The second jewel in this year’s Triple Crown racing series for the top Thoroughbreds in this year’s three-year-old class is up for grabs this Saturday in the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. A field of 12 is expected to compete in the 1 3/16-mile jaunt around the dirt track in Saturday’s featured race at this famed Baltimore track.
Four of the entries competed in this year’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 8 and the other eight probable contenders come in fresh making their Triple Crown racing debut. Post positions and the morning line odds will be set on Wednesday before the race, but MyBookie online sportsbook has the jump on things with its recently updated futures odds to win.
The three-year-old at the top of the list is trainer Bob Baffert’s Improbable at +145 betting odds to win. Coming off a fourth-place finish at Churchill, he appears to be the class of the field with a Horse Racing Nation rating of 8.00.
After going three-for-three as a juvenile, including a victory in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity in early December of last year, this Kentucky-bred colt is still looking for his first win this year. He placed second behind Long Range Toddy in one division of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes ahead of another second-place run at that track in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 13 behind Omaha Beach. Sired by City Zip, he would be my top choice to get that first victory on Saturday.
The other top contender on the board at MyBookie would be trainer Mark Casse’s War of Will. Starting from the dreaded No. 1 post in the 20-horse field of the Kentucky Derby, he got caught up in the bumping incident that eventually led to the disqualification of Maximum Security as the original winner. This Kentucky-bred colt went on to finish seventh.
Following a pair of victories, earlier this year at Fair Grounds in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and the Grade 2 Risen Star, his stock for the Derby took a hit with a fade to ninth at that same track in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. I still think this son of War Front has what it takes to finish in the money in the Preakness.
2019 Preakness Stakes - The Best of the Rest
Moving down the list of futures odds to win, Bourbon War becomes an interesting choice at +700 betting odds. Trained by Mark Henning, he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park his last time out.
Trainer Kelly Rubley’s Alwaysmining is next at +800 followed by Anothertwistafate at +900 odds. The latter is trained by Blaine Wright and coming off a second-place run in this year’s Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.
If you are looking to stretch the odds a bit in search of betting value, Win Win Win and Owendale are listed at +1200 to win. Win Win Win is trained by Michael Trombetta and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
My top choice at longer odds would be trainer Ken McPeek’s Signalman at +1500 to win. As a two-year-old, he placed third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind Game Winner and Knicks Go. In his best effort this year, the Kentucky-bred colt took third in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 6 behind Vekoma and Win Win Win.