Take a moment to review the top betting odds favorites for the 2nd leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown season taking place this Saturday at with the running of the 140th Preakness Stakes.
The early Betting Odds for this year’s Preakness have been set based on a 12-horse field heading into the beginning of the week. The official website for the Preakness currently has six horses confirmed for Saturday’s race including Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah. He faced some stiff competition in that race and a few of those contenders are gearing up to try and end his bid for an elusive Triple Crown title with a win of their own this Saturday afternoon.
American Pharoah 5/6
This three-year old colt could be one of the strongest contenders to try and win a Triple Crown since Big Brown wowed bettors with easy victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2008. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah actually brings a five-race winning streak into Saturday’s event.
Before charging hard down the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby by a length, this horse breezed to comfortable victories in both the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby during prep season at Oaklawn Park. He was named the top two-year old thoroughbred last season following a win in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at San Anita Park.
Firing Line 5/1
Firing Line gave American Pharoah everything he had in a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby after going off at 12/1 odds. The slightly shorter distance of the Preakness could work in his favor if he can stay close once again. This three-year old is trained by Simon Callaghan and he is ridden by veteran jockey Gary Stevens, which also gives this horse an edge in this race.
He has now finished first or second in three starts as a juvenile and another three stakes races as a three-year old. The biggest victory on the resume was in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park on March 22. Prior to that, Firing Line ended-up second in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in early February.
Once thought of as the three-year old most likely to overtake American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby as a 3/1 second-favorite, it will be interesting to see how Dortmund reacts to the only loss in his stellar racing career. He dropped back to third-place in the Derby after leading the field for a good portion of the race, so his stamina could come into question in this Saturday’s race.
He is also trained by Baffert and the jockey aboard for the ride in the Preakness should be Martin Garcia. Dortmund won three races as a juvenile before cementing himself on the Triple Crown Trail as a three-year old with victories in three major stakes races at Santa Anita including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
Carpe Diem 14/1
Carpe Diem was also highly touted coming into the Kentucky Derby as a solid 7/1 third-favorite, but he turned-in one of the more disappointing runs in his racing career to finish well back in 10th place. Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, it will be interesting to see what kind of approach these two will take to running this race after finishing a full 11 lengths off the pace in the Derby.
This three-year old also brought an impressive resume into the Triple Crown racing season that included victories in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay in early March and in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland to close-out his prep race schedule.
Competitive Edge 16/1
Competitive Edge has the best odds on the board for a horse that did not run in the Kentucky Derby. He is the son of the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and he remains undefeated through four previous races. Once thought to be a main contender to win the Derby, he was hampered by a hairline fracture in a hind leg which delayed the start of his three-year old campaign.
He is also trained by Pletcher and coming off a victory in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs in an earlier race on the May 2 race card. Keep in mind when preparing your bets for the Preakness Stakes that he also won the Tamarac Stakes at Gulfstream Park in his only other race as a three-year old.