The 1 3/16 miles Preakness Stakes is set to go on Saturday, May 18 from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. They'll be racing over the Pimlico dirt and chasing a total purse of $1.5 million. The 2019 Preakness Stakes futures for the favourites are:
- Improbable +150
- War of Will +250
- Alwaysmining +650
- Anothertwistafate +800
- Bourbon War +800
The winner of the Derby, Country House, won't be in the field and so there will be no Triple Crown champion in 2019, and neither will Maximum Security, the horse that crossed the line first in the Derby but was susequently DQd.
So while the race has lost some of its star power, it still boasts a soild field, and the addition of new horses coming off big wins elsewhere and a few horses that raced in the Derby qualifying series but just missed making it into the Derby gate adds to the challenge of picking the winner.
Final entries for the race and the post-position draw won't take place until Wednesday, May 15, but here's a look at the likely starters, with the Preakness Stakes betting odds now available in Bovada's online racebook.
Preakness Stakes Odds for Contenders
Improbable comes into the Preakness from a fifth-place finish in the Derby before he was moved up to fourth following the DQ of Maximum Security. One of three in the race trained by Bob Baffert, he actually went off as the race favorite at post-time with odds of +400. The question for him was and still remains if he can get the distance. He sat a pretty good trip off the leaders in the Derby and was out of trouble just off the lead with a quarter-mile to run and really made no impression. He gets a slight break in the distance here but has yet to win past 1 1/16 miles.
War Of Will (+250)
He was right in the middle of all the controversy in the Derby, where, depending how you look at it jockey Tyler Gafflione either saved the day when War Of Will and Maximum Security nearly became entangled, or he caused the problem himself by running up on the back of the leader. Either way, when all was said and done he seemed to have a clear shot at the lead but instead faded to eighth. Prior to the Derby he lost his footing and suffered a slight injury running ninth in the (G1) Louisiana Derby. We can give him an excuse there, but he needs to prove he's at the top of the three-year-old class.
A Maryland-bred colt, he's been based at Laurel Park for the past year, where he has run off a string of six consecutive wins. Last out he won the Federico Tesio Stakes by more than 11 lengths as the even-money favorite. In most of his races he has been beating up on the same competition, so the Preakness will be a big step up.
Sports a pair of recent runner-up finishes at the Grade 3 level after reeling off three consecutive wins on the all-weather surface at Golden Gate Fields. He was solid but not spectacular running second last out in the (G3) Lexington Stakes, and prior to that he was second by a neck in the (G3) Sunland Derby behind Cutting Humor, who went on to run 10th in the Derby.
Bourbon War (+800)
He'll go to the Preakness off a six-week break after running a somewhat dissappointing fourth in the (G1) Florida Derby where he was the pre-race second favorite. In a race won by Maximum Security, finishing just ahead of Bourbon War was Code Of Honor, second place finisher this past weekend in Kentucky. Prior to that Bourbon War was beaten just 3/4 lenght by Code Of Honor in the (G2) Fountain of Youth Stakes. He's a confirmed closer who will need some pace to run at to have a chance.
Preakness Stakes 2019 Odds for Long Shots
He only got into the Derby field because of the scratch of favorite Omaha Beach, and despite the fact he ultimately finished 13th he ran a very good race. He was fast out of the gate and right up on the early pace until he ran into all the traffic trouble where he had to be pulled up and subsequently dropped back through the field. His connections haven't decided if he'll enter, and he's still looking for his first career win.
Mr. Money (+1000)
He struggled in two starts in the Kentucky Derby qualifying series, so found himself racing in the (G1) Pat Day Mile in the Derby Day undercard instead. He rallied from mid-pack to get to the front and draw off to win by more than five lengths against a fairly solid field. He also posted by far the fastest speed figure of his career, and that kind of huge sudden improvement is sometimes a reason to be wary of a horse that may have just run the race of his life and won't be able to repeat the effort.
The surprise winner of the Lexington Stakes at odds of +1300, he showed a strong move on the turn to get up for the win from last place despite the fact there wasn't a lot of early pace in the race to help him out. Prior to that he was eighth in the (G2) Risen Star Stakes, his only other start at the stakes level in his eight-race career.
He just missed making the Derby field by finishing 22nd in the quaifying points races, so the Preakness may turn out to be the consolation prize. Third in the (G1) Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year, he has been in the money in six of seven lifetime starts, and has a win in the (G2) Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
Laughing Fox (+1600)
Sired by 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, he's done most of his running at Oaklawn Park, where he most recently won the inaugural Oaklawn Invitational Stakes where he made a long rally from the back of the pack to get up for the win.
Best Future Bet Value: Signalman
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