Updated: Preakness Stakes 2019 odds and analysis

May 12, 2019 09:22am
Updated: Preakness Stakes 2019 odds and analysis
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club

As of this writing, the Preakness Stakes field consisted of thirteen 3-year-olds ready to take their chance in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Four of them ran in the Kentucky Derby, and three earned a spot in the field with "Win and You're In" victories.

Since 2000, only four winners of Pimlico's biggest race did not run in the Derby: Red Bullet (2000), Bernardini (2006), Rachel Alexandra (2009), and Cloud Computing (2017). However, this will be the first year in that same time period that none of the top three finishers from the Derby are going in the Preakness.

Let’s take a look at the horses expected to run in the Preakness with an early morning line from Horse Racing Nation. The post position draw is set for Wednesday.

Improbable
[HRN odds: 3-1 – 4th Kentucky Derby – City Zip – B. Baffert/M. Smith – 6: 3-2-0 - $769,520] Improbable left the gates as the Kentucky Derby favorite. He established a nice early position, ran into traffic in the stretch and finished with a mild rally, 3 1/4 lengths behind. He’s likely to be the favorite again and a big field will not be an issue this time. Some will say that he’s had trip problems this year and others might feel that this Bob Baffert runner is piling up excuses. He’ll get Mike Smith in the saddle which means that he should be fairly close to the lead. Likely favorite.

War of Will
[HRN odds: 7-2 – 7th Kentucky Derby – War Front – M. Casse/T. Gaffalione – 9: 3-1-1 - $501,569] According to the Kentucky Derby's official chart, War of Will was “forced out and had to check at the 5/16ths pole.” For much of the early going, War of Will was under strong restraint from his rider without room to run along the inside. He did come up a bit empty in deep stretch, but given his trip that was understandable. In a smaller field, he should be able to run the kind of race we saw in the Risen Star (G2) and the Lecomte (G3) unless the rigors of his 2019 campaign catch up to him. Derby horses do hold the advantage in the Preakness. Win contender.

Alwaysmining
[HRN odds: 5-1 – 1st Frederico Tesio - Stay Thirsty – K. Rubley/D. Centeno – 12: 7-0-1 - $386,192] This is the ultimate Maryland horse having been bred in state as a son of Stay Thirsty. He is stabled and at the Fair Hill Training Center by Kelly Rubley. The speedy colt has won six races in a row at Laurel Park while gradually increasing his distance from seven furlongs to his most recent victory going 1 1/8 miles in the Frederico Tesio. In the Tesio, he was able to rate and stalk the early pace, but the results were the same as in his front-running wins with yet another open-lengths victory. His last five wins came in stakes races, but he has yet to try graded company. Preakness history is against him, but his talent is undeniable. My top choice.

Bourbon War
[HRN odds: 6-1 – 4th Florida Derby – Tapit – M. Hennig/I. Ortiz Jr. – 5: 2-1-0 - $202,100] This bay son of Tapit flashed his talent on the Derby trail at Gulfstream Park. He took advantage of the favorable pace setup in the Fountain of Youth (G2) and was closing fastest of all to finish less than a length behind Code of Honor who went on to run second in the Kentucky Derby. In the Florida Derby (G1), Bourbon War did not get the same fast pace and could not muster a big rally. There appears to be plenty of speed signed on in here. He should benefit from the time off and continue to improve. Exotics player.

Owendale
[HRN odds: 6-1 – 1st Lexington – Into Mischief – B. Cox/F. Geroux – 8: 3-1-1 - $187,225] Owendale burst onto the scene when he made a big closing move to win the Lexington (G3) in the last stop on the Derby trail. The 20 points were not enough to get him into the Derby, but his victory over the favorite Anothertwistafate was noteworthy. He is one of several late runners in the Preakness who should get a favorable pace to lead into their closing move. Use underneath.

Anothertwistafate
[HRN odds: 10-1 – 2nd Lexington – Scat Daddy – B. Wright/J. Ortiz – 6: 3-2-0 - $303,505] The son of Scat Daddy was a bit of a buzz horse on the Kentucky Derby trail after his win in the El Camino Real Derby. He took that victory to the Sunland Derby (G3), where he sat behind the early pace in his dirt debut and rallied to just miss the top spot by a neck. His final attempt to make the Derby field came up short when he was again second after a troubled trip in the Lexington. He should not be overlooked in here because of his combination of speed and the ability to rate off the leaders. Win contender.

Win Win Win
[HRN odds: 10-1 – 9th Kentucky Derby – Hat Trick – M. Trombetta/J. Pimentel – 7: 3-2-1 - $367,300] Except for the Kentucky Derby, he has hit the board in all of his starts. In the Blue Grass (G2), he ran against the bias to finish second and was sent off at 16-1 in the Derby. There, he did very little running, but connections have cited his distaste for the sloppy track. Win Win Win is another one of the late runners looking for that favorable pace. Use underneath.

Signalman
[HRN odds: 15-1 – 3rd Blue Grass – General Quarters – K. McPeek/B. Hernandez Jr. – 7: 2-2-2 - $552,990] Signalman may be the horse that gets overlooked in this field and provides some value. In the Blue Grass, he was asked to stay in contention on that day because the track was playing to the speed horses. That worked against his preferred running style to make one closing move. The Preakness will mark his third start of the year and he should be at his best. Live longshot.

Laughing Fox
[HRN odds: 20-1 – 1st Oaklawn Park Invitational – Union Rags – S. Asmussen/R. Santana Jr. – 7: 3-0-0 - $338,518] Laughing Fox won a spot in the Preakness field with his victory in the new Oaklawn Invitational. The Asmussen barn is red-hot lately, and this guy got his win after a wide, late closing move and against a speed bias. On the Derby trail at Oaklawn he was seventh in the Rebel (G2) and then fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1). He’ll need to take another step up to contend at this level. Toss.

Warrior’s Charge
[HRN odds: 20-1 – 1st Allowance – Munnings – B. Cox/TBD – 5: 2-0-3 - $138,110] The ownership group of Warrior’s Charge is putting up $150,000 in supplemental fees given this colt wasn't Triple Crown nominated. I’m not sure what that tells us except that it will be tough for them to make any money with a horse that has only an allowance win after needing four tries to break his maiden. Granted, he has run better at longer distances. Mainly, his impact on the Preakness is early speed that should ensure a strong pace. Pretender.

Everfast 
[HRN odds: 30-1 – 5th Pat Day Mile (G3) – Take Charge Indy – D. Romans/J. Rosario – 10: 1-1-1 - $134,805] Trainer Dale Romans is never afraid to take a shot in big races, thus he has entered Everfast in the Preakness. We remember him for his longshot, 128-1 second-place finish in the Holy Bull (G2) on the Derby trail. Since then, the best he could do is a fifth in the Pat Day Mile two weeks before the Preakness. Toss.

Market King
[HRN odds: 30-1 – 11th Blue Grass (G2) – Into Mischief – D. W.Lukas/TBD – 5: 1-0-2 - $132,042] Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will seek his sixth victory in the Preakness with this son of Into Mischief. Remember that Lukas was the upset winner of this race as recently as 2013 with Oxbow. Market King has just a maiden win in February at Oaklawn Park to his credit. Since then he set the early pace in Omaha Beach's division of the Rebel (G2) and finished third. He was then 11th in the Blue Grass. He looks like he could add to the early pace. Toss.

Bodexpress
[HRN odds: 30-1 – 13th Kentucky Derby – Bodemeister – G. Delgado/J. Velazquez – 6: M-3-0 - $208,700] Here is the maiden who is Grade 1-placed with earnings surpassing $200,000. In the Kentucky Derby, he hit the wire 14th after starting from way outside and running into typical Derby traffic. He’s likely to remain a maiden after the Preakness, too. Toss.

 

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