For the first time since 1969, the Preakness Stakes will have just one Kentucky Derby horse running. Kentucky Derby winner Mage leads a field of eight for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Mage is listed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite, followed by Lexington Stakes winner First Mission at odds of 5-2. Mage will be looking to become the first horse since Justify won the Triple Crown in 2018, to win the Derby and the Preakness. Mage will start from post position three, which might be a little close to the rail than his connections would prefer. The other two horses listed at single-digit odds for Saturday’s race are National Treasure at odds of 4-1 and Blazing Sevens at odds of 6-1. Let’s look at Preakness Stakes picks.
Preakness Stakes Betting Lines
2023 Preakness Stakes Field
PP - Horse - Jockey - Trainer - Odds
1 - National Treasure - John Velazquez - Bob Baffert - 4/1
2 - Chase the Chaos - Sheldon Russell - Ed Moger, Jr. - 50/1
3 - Mage - Javier Castellano - Gustavo Delgado - 8/5
4 - Coffeewithchris - Jaime Rodriguez - John Salzman, Jr. - 20/1
5 - Red Route One - Joel Rosario - Steven Asmussen - 10/1
6 - Perform - Feargal Lynch - C. McGaughey - 15/1
7 - Blazing Sevens - Irad Ortiz, Jr. - Chad Brown - 6/1
8 - First Mission - Luis Saez - Brad Cox - 5/2
In the last 10 years in the Preakness, the winner of the race was close to the pace nine times. Three horses won on the front end, while stalkers have been the most common winners, with five horses winning close to the pace. The only closer to win was Exaggerator in 2016. Mage is known as a horse that closes so it could be difficult for Mage in Saturday’s Preakness. The lack of a speed horse in Saturday’s race may also hurt Mage. Assistant trainer Gustavo Delgado Jr. said there isn’t much they can do about the inside post. "It doesn't make any difference. We can't think too much about the things we can't control," Delgado Jr. said to the media, "I think everybody has a fair amount of time to get their position. It's an eight-horse field. All eight will have a shot to win the race, which is what you want."
The horse that could be a threat to Mage is First Mission who is 5-2 on the morning-line. The horse will make just his fourth start for trainer Brad Cox. Also in the mix could be National Treasure for trainer Bob Baffert who will be looking to win his record eighth Preakness Stakes. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will be aboard National Treasure.
Trainer Chad Brown has won the Preakness twice and he has Blazing Sevens, who most finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes. The horse will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. and is listed at odds of 6-1.
Trainer Steve Asmussen is also looking to win his third Preakness. He has Red Route One, who is listed at odds of 10-1. He is coming off a win in the Bath House Row Stakes.
Trainer Shug McGaughey will saddle Perform who is listed at odds of 15-1. Coffeewithchris is listed at 20-1 on the morning line for trainer John Salzman Jr., and Bill Dory and Adam Ferrence have Chase the Chaos who is listed at 50-1.
Preakness Stakes Picks
Everything went just right for Mage in the Kentucky Derby and Castellano did everything perfectly. I don’t know that Mage is anything special and I sure can’t take the horse at odds of 8-5. First Mission won the Lexington and beat Disarm who finished fourth in the Derby. I think the race sets up for his stalking style far better than the race sets up for Mage. National Treasure has won just once and even though he is trained by Baffert, I don’t know that I am sold on him winning this race. Blazing Sevens could have run in the Kentucky Derby but trainer Chad Brown decided to skip the race and point to the Preakness. He did that with Cloud Computing and Early Voting, so we know his plan can work. I like the training form of Blazing Sevens and he has a big chance to win.
Preakness Stakes Picks: First Mission and Blazing Sevens to win. Exacta and trifecta boxes with First Mission, Blazing Sevens, Mage and Perform.
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