Bet on the Preakness Stakes

Bet on the Preakness Stakes

World famous to race fans as the second leg of the American Triple Crown of racing, the Preakness Stakes is run at Baltimore, Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course every year on the third Saturday of May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby is run at Churchill Downs. The Preakness Stakes is scheduled for May 18, 2024, so now is the time to learn how to bet the Preakness Stakes!

The race is open to three-year old Thoroughbred horses and is run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles (9 1/2 furlongs) on the Pimlico dirt track. The race was first run in 1873 at a distance of 1 ½ miles, with Survivor the first winner. The distance has varied between one mile and 1 ½ miles over its history, though has been at its current distance of 1 3/16 miles since 1925, making it a bona fide tradition. The winner gets the lion’s share of a $2 million purse, the blanket of black-eyed susans, and a place in horse racing history!

Keep reading this Preakness Stakes betting guide to find out how to bet on the Preakness Stakes, and where to bet the race online from the comfort of your own home!

Online Betting: Preakness Stakes Guide

Your best option for betting on the Preakness Stakes is to bet the race online.

Betting the Preakness Stakes online is more convenient than going to the track. You no longer have to deal with Preakness Stakes day crowds.If you’re at home or on the go, as long as you have an internet connection, you can place your bet safely and securely from your phone, tablet, or computer. All of our recommended online sportsbooks are open to Maryland-based bettors and offer real Vegas odds, trusted payouts, and great user experiences.

These online racebooks also offer online sportsbook bonuses that you will never find at the track. Lucrative benefits only offered online include horse racing rebates, promo codes, sign-up and deposit bonuses, or referral incentives for betting with your friends. Take a few minutes now to find out which bonuses will make you the most money, and be ready to maximize your profits on the Preakness, as well as horse racing and sports betting all year long!

Combining competitive odds and the convenience of wagering from your home computer or mobile device, our recommended racebook partners listed below provide racing fans with the best way to get in on the action when you can't get to the track.

* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on
thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!

Preakness History

The Preakness Stakes has been run since 1873, and was named after the first-ever stakes winner at Pimlico: Preakness, who won the 1870 Dinner Party Stakes. Though the race was contested in New York for a few years in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it has been run at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland for most of its history and has become a major part of Maryland racing lore.

Preakness-Winning Stars

Thirteen Preakness-winning horses need no introduction: from Sir Barton in 1919 through Justify in 2018, through other stars like War Admiral, Citation, and Secretariat, all of the Triple Crown winners have won the Preakness as part of that path.

One of the most interesting storylines of the Preakness Stakes concerns the 1973 victory of the great Secretariat. Although he won the race, there was a malfunction with the electronic timer, and he was awarded a time of 1:54.2, two-fifths of a second off the race record, and the only record he did not break in his Triple Crown campaign. However, for the next 39 years his
connections lobbied the Maryland Racing Commission for a review, and in 2012, the use of modern digital technology, and testimony by those who had hand-timed the race, led to the winning time being changed to a record 1:53, giving Secretariat the record times for all three legs of the Triple Crown, a distinction the big red colt holds to this day.

Man O’ War is another one of the most fascinating Preakness winners. Though some argue Man O’ War rivals Secretariat as the greatest horse in the history of the American turf, Man O’ War bypassed the Kentucky Derby to begin his three-year-old season in the Preakness. He won with authority, turning the tables on Upset (the only horse ever to beat him), and set the stage for an undefeated sophomore season.

Playing the Preakness Stakes Betting Odds

With a chance at racing immortality as a Triple Crown winner, the Kentucky Derby champ is almost always the favorite to win the Preakness Stakes. Occasionally they are not: for example: Derby winner Rich Strike did not run in the 2022 Preakness, and in 2009 the filly Rachel Alexandra won the Kentucky Oaks so impressively that she was favored over Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. But, the Kentucky Derby winner is usually the Preakness favorite.

But history has shown the Derby winner doesn't always repeat in the Preakness. Favorites have done well in the Preakness, winning about half the time: this is more often than they win in other Triple Crown races. However, in the first ten years since the advent of the points system in 2013, only three of the ten favorites won the Preakness.

What does this mean? Do not be afraid of betting on Preakness Stakes price horses! In the points era more than ever, betting on Preakness Stakes longshots can make you money.

These are the Preakness Stakes Betting odds as of April 30, 2024:

Forever YoungTBATBATBA
Catching FreedomTBATBATBA

Preakness Stakes Betting Tips

As you get ready to bet the Preakness Stakes, there are some things you can keep in mind even before the field for the Preakness Stakes is finalized. That does not happen until after they finish running the Kentucky Derby, but certain historical trends tend to hold year in and year out. Learning those now can give you a head start on Preakness Stakes betting.

Preakness Stakes Odds

Favorites have won the Preakness Stakes about half the time. This is a better strike rate throughout its history than either the Kentucky Derby or the Belmont Stakes. Historically speaking, Preakness winners come into the race off of a good effort, and if the favorite looks like the goods, often they are.

But, favorites have still lost just under half the time across the history of the Preakness. Looking in the first ten years of the points system, more clouds have begun to float over Preakness chalk. In that time, three favorites won the race. The other seven winners were not favored, including two of the ten longest shots in the race’s history, Oxbow and Cloud Computing. In short, if there is a long shot you can make a good argument for, there is value in taking a shot.

Preakness Stakes Pace

There’s a saying in horse racing, the pace makes the race, and that matters in the Preakness Stakes. Though the idea of the “tight Pimlico turns” is a myth, it is true that horses with tactical speed tend to have an advantage in the Preakness. Unless there is enough one-way speed for the pace to fall apart, a horse who does not have too many lengths to close up in the final half-mile is in good position to win.

So, when handicapping the Preakness, look for horses who can sit close to the pace. Unless multiple horses in the field have sharp early speed and need to be forward (which would then set it up for a closer), lean toward those horses with a stalking gear on the win end, and consider the late runners for underneath shares of exactas, trifectas, and superfectas.

Preakness Stakes Connections

Trainers and jockeys who have a proven track record of success in the Preakness know what it takes to prepare their horses for this 1 3/16-mile classic, and prepare them for the raucous crowd that inevitably shows up for the Preakness Stakes.

Among active trainers, none have a better record than Bob Baffert. Baffert has won the second leg of the Triple Crown eight times during his career, most recently in 2023 with National Treasure. That is the most wins in Preakness Stakes history. Other currently active trainers who are always dangerous in the Preakness include D. Wayne Lukas, a six-time winner, and Chad Brown, who has won twice.

Jockeys who have won the Preakness more than once, likewise, may offer an advantage because they have proven that they can coax the best out of multiple horses over Pimlico’s demanding mile and three sixteenths. Among jockeys who are still riding, Kent Desormeaux and Victor Espinoza have won the race three times, while Mike Smith and Javier Castellano have done so twice.

2024 Best Bets for Preakness Stakes

As the Preakness Stakes draws closer, the field will take shape and we will offer final Preakness Stakes betting tips. Though the field does not take shape until after the Kentucky Derby, however, it is not too early to think about some of the more likely Preakness Stakes contenders so you can start forming your idea of how to bet the Preakness Stakes.

Typically Preakness contenders are either horses who ran well in the Kentucky Derby, or horses who had to bypass the Kentucky Derby either for scheduling or points reasons.

Kentucky Derby horses in the Preakness

The winner of the Kentucky Derby usually races in the Preakness, as do a handful of other horses from the Kentucky Derby, typically ones who run well.

The likely favorite for the 2024 Kentucky Derby is Fierceness, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner in 2023. He won the Florida Derby (G1) impressively, though his form has been hit or miss. He has the speed to run well at Pimlico, but Todd Pletcher will probably not run him in the Preakness unless he wins the Derby

Sierra Leone is also likely to be a slim second favorite in the Kentucky Derby, and has a strong chance in the Run for the Roses. He is a closer, meaning he would need some pace in front of him in order to win at Pimlico. However, he has class, stamina, and the ability to sustain a very strong run.

Other horses who are expected to be the leading contenders in the Kentucky Derby, and who should be well bet in the Preakness if they run well in Louisville, include Catching Freedom and Forever Young.

Preakness Stakes New Shooters

Horses who did not run in the Kentucky Derby have done well in recent editions of the Preakness Stakes. The last three Preakness winners, and four of the last six, did not run in the Kentucky Derby.

The likely favorite in the 2024 Preakness Stakes is Muth. Muth is unable to contest the Kentucky Derby because his trainer, Bob Baffert, cannot run horses at Churchill Downs. However, he won the Preakness in 2023 with National Treasure after not being able to run that horse in the Derby for the same reason. Muth has dominated graded-stakes races on the Santa Anita spur of the Derby trail and should be tough in the Preakness.

Other horses in the Preakness earn their way there by winning a dedicated Preakness Stakes prep. Rombauer took that route in 2021; he won the El Camino Real at Golden Gate, took a final prep in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland, then romped in Baltimore.

Horses who won berths in the Preakness include Endlessly, in the El Camino Real at Golden Gate, Copper Tax, who won the Federico Tesio at Laurel, and Informed Patriot, winner of the Bathhouse Row at Oaklawn. Endlessly is expected to race in the Kentucky Derby first since he won 100 points in the Jeff Ruby Steaks; he is trained by Michael McCarthy, who also trained Rombauer. Copper Tax and Informed Patriot will not run at Churchill Downs.

Patriot Spirit also earned a $20,000 incentive toward his Preakness entry fee after winning the Illinois Derby. However, he is not nominated to the Triple Crown and his connections would have to supplement him at a price of $150,000.