No. 1 again for the Preakness and won’t be the speed of the race at Pimlico, so Goldberg sees another fade in his future.
“I don’t like War of Will in the 1-post. Their camp is saying he’ll be okay coming out of the rail, but I don’t buy it,” Goldberg told SportsLine. “He needs the lead, but he’s not going to have it in the 2019 Preakness. I don’t see him near the front at the end.” Despite being one of the Preakness Stakes 2019 favorites, War of Will isn’t worth the 4-1 premium he’s commanding.
Goldberg is also all over another darkhorse to take down the 2019 Preakness Stakes. This horse has all the tools to put together a complete run, and if he hits as Goldberg expects, you could be looking at a colossal payout.