The 2017 Preakness Stakes takes place on Saturday, May 20 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. This will be the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes, and it serves as the second leg of the Triple Crown, in-between the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
As usual, the field is expected to be very small for the race (currently projected for 10 horses). Many trainers do not run their horses on only two weeks rest, which would be the case for any horse that ran in the Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, is the current odds-on favorite at 4/5. The Derby winner is almost always the favorite for the Preakness, but keep in mind that just 35 of 145 (24%) winners of the Kentucky Derby have gone on to win the Preakness as well.
One thing to keep in mind when making your predictions is that the Preakness is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races. It is run at just 1 3/16 miles, which is 1/16 mile less than the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby. That means it favors the speed horses, and there’s no question that the top three contenders all have speed.
I usually like to look for at least one long shot to finish in the money in this race. That’s why I have selected who I have as my Win, Place and Show picks, as you’ll see below. I also give my reasons for the picks with each horse.
Classic Empire had a bit of bad luck in the Derby getting bumped out of the gates and never really had a chance to win. With a clean run here, I do think he is the fastest horse on the track. The shorter distance shouldn’t be an issue if he presses the pace early.
I like Multiplier coming in a bit fresher than some of the other contenders having last seen action on April 22nd at the Illinois Derby where he finished first. This is a step up in class for him, however, he showed an impressive closing kick in Illinois – something that could payoff if jockey Joel Rosario is patient. Rosario has ridden two Preakness runner-ups in the past, Curlin (2014), and Tale of Verve (2015).
It would be surprising if Always Dreaming didn’t end up in the top three at the Preakness. My concern with him is that he is better as a front-runner and could easily be gassed by the stretch thanks in part to the short rest off of the derby.
Exacta Box: Classic Empire/Multiplier // Multiplier/Classic Empire
Trifectas: Classic Empire/Multiplier/Always Dreaming; Always Dreaming/Classic Empire/Gunnevera
This year I’ll play two trifectas with the hopes that one hits. We can expect a pretty solid payout with this year’s field being top-heavy. I would also advise boxing your exacta (or taking a quinella, it’s the same thing) so it won’t matter which horse finishes first and which finishes second as long as you pick the right horses.
Below are the odds as of May 16th. These will be updated prior to the race. Post positions will be announced on Wednesday, May 17th.
|—||Looking at Lee||10/1|
|—||Conquest Mo Money||15/1|
|—||Term of Art||40/1|