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 racetrack 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 20, 2023, 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 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.

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, 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 Preakness profits!

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 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 25, 2023:

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

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 the Preakness Stakes.

So, when handicapping the Preakness Stakes, 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 was disqualified from the Kentucky Derby this year, making it questionable whether he will run a horse in the Preakness. But, even so, it is worth keeping an eye out for multi-time Preakness-winning trainers such as Chad Brown, D. Wayne Lukas, or Steve Asmussen.

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.

2023 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 favorite for the 2023 Kentucky Derby is Forte, the 2022 champion juvenile colt who has run impressively in two points races at age three. If he wins the Kentucky Derby, trainer Todd Pletcher will likely run him back in the Preakness and he will be the favorite. However, if Forte loses in the Run for the Roses then Pletcher will probably route him to a later race.

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 Tapit Trice, Kingsbarns, Practical Move, and Derma Sotogake. The latter three, in particular, have the kind of tactical speed that plays well at Pimlico.

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.

Some of the new faces in the Preakness ran in Kentucky Derby prep races but did not earn enough points to punch their ticket to the Run for the Roses. Mandarin Hero ran an excellent second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) behind Practical Move, but those 40 points were not enough to get him into the field. First Mission, a later bloomer, won the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in April but that earned him only 20 points, far from the Kentucky Derby line.

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.

Chase the Chaos earned a bid to the 2023 Preakness with a victory in the El Camino Real. Other horses who have Preakness berths because of such races are Perform, who won the Federico Tesio at Laurel; and Red Route One, who won the Bath House Row at Oaklawn. Red Route One has held his own against real Derby prospects, though whether he goes to the Preakness depends on whether Disarm (owned and trained by the same people) runs well enough in the Derby to be Preakness-bound.