Bookmaker Sportsbook is all set and ready to go with Preakness Stakes betting action on this, the 136th Preakness Stakes! We're all set to take one last look this morning at the live Preakness Stakes odds, and we'll make our final free Preakness Stakes picks for the biggest race of the year, as 14 colts are set to take to the track at Pimlico Race Track!
The biggest issue that we always have when we go from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness Stakes is analyzing the horses that are in the field that didn't run in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Often times, these horses are fresher, thus tend to end up putting together better races that what we were expecting, but on the other hand, most of them probably weren't of the same quality that the three year olds racing at Churchill Downs had.
Of the ones that are entering for the first time into the Triple Crown, the one that we tend to want to watch is No. 4 Flashpoint. This is one of the few horses in the field that has had a 100+ Beyer Speed Rating in his career, a number which will almost certainly have to be run to win here at the Preakness Stakes. Still, this is an untested horse, having had only three races, and this is the first time that Wesley Ward has ever trained this colt for a race. You might want to think about throwing him into your exotics, but we are going to pass on all of the non-Derby horses in this race.
Speaking of the Triple Crown, how could we not talk about No. 11 Animal Kingdom? From a horse that was largely unknown that had run in just one stakes race in his career, Animal Kingdom is now on top of the horse racing betting world, having won the Kentucky Derby. He's an unlikely candidate to end up winning the Triple Crown though, and the oddsmakers know it by lining him as a slight favorite instead of as a dominating favorite as most Derby winners are at the Preakness. We know better, and we saw this script last year when Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby. There are better horses in the field, and definitely horses with a heck of a lot more value than this one.
Case in point, we love the price that we are getting on No. 5 Shackleford. At over 11 to 1 in the Kentucky Derby, Shackleford ran well, getting out of the gates in the lead and never really looking back. He had a bad last furlong of that race though, and he ended up losing about four lengths in that time. This was the same thing that we saw happen to him at the Florida Derby, but with this being the shortest of the three Triple Crown races, if there is one to be won, this is it.
Midnight Interlude, the No. 7 horse, is going to need to get a solid start to have any chance of winning the Preakness. He didn't run well at the Derby, finishing 17 lengths off of the pace. This is a smaller field though, and he should find this race a lot more to his liking. That 97 speed rating in the Santa Anita Derby still looms largely in the back of our heads, and he might end up being a big time difference maker in this race.
No. 9 Mucho Macho Man was popular at the Kentucky Derby, as his horse racing odds fell to under 5 to 1 at post time. With another furlong or so, he might have ended up winning that race, as Mucho Macho Man really did come on relatively strong. He has now had three straight races with speed ratings in the mid-high 90s, and trainer Kathy Ritvo is one of the best feel good stories at this track. Don't be shocked if this horse ends up in the money when it's all said and done.
However, the horse that we are going with to win this race is the one that ended up being the favorite at the Kentucky Derby, No. 10 Dialed In. We loved this horse at Churchill Downs, but as was the case for a bunch of other horses, he just never was able to get it going. He still posted a 90+ speed rating for the fourth straight race, and trainer Nick Zito knows what he is doing with this colt. Jockey Julien Leparoux is going to be instructed to simply keep his horse out of trouble... and to keep Animal Kingdom to his right and not to his left. If Dialed In stays on the rail and ends up with a relatively short race, he is going to be the one that ends up being on top of all of your exotics.
This won't be the best paying race in the whole world, but with Animal Kingdom staying out of the proceedings, this could get interesting. Look for Shackleford to start off hot, but end up getting nipped at the wire both by a charging Mucho Macho Man and a game Dialed In, but in the end, it'll be Dialed In that romps to a three length victory.
Preakness Stakes Predictions: 11-9-5-7
Live Preakness Stakes Odds (As Of 6:00 AM ET)
#1 Astrology 18 to 1
#2 Norman Asbjornson 40 to 1
#3 King Congie 18 to 1
#4 Flashpoint 18 to 1
#5 Shackleford 11 to 1
#6 Sway Away 12 to 1
#7 Midnight Interlude 13 to 1
#8 Dance City 11 to 1
#9 Mucho Macho Man 6.50 to 1
#10 Dialed In 4.70 to 1
#11 Animal Kingdom 2.80 to 1
#12 Isn't He Perfect 40 to 1
#13 Concealed Identity 28 to 1
#14 Mr. Commons 23 to 1