The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown horse racing season and a chance for the winner of the Kentucky Derby to take another step towards claiming a Triple Crown title.
Bovada has released its futures betting odds for the Preakness in what is expected to have a strong field of 13 horses looking to make their mark as one of the top three-year old thoroughbreds in the country starting with Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. The following is an early look at five of my top contenders to work into the mix for next Saturday’s race.
This year’s Kentucky Derby winner and strong has been opened as the clear favorite betting pick to keep his current winning streak alive with a victory in the next leg of the Triple Crown racing season. Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden by jockey Mario Gutierrez, this three-year old Kentucky-bred colt won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last October and the Grade 1 Florida Derby this past April as part of a very impressive eight-race winning streak.
He started this year’s campaign with a win in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 15 over a distance of seven furlongs.
After turning in a solid second-place run in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this three-year old Kentucky-bred colt appears to have the best chance to upset the favorite in next Saturday’s main event at Pimlico. A pedigree of former ‘Horse of the Year’ Curlin, he has now lost to Nyquist three times in his career in a graded stakes race starting with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a two-year old where he finished fourth. Earlier this year in the San Vicente Stakes he placed second to the Derby champ.
Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, the biggest win of his career came in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
This three-year old colt is trainer Todd Pletcher’s top entry to try and take home a Preakness title this year. The main thing working against his chances to win is a lack of racing experience in major graded stakes events, but that also provides a very high element of surprise come post time next Saturday. As a juvenile he raced twice in a Maiden Special Weight event placing fourth at Aqueduct and first at Gulfstream Park. In his only race this year, he won an Allowance race at Keeneland over a distance of 1 1/8 miles.
Gun Runner +1400
This three-year old Kentucky-bred colt was my second choice in the Kentucky Derby and he ran in third position from wire to wire. Trained by Steve Asmussen with jockey Florent Geroux getting the ride, he first caught horse bettor’s eyes with a victory in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 2. He followed that up with an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at that same track over a distance of 1 1/8 miles in late March.
A pedigree of Candy Ride, he comes into the Preakness ranked 17th by Horse Racing Nation and he has the second-highest HRN rating in the projected field at 8.42.
With trainer Bob Baffert by his side, this three-year old Kentucky-bred colt will be making his Triple Crown racing debut after winning the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 16 over a distance of 1 1/16 miles. He also won the non-graded Sunland Park Festival of Racing following a near miss in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 15 with a finish just outside the money in fourth place.
He put himself on the Kentucky Derby Trail with a victory in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park way back in January and given everything he has already accomplished this year as a three-year old he is proven threat to win this Grade 1 event at longer betting odds.