Fading The Favorite And Two Horses To Bet On In The 2019 Preakness Stakes

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Preakness contender War of Will, left, with exercise rider Kim Carroll aboard, is led onto the track, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 18. (AP Photo/Will Newton)
Preakness contender War of Will, left, with exercise rider Kim Carroll aboard, is led onto the track, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 18. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

The $1.65 million Preakness Stakes is set for Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course. Bob Baffert-trained Improbable drew the No. 4 post and was made the 5-2 morning line favorite. Baffert is seeking his record 8th Preakness win, and he has perhaps the most talented colt in the field of 13 – the largest number of horses to enter the Preakness starting gate since 2011.

One of the storylines entering this year’s race is that the 2019 Preakness will run without any of the top four finishers in the Kentucky Derby for the first time in history. The record Kentucky Derby betting handle of $165.5 million overshadowed the controversial finish and disqualification of Maximum Security. But with longshot Derby winner Country House (65-1) sidelined by an illness, this will be the first Preakness that doesn’t include the Kentucky Derby winner since 1996. So while the race may be lacking in appeal, the 144th running of the Preakness sill has four other Derby runners in the field including War of Will, Bodexpress, Win Win Win and Improbable.

PREAKNESS STAKES POST POSITIONS AND ODDS

Post Position Horse Opening Odds Jockey Last Race
1 War of Will 4-1  Tyler Gaffalione  7th Kentucky Derby (G1)
2 Bourbon War 12-1  Irad Ortiz Jr. 4th Florida Derby (G1)
3 Warriors Charge 12-1  Javier Castellano 1st OC 75K Oaklawn
4 Improbable 5-2 Mike Smith 4th Kentucky Derby (G1)
5 Owendale 10-1   Florent Geroux  1st Lexington (G3)
6 Market King 30-1  Jon Court 11th Blue Grass (G2)
7 Alwaysmining 8-1  Daniel Centeno 1st Federico Tesio Stakes
8 Signalman 30-1  Brian Hernandez Jr.  3rd Blue Grass (G2)
9 Bodexpress 20-1  John Velazquez 13th Kentucky Derby (G1)
10 Everfast 50-1  Joel Rosario 5th Pat Day Mile (G3)
11 Laughing Fox 20-1  Ricardo Santana Jr.  1st Oaklawn Invitational
12 Anothertwistafate 6-1  Jose Ortiz  2nd Lexington (G3)
13 Win Win Win 15-1  Julian Pimentel  9th Kentucky Derby (G1)

HOW TO WATCH THE PREAKNESS STAKES

Coverage of the Preakness starts at 2:30 pm ET on NBCSN. While NBC will not stream the actual Preakness race on NBC Sports Live, there are other options to catch all the action including at TVG, where betting is reaching a peak in a wide-open race.

  • Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019
  • Where: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Post time: 6:48 p.m. ET
  • Pre-race TV coverage: 2:30-5 p.m. on NBCSN
  • TV channel: 5:00-7:15 p.m. on NBC
  • Online stream: NBC Sports app or watch on fuboTV

LONGSHOTS SUCCESS IN THE PREAKNESS

The longest odds horse to win the Preakness was in 1975 when Master Derby cashed in for $48.80 at 23-1 odds. But two other horses at double-digit odds have captured the Preakness in the last six years. Cloud Computing won just two races in his short race career, but one was the 2017 Preakness at 13-1 odds. He returned $28.80 on a $2 win wager. Cloud Computing defeated the Derby winner Always Dreaming (8th) and Classic Empire (2nd) by a head – the 18th time a Preakness was decided by a head or less. Oxbow won just three races in his 13-race career, but he captured the 2013 Preakness at 15-1 odds in wire-to-wire fashion ahead of heavy favorite Orb, who finished fourth in the Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby. Oxbow returned $32.80 on a $2 win wager in the Preakness and went on to finish 2nd in the Belmont Stakes. 

But finding a bigger payday in the Preakness can be had by placing bets in the various exotic pools like the Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or even the Super-High Five. And when you bet at a site like TVG, you get incredible odds and offers, including cash back on various promotions.

WHICH HORSES TO BET IN THE PREAKNESS

Behind the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes is one of the most wagered on horse races in the country. Major online betting platforms like Twinspires provide Preakness betting guides and other tools to use when betting horse racing and the biggest races of the year like the $1.65 million Preakness Stakes.

Win wagers on #1 War of Will and #5 Owendale are in play for the 2019 Preakness.

The winning profile of the Preakness has been a pace, presser, stalker type that finished in the top half of the field in the Kentucky Derby so that makes War of Will and Improbable top win contenders. Three of the last four New Shooters that won this race were pressers as well. Exaggerator was a closer that won the 2016 Preakness over a sloppy (sealed) track on a rainy day at Pimlico. That won’t be the case for the 2019 Preakness, as partly cloudy skies with high 70′s temperatures with just a stray shower is possible (20%).

  • War of Will was directly involved in the Kentucky Derby fracas losing a length or two as a result of getting entangled with Maximum Security. War of Will was restrained by his jockey early in the Derby, and he really wanted to run and showed he could have in the stretch had he not been cut off and interfered with turning for home. War of Will is a well-bred War Front colt who is a multiple graded stakes winner that won the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2) this year. Look for War of Will to be pressing a moderate pace and be one of the horses to count on in the stretch run.
  • Owendale is a closer who could benefit most if the pace is a little faster on the front end with his stablemate Warriors Charge leading the way with Improbable, War of Will and other pressers Alwaysmining, Bodexpress, Anothertwisafate and Market King.  Owendale used a big sweeping move to fly past race favorite Anothertwistafate and win the Lexington Stakes by open lengths in his last race at 12-1 odds. He’s still improving for trainer Brad Cox, who also has front-running Warriors Charge in the Preakness. Owendale will be a closer coming late with other off the pace runners and longshots Bourbon War, Laughingfox, Win Win Win and Signalman looking to hit the board and payoff with a late closing kick.

Recall bigger longshots have cashed in underneath in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in recent Preakness Stakes, so there are some solid options to add to your exotic wagers like #2 Bourbon War, #3 Warriors Charge, #8 Signalman, #11 Laughing Stock, #13 Win Win Win and local favorite and Maryland-bred #7 Alwaysmining, who is not a big longshot but an underlay that will get more betting support. Alwaysmining has won six races in a row and moves up significantly in class for his first graded stakes race.

Remember, Bravazo (15-1) and Tenfold (26-1) finished 2nd and 3rd in the 2018 Preakness behind Triple Crown winner Justify, who was a heavy 2-5 favorite.

In 2017, Senior Investment won the Lexington Stakes (like Owendale this year), and then finished 3rd in the Preakness at 31-1 odds. He paid $10.20 to show and provided a huge return of $2,194 on a $2 trifecta.

In 2016, Exaggerator (5-2) won the Preakness as the second choice defeating undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (3rd). But Cherry Wine (17-1) finished 2nd to pay $88 on a $2 exacta.

In 2015 Tale of Verve, off a maiden win a month earlier, finished 2nd in the Preakness at 31-1 odds behind 4-5 favorite and eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Tale of Verve paid $19 to place and a $2 exacta returned $124.

Ride On Curlin (10-1) and General a Rod (20-1) finished 2nd and 4th in the 2014 Preakness.

All those longshots were recommended bets underneath and in exotic wagers by the Super Screener, authored by Mike Shutty, co-founder of Horse Racing Nation.

So longshots can pay off big, and when they cash in, you’ll be glad you spent an extra $10-20 to add a few longhots to your exotic wagers.

You can bet on it.

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