Horse Racing Picks: Preakness Stakes Early Betting Futures

The Field for This Year’s Preakness Continues to Take Shape With Early Betting Odds to Win
The official field for the running of the 144th Preakness Stakes has yet to be set. However, 5Dimes online sportsbook has released its futures odds to win for 13 different contenders listed as possible entries.
The Preakness is a major graded event and the second of three races in the annual Triple Crown racing series along with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park. With a total prize purse of $1.5 million, this race will be contested on the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore at a distance a 1 3/16 miles.
Tracking the Top Contenders
The three-year old thoroughbred at the top of the list at 5Dimes is trainer Bob Baffert’s Improbable at +225 odds to win. The Kentucky-bred colt has the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the projected field at 8.07 and he is coming off a solid fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. After posting a highly productive juvenile campaign with a trio of victories in three stakes races, he is still looking for his first win this season.
Coming close at Oaklawn Park in one division of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby with a pair of second-place finishes, this track sets up perfectly to get that win at Pimlico. Sired by City Zip with a bloodline that can be traced to Seattle Slew, this could be Baffert’s best chance to get a victory in a Triple Crown race this season.
Second on the Preakness futures list is War of Will at +300 betting odds. Trained by Mark Casse, this three-year old Kentucky-bred colt got stuck with the dreaded No. 1 post in the 19-horse field for the Kentucky Derby. He was also involved in the scrum that led to the disqualification of Maximum Security as the original winner. Add in a sloppy track and his seventh-place finish was not all that bad.
The son of War Front started his three-year old campaign with a pair of victories at Fair Grounds in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes in January and the Grade 2 Risen Star on Feb. 16. A bad run in this year’s Grade 2 Louisiana Derby led to a disappointing ninth-pace finish as one of the favorites. His HRN rating coming into the Preakness is 8.04.
One to Watch
Kentucky Derby winner Country House will skip the Preakness due to a minor illness and Maximum Security will also sit this one out after a rough ride in the Kentucky Derby. Baffert’s Game Winner is on the futures board at +1000 odds to win, but he is not on the list of probable entries.
Bodexpress is only one other three-year-old on the list that ran in the Kentucky Derby. He finished 13th and his Preakness futures are set at +1600.
My ‘one to watch’ pick for this next race is trainer William Calhoun’s Mr. Money at +1000 odds to win. He did run at Churchill Downs on May 4, but it was it was in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile. The Kentucky-bred colt made his way past Hog Creek Hustle and Dream Maker to cover that distance on dirt in 1:35.21.
A pedigree of Goldencents, this was his first victory since winning a 1 1/16-mile Maiden Special Weight race at Churchill as a juvenile. He first gained attention by taking fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and he finished fifth in the Louisiana Derby prior to his last race.