2020 Preakness Stakes: Horse Betting Early Value Futures Predictions

2020 Preakness Stakes: Horse Betting Early Value Futures Predictions
Will Newton/Getty Images/AFP

Kentucky Derby winner Authentic has been installed as the red hot favorite to triumph in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday. He delivered a phenomenal performance to finish 1 ¼ lengths clear of Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law at Churchill Downs on September 5. Authentic will now have to dig deep in order to see off his rivals in the eagerly anticipated Preakness Stakes this coming weekend.

The Road to Pimlico

The Preakness is normally the second leg of the Triple Crown, held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont. However, Covid-19 has turned the 2020 season on its head. The Belmont became the initial leg of the Triple Crown for the first time ever when it was held on June 20. A field of just 10 horses contested the race, and Tiz the Law obliterated his rivals to win the race.

He was understandably named the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, with morning line horse racing odds of just 3/5, but he was ultimately no match for Bob Baffert’s Authentic, who won the race in 2:00.61. Authentic went off third in the betting at 8/1. Tiz the Law was second, while 50/1 underdog Mr. Big News completed a $655.90 trifecta. Now attention turns to Pimlico, where the Preakness will be held a full four weeks after the Kentucky Derby.

That should give the runners ample time to recover. However, Tiz the Law will not run in the Preakness, denying fans the prospect of an exciting rematch with Authentic. “Our primary interest is doing what’s right for the horse and in this case he’s not ready,” said Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Tiz the Law. “We look forward to training him up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on 11/7.”

Early Value on the Preakness

Some top bookmakers have already released odds on the Preakness. Entries have not yet closed and the official odds will not be unveiled until the day of the race. The post position draw will be made at noon ET today once final entries are confirmed. Preakness oddsmaker Keith Feustle will then release morning line odds on the day of the race after weighing up the relative strengths and weaknesses of each contender.

Any odds provided by US racebooks in the build-up will be mere guesswork. Winnings are determined on a pari-mutuel basis, whereby all the money wagered on the race goes into a pot, the track and the racebooks take a cut, and the remained is divided among bettors with winning tickets.

However, some bookmakers in Europe and elsewhere are offering early odds on the winner of the Preakness Stakes. You can opt to take a price, meaning you lock in the odds currently on offer, so it is possible to seize early value on the Preakness before the post positions are drawn and the morning line odds are announced. The books have made Authentic the favorite, with odds ranging from -125 to +125 at the bookmakers, and then there are some tempting odds on a number of exciting contenders further down the list.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

The Contenders

Baffert tied the record for the most Kentucky Derby wins in history when Authentic handed him victory in the big race on September 5. He has an even better record at the Preakness, with seven wins under his belt, so all eyes will be on his runners at Pimlico on Saturday. Authentic will dominate the headlines, but Thousand Words also looks interesting at 8/1 in the horse racing odds at various sports betting sites.

He was among the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby, but the vet scratched him just minutes before the race. Thousand Words is now firmly pointed towards Maryland, and he will carry significantly longer odds than his stablemate, so an across the board (win, place, show) bet on him might appeal.

Art Collector will also garner a great deal of attention. He was the second favorite for the Derby, but a minor injury forced him to withdraw. He is said to be fighting fit once again, and connections are excited about his chances of vanquishing Authentic and Thousand Words in The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans. Art Collector has already won the Ellis Park Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes this year, so he will be a formidable contender.

Authentic #18, leads Tiz the Law #17. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Another one to watch is Swiss Skydiver, priced at around 12/1 in the antepost odds at some bookmakers. She won the Group 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga last month, and then finished second in the Kentucky Oaks the day before the Derby. Mr Big News made a mockery of odds of 50/1 in the Derby, and he is expected to run in the Preakness. Pneumatic, Max Player, Ny Traffic and Mystic Guide are among the other big names listed as probable for the race, so it promises to develop into an exciting battle.

However, everything points to Authentic winning the Preakness. He has five wins in six starts and he set a solid pace throughout the Derby, before pulling away from Tiz the Law. His winning time was the fastest since Monarchos in 2001. That comes with an asterisk, as this year’s Derby was held four months later than usual, but there is no denying Authentic’s pace, doggedness and stamina. He should enjoy running the 1 3/16 mile distance. Art Collector will provide a stern challenge, but it is easy to see why Authentic is the favorite.

The Best Sportsbooks

You should stick to reliable, trustworthy sportsbooks that will be sure to pay you out promptly if you secure a winning bet on the Preakness. Top betting sites with excellent racebooks include BetOnline, Bookmaker and Bovada. They all offer exciting bonuses, and the user experience is excellent, so you will be able to place your Preakness Stakes bets quickly and easily, and you can look forward to prompt payment if successful.