2018 Preakness Stakes Predictions
Odds for the 2018 Preakness Stakes come courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook and are accurate as of Friday, May 18. Definitely make sure you’re rechecking these lines before deciding on or placing a wager. The odds can and will move by the time the gates open at 6:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 19. Sportsbooks are always reacting to the second leg of the Triple Crown based on how the general public is betting.
Since the Preakness Stakes field is vastly smaller than the Kentucky Derby participants, we’ll be taking you through the final docket one by one, in order who we think is most likely to win.
8. Diamond King (+3000)
Post Position: 4
Diamond King would be a more polarizing option if the track were guaranteed to be in better conditions. He’s all speed, and his penchant for working on the inside makes him a solid investment when snagging a middle post.
But the possibility of a wet ride torpedoes his value. Oddsmakers, as you can tell, are accounting for as much. Some horses just aren’t able to thrive under semi-inclement conditions. And with solid wet-track workers such as Lone Sailor and Good Magic surrounding him, Diamond King must be painted as a bettor’s pipe dream.
Now, should the weather turn before the gate opens at 6:20 p.m. ET, last-minute investors could be in a for a treat. A dry, smooth track coupled with a shorter leg than the Kentucky Derby could allow for Diamond King’s speed to pull off the consummate upset. Overall, though, you shouldn’t be counting on him.
7. Sporting Chance (+3000)
Post Position: 3
Sporting Chance is considered one of the more explosive horses in the 2018 Preakness Stakes. He has an immeasurable burst about him when you watch him tackle straightaways.
Still, his past few races have been bizarre. His trot has tilted toward the crooked end on certain straight shots, and he doesn’t seem to be utilizing the full extent of his speed without exhaustive encouragement from his jockeys.
If you’re looking for a wild card long shot, he might be it. But there’s more unpredictability caked into Sporting Chance that upside.
6. Tenfold (+2500)
Post Position: 6
Although Tenfold is viewed as one of the hottest up-and-coming horses on the circuit, we’re not prepared to give him too much love here.
Indeed, people like point out the similarities between he and Kentucky Derby winner Justify. They both sat out their two-year-old seasons. They then both began their three-year-old campaigns with consecutive victories. Analysts also like to point out how Tenfold’s father—known as his “sire” in horse racing circles—won the Preakness in 2007.
But bloodlines won’t help him here. Tenfold ran an unimpressive fifth at the Arkansas Derby, and he’s had an intermittent tendency to fade in the back stretches. His trainers have insisted over the past couple of weeks he has fully recovered, but we cannot help other than to wonder whether Tenfold has the stamina to hold up in these races. The Preakness is shorter than the Kentucky Derby, but this is a horse that’s seemingly grappled with endurance issues for much of this year.
5. Bravazo (+1800)
Post Position: 8
Bravazo is actually more interesting of an option than most will acknowledge. He overachieved by finishing sixth in the Kentucky Derby, and his trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, is known for his ability to effectively prep horses on abridged turnarounds.
A shorter track should also help Bravazo. He performed admirably despite having one of the race’s widest trips. His strong gallop makes him uniquely qualified to handle such positions, so if he can separate himself from the congested pack long enough to break inside, he could cause some trouble for any winner-circle hopefuls.
4. Quip (+1800)
Post Position: 1
More than a few people will ultimately be interested in betting on Quip. He finished second in the Arkansas Derby to qualify for the Kentucky running, but he ended up sitting out the first leg of the Triple Crown specifically to go for it here.
Extra rest is a big deal in horse racing these days. Neither jockeys nor their steeds are running as much as they did previously. And given how sloppy the Kentucky Derby ultimately ended up being, this could give quip an outside edge. Toss in a No. 1 post position, and he seems primed to for some serious action.
And who knows, maybe he is. But it should be noted that winner of the Arkansas Derby, Magnum Moon, finished second to last in the Kentucky Derby. That race isn’t a harbinger for success in this one.
3. Lone Sailor (+1800)
Post Position: 2
Truth be told, we were initially going to place Lone Sailor lower on the totem pole. He finished eighth at the Kentucky Derby and has now racked up a few bad beats.
So what gave him the ultimate edge? Well, Lone Sailor has picked up one of the hottest jockeys in the country, according to The New York Times. On top of that, he has experience winning on a wet track, and the weather report for Baltimore, Maryland calls for muggy conditions. Lone Sailor is considered a long shot, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him place in the top three or even in the winner’s circle.
2. Justify (-275)
Post Position: 7
Picking against Justify is going to be unpopular. He’s the heavy favorite after winning the Kentucky Derby, and he’s been on fire for most of this year.
But the Preakness will mark Justify’s fifth race in just three months. That’s a lot of runs under a horse’s belt. The shorter track should help with his stamina, but the sheer volume of his overall workload this past half-year invariably works against him.
Case in point: Justify had a bruised heel following his Kentucky Derby win, an injury many thought was more serious at first glance. Even the slightest change in his trot—will he favor his bruised heel at all?—will open the door for those around him to pull away.
Look, we won’t blame you for shirking this advice. Justify is the favorite for a reason. But he doesn’t give off the vibe of a horse preparing to complete the second stage of a Triple Crown crusade.
1. Good Magic (+350)
There was talk that maybe, just maybe, Good Magic wouldn’t run at Preakness after finishing behind Justify in the Kentucky Derby. All eyes were on the Belmont Stakes instead. So much for that.
Clearly, Good Magic’s crew feels Justify is more vulnerable. And can you really blame them? Not only is Justify dealing with a bruised heel and nearing the tail end of an untenable race schedule, but he’s not considered the best sloppy track runner.
That honor among this group belongs to Good Magic—and, maybe, Lone Sailor. With a potentially wet track awaiting participants on Saturday, it feels right giving the ultimate advantage to a slightly healthier horse that showcased similar speed during the Kentucky Derby.
Oh, and another thing Good Magic has going for him: Post position No. 5 has had two Preakness winners since 2008—tied for most during that span with the No. 6 slot.
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