We have our finger on the pulse of all of the horse racing betting action this year, and we know that this year’s Preakness Stakes odds are going to be amongst the toughest to beat. Today, we look at the post positions and morning line odds for all nine horses in the field, and we make our Preakness Stakes picks for the horses that we think will and will not be able to challenge in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Preakness Stakes Post Draws and Morning Line Odds
1: Orb (Even Money)
2: Goldencents (8 to 1)
3: Titletown Five (30 to 1)
4: Departing (6 to 1)
5: Mylute (5 to 1)
6: Oxbow (15 to 1)
7: Will Take Charge (12 to 1)
8: Govenor Charlie (12 to 1)
9: Itsmyluckyday (10 to 1)
The Preakness Stakes is a race that is every bit as much about speed and positioning as it is anything else, and unfortunately, a big part of that is the post draw. There isn’t a heck of a lot of time to get to the first turn at Pimlico Racetrack, and that makes the inside posts the most beneficial to have. That’s why Orb is an odds on favorite, and we expect him to go off at around 4 to 5 by the time this one actually goes to post. He wants to be a speed horse, but he has proven the fact that he can stalk as well, and regardless, we know that he is going to have the shortest ride at the Preakness Stakes because of that inside post.
We’ll start with some horses that we know we are going to throw out. We hate the fact that Titletown Five was even allowed to enter this race. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas knew what he was doing when he brought this horse to Pimlico, and he didn’t have any desires of this one actually winning. He just wants to wear out some of the other speed horses in the race, and he’s going to use this one to do so. Every major race that Titletown Five has run, he has started near the front or at the front of the pack, has pushed the pace, and has ultimately tired out. He’ll do that again in this one for sure. The question though, is whether he is going to take any horses down with him or not. This colt might actually be the biggest threat to Orb, not so much because he can beat the Derby winner, but because he can tire him out.
The other horses that we don’t think much of are two of the favorites. Mylute would be a great story if he were to win the race, but we just don’t know if Jockey Rosie Napravnik has a horse that is good enough at this level to get the job done. We also don’t think all that much of Departing, a horse that is going to try to close in the final furlongs. It’s not a strategy that works all that often at the Preakness Stakes, and it is better served for the longer races. It wouldn’t be surprising to see either of these horses hit the board, but we do think that in the end, there won’t be enough time for either to get to the front of the field.
The longshot horses that we hate include Will Take Charge and Oxbow, though there are some out there that think Oxbow has a real shot to win this race. This is the best of the Lukas horses in the field, and there’s a reason that Titletown Five is running. If the others at the front tire out, Oxbow might have a chance, but we just don’t feel as though he is one of the best 6-8 three-year old horses in the world this year.
Goldencents is the best positioned horse in the field of nine. He is starting on the inside, and he is going to be able to get right up to the lead. Don’t be overly shocked if Jockey Kevin Krigger tries to get cute and essentially cut out Orb, who is starting right next to him, before getting to that first turn. If that turns out to be the case, we think that this race is actually over. Orb won’t get back around Goldencents if the Santa Anita Derby winner can get in front of him early on and have a length or two of space to work with.
We were high on Itsmyluckyday in the Kentucky Derby, and though he had a horrid run, we think that he is still every bit as good as Orb. He had Orb dead to rights in the Florida Derby and was simply outkicked, and if that’s the case, we know that we have a horse that has great odds on his head. The only problem that we have with Itsmyluckyday is that outside post. Starting on the far outside isn’t as damning as it would have been had this field had 13 or 14 horses in it, but it’s still not an enviable position to be in.
Right to his inside will be Govenor Charlie, who we feel is the wild card of the entire race. There’s not much here to analyze. Govenor Charlie has only run in three races, and it has been two months since he has been on the track competitively. That said, he has the best breeding in the field as we see it, and there’s something to be said about that. Trainer Bob Baffert knew what he was doing when he sat this horse out of the Kentucky Derby, and it might pay dividends here at the Preakness Stakes.
Orb is still the horse to beat in this race, and we would be remiss if we didn’t include him in any exotics. It’s going to be tough to see him not ultimately winning, but we do think that this could be a heck of a race and one that is a lot closer than a lot of the so called “experts” think. If you want to bet the best value, go with either Govenor Charlie, Itsmyluckyday, or Goldencents (we recommend Goldencents of the three). In the end though, this is probably still Orb’s race to lose.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.