There are a few things we do know, and there’s a lot we don’t about the upcoming Preakness Stakes. We do know that the second leg of the Triple Crown won’t have a Triple Crown hopeful after Kentucky Derby winner Country House withdrew. And Maximum Security, the horse that actually crossed the finish line ahead of the field at Churchill Downs, isn’t entered either. With only four horses that ran in Lexington set to enter the stalls at Pimlico, there are some unknowns ready to make their mark. Trainer Bob Baffert didn’t get a win at the Kentucky Derby, but he does have the co-betting favorite in Improbable ready to triumph on Saturday.
2019 Preakness Stakes
Date and Time: Saturday, May 18, 2019, 6:48 p.m. ET
Location: Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD
Length: 1 3/16 mile, dirt track
Preakness Stakes TV Coverage: NBC
Odds to win 2019 Preakness Stakes at BookMaker.eu
War Of Will +350
Bourbon War +575
Win Win Win +1200
Warrior's Charge +1600
Laughing Fox +2500
Market King +3500
Baffert was unsuccessful in winning his sixth Kentucky Derby despite having three entrants. He will send Improbable to Pimlico as one of four horses that ran at Churhcill Downs. Improbable placed fourth at the Derbry, and with the three horses that finished ahead of him all sitting out, he sits atop the odds board at +350.
“I think he ran very well,” Baffert said of Improbable after the Derby. “They were all stuck there together, all bunched up. When he finally got loose he made a little run.”
Not only will Improbable be racing against a weaker field, he’ll also have a new rider. Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who jockeyed Justify to the Triple Crown last year and elected to sit on Omaha Beach for the Derby until he withdrew, is back in the saddle.
Baffert knows Improbable can do more than what he showed in the Kentucky Derby. He was one of the favorites heading into that race and had never finished worse than second in any of his starts prior to the Derby. The lack of top horses at the Preakness provided an opening and Baffert took it. “With Maximum Security not in there, that’s why we’re running,” he said.
We’ll never know how War Of Will would have fared at the Kentucky Derby if he wasn’t interfered with. He was the horse at the center of the controversy at Churchill Downs after Maximum Security obstructed his path. He ended up seventh and his results haven’t been good in his last two starts. However, War Of Will is the most experienced horse in the field with the Derby being his third G1 stakes ride.
Maryland bred Alwaysmining is an intriguing horse to watch. He’s done a majority of his racing in-state with six consecutive wins at Maryland’s Laurel Park. The colt blew away the field at the Federico Tesio Stakes in April, winning by 11 ½ lengths. The competition wasn’t the toughest, but he outran the field by plenty, giving him a chance to make the jump up a notch. Alwaysmining has four starts that ran at least a mile so the distance shouldn’t be a problem. He’s on the board at +750 and has value in a field of relative unknowns.
Bet the Preakness Stakes at BookMaker.eu
Just because there is no shot at a Triple Crown doesn’t make the Preakness less exciting. In fact, with the assembled field, this has the potential to be one of the most exciting races in some time. We typically have a big favorite running, but with no Derby winner present the field is wide open. And there are some longshots that could make it interesting. Owendale is coming off a win at the Lexington Stakes and he hasn’t finished outside the top three in five career starts. It’s hard to look away from Improbable, who is looking to bet back to the winner’s circle.
Preakness Stakes Prediction: 1 -Improbable 2 -Owendale 3 -War Of Will
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