Free Picks: Preakness Stakes Betting Tips & Strategy

Joe Freda

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6:00 PM GMT

Tuesday, May. 14, 2013 6:00 PM GMT

Gear up for this weekend's running of the Preakness Stakes with our horse betting tips and strategies. How can you get the edge over the oddsmakers with your horse picks in this event?


The Preakness Stakes gives bettors their share of chances for horse betting value, adding some unique factors that play into the betting odds compared to other marquee races. Pimlico’s 1 3/16-mile affair has room for up to 14 challengers, drawing some of the sport’s top earners and late-blooming long shots.

Check out our Early Preakness Betting Odds & Predictions

Two weeks after Louisville:  The Spot and Layoff Factors

The Preakness typically draws a handful of entrants who are fresh off of running the biggest race of their career in the Kentucky Derby, with the group of contenders now facing a short two-week layoff. As with “spot” handicapping in sports betting, the same aspect applies with these three-year-olds and their connections. 

The scheduling of games in the NBA and NFL often have basketball squads playing back-to-back matchups, or football teams having to answer the bell again on a Thursday night after an intense battle the previous Sunday. Two-week layoffs are not common in thoroughbred action, but you should look for trainers who have had success in shorter spans of idle time for their runners. 

The race also draws a pack of outsiders who did not compete in the “Run For The Roses,” as they are targeting the Preakness in hopes of stealing the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Rachel Alexendra was the last Preakness winner who did not enter the Kentucky Derby, but still arrived at Pimlico in top form having won the Kentucky Oaks against top fillies. 

Pimlico:  The Distance and Weather Factors 

The Preakness cuts down its distance from the Kentucky Derby by 1/16 of a mile, which can give greener horses an improved chance at winning compared to Churchill Downs’ surroundings. 

Bernardini was a late-blooming Preakness champ in 2006, coming out on top after just one stakes start prior to the affair. Curlin captured the contest’s title one year later, bouncing back after a third-place finish in Louisville and going on to stardom with Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup wins. 

Weather and track conditions can also play a major factor in deciding who to back with your picks, with 2013’s edition of the Preakness being no exception. The Kentucky Derby saw Orb close for his victory under sloppy conditions, but Claude McGaughey’s colt will now have to head east and face rivals on what should be a fast track.

Let our Kentucky Derby Betting Tips & Strategies provide you with more horse betting insight.

Baffert and Lukas:  The Human Factors

The Preakness and its surroundings have seen certain trainers and jockeys have more success than others over the years. Trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas have both won the affair five times, with the pair both expected to have starters in 2013’s clash. 

Baffert primarily dominates the California racing circuit, but has picked his spots carefully in the east coast’s marquee matchups like the Preakness and Monmouth Park’s Haskell Invitational. Lukas has not won the Preakness since 1999 with Charismatic, but the 77-year-old could have up to three starters in this year’s event with Will Take Charge, Oxbow and Titletown Five. 

Veteran jockeys Gary Stevens and Mike Smith have united for three Preakness Stakes crowns, with both expected to be in the 2013 field. Stevens reached the winner’s circle for Baffert with Silver Charm (1997) and Point Given (2001), while Smith rode Prarie Bayou to victory, 20 years ago.
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