We are a little less than a week away from the 2018 Preakness Stakes. For those of you looking to wager on the big race this weekend, I’ve provided my win/place/show predictions. As well as some analysis to support my selections.
This will be the 143rd running of the Preakness at Pimlico. The race is scheduled for Saturday, May 20.
As is the case every year, this race is all about the Kentucky Derby winner and can he move one step closer to completely the elusive Triple Crown.
For a while there it felt like we might not see another horse accomplish this feat. That is until American Pharoah put an end to the near 40-year drought in 2015.
Will it be another 30+ years before we see another? Could this be the year we see it happen again? It’s all up to Derby winner Justify, who certainly looked the part of a champion at Churchill Downs.
As of right now it looks like we will have a field of just 8 horses (20 at the Derby). Those joining Justify in running both the Derby and Preakness, include Bravazo, Good Magic, and Lone Sailor. The newcomers are Diamond King, Quip, Sporting Chance and Tenfold
Expert Handicapper 2018 Preakness Stakes Predictions: Win/Place/Show
Win: Good Magic (5/2)
I was really excited when trained Chad Brown decided to not pass up on a chance for revenge against Justify. Having already decided that Good Magic won’t race in the final leg (Belmont Stakes), that tells me Brown and company think this horse has a legit shot here.
Good Magic came up just short of a win at the Kentucky Derby. He made a fantastic late charge and for a second it looked like he was going to take the lead for good. Justify found another gear and held on for the win.
Why will the outcome change at the Preakness? For one, I think the shorter distance can only help Good Magic close that ground during the stretch run. The other big thing is I’ve got my concerns with Justify, who had to be treated for a crack in his hoof after the Derby. While the reports from the injury are positive in terms of how he’s doing, I have to think it will slow him down at least a little bit.
Place: Justify (3/5)
As you can see, I’m not completely writing off Justify. I still think that him at less than 100% is better than the rest of the field, as I have Good Magic and Justify a class ahead of the pack. Let’s also not forget were talking about a very weak field here.
If the crack is as minor as they are saying, Justify could easily dominate this race much like he did the Derby. It is worth noting that we are going against history not picking Justify to win, as trainer Bob Baffert has never lost with a horse that won the Kentucky Derby first.
Show: Bravazo (20/1)
I’m going with yet another horse that raced in the Kentucky Derby for our big payday on a trifecta. Bravazo is a horse that surprised a lot of people at Churchill Downs. Sitting at 50-1 long shot, no one was really paying attention to this horse. There’s still not a lot of talk about him, despite finishing 6th at the Derby behind a really nice closing run.
I think he’s a legit sleeper here, especially if Justify isn’t at full strength. More than anything, I just don’t trust the newbies in the field who skipped the first leg of the Triple Crown.