We are a little less than a week away from the 2019 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 144th running of the Preakness at Pimlico. The race is scheduled for Saturday, May 18.
Normally the entire focus of this race is centered around the Kentucky Derby winner, and whether or not he can move one step closer to winning the Triple Crown.
Unfortunately for us, that won’t be the main story in 2019. That’s because Kentucky Derby winner, Country House has withdrawn his name from the field.
In fact, the top 3 horses from the Derby will all skip this event, as runner-up Code of Honor and Tacitus are not going to be attending.
Neither will Maximum Security, who was the first to cross the finish line at Churchill Downs, but would later be disqualified.
It’s quite the letdown after watching Justify win the Triple Crown a year ago. The good news is, the payouts here are typically not great because of how predictable it has been with the top horses from the Derby dominating here. This is as wide-open a field as I can remember.
As of right now there are 12 horses in the field that have odds to win the race. Only 4 of those listed participated in the Derby.
Expert Handicapper 2019 Preakness Stakes Predictions: Win/Place/Show
Win: Bourbon War (7/1)
I know that there have only been four instances since 1983 that a horse who didn’t race at the Kentucky Derby went on to win the Preakness. The thing is, this isn’t your typical year. The reason for this, is the Derby winner has such a big edge in this race with so many other top horses skipping this to prepare for the Belmont Stakes.
There is no clear-cut favorite this year, which is why I’m going with a horse I really like in Bourbon War. A lot of people might be scared off of this horse, as they see a 4th place finish at the Florida Derby in his last start. However, that was 6 weeks ago and he’s looked refreshed in his workouts leading up to the race. The pedigree is there and we saw him go toe-to-toe with Derby runner-up Code of Honor in two prep races.
Place: Improbable (2/1)
While I’m not picking Improbable to win, I fully expect him to be pushing Bourbon War down the stretch run. I know there’s nothing exciting about a horse finishing fourth, but let’s not forget that Improbable closed with the best odds to win the race at 4 to 1.
Factor in the sloppy conditions at Churchill Downs and this being a shorter race with a lot less traffic, and it’s pretty easy to see why he’s listed at 2 to 1 to win this thing.
Show: Owendale (17/2)
I’ll probably mix in a few trifectas with another horse in this spot, but my favorite bet to come in 3rd is Owendale. Coming off a win at the Lexington G3 stakes, I believe trainer Brad Cox has this horse in prime form for this race. Note that Owendale has a way of finding himself in contention.
In his five races, he’s only finished outside the Top 3 on once occasion. I’m confident that trend will stay alive on Saturday.