The Kentucky Derby winner will not start in the Preakness for the first time in 23 years.
Country House, who was awarded the victory in the Run for the Roses earlier this month because of a disqualification to the winner, will miss the second jewel of the Triple Crown due to sickness.
“He’s off the training list, and if he’s off the training list, he’s off the Preakness list,” said his trainer, Bill Mott.
That leaves the field and the Preakness Stakes 2019 Odds wide open, with about 10 runners expected to enter the starting gate on Saturday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Curse in Baltimore, Maryland. The Run for the Lazy Susans is the 13th race on the card and is scheduled to go off at 6:48 p.m. ET.
The Bob Baffert-trained Improbable (+175), who finished fourth as the public’s choice in the Derby, is the current favorite in the Latest Odds Preakness Stakes. Laughing Fox (+2000), who has won three-of-five races this season, is the longest shot on the board (odds provided by Bovada).
Many bettors walked away disappointed after the controversial finish in the Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security, the second favorite, was disqualified for interference as the field of 19 three-year-olds turned for home. The colt was placed 17th, handing the victory to 65-1 long shot Country House.
Here’s your chance for redemption in the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes. Triple Crown races gain worldwide attention, so the betting pools are huge. Talented fields and unpredictable results often lead to generous payoffs. This year’s version of the Preakness will be no different as there isn’t an overwhelming favorite in the field.
The Preakness Stakes Betting Odds will change as post time approaches, but the Bovada future odds are fixed if you make your bet before race day.
The current race favorite finished fourth in the Derby two weeks ago. Improbable (+175) will gain a lot of attention since he’s trained by Hall of Famer and two-time Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert. Also, only three of the past 16 Preakness winners have paid more than $8.80 to win, while the Preakness favourite has won 13 of the last 32 races.
The 175 after a plus sign is the amount of profit a bettor earns on a $100 bet. So, in this example, a $100 bet on Improbable would return $275 ($100 bet + $175 profit = $275 total return). A $10 bet would return $27.50 ($10 bet + $17.50 profit = $27.50 total return).
Bovada also offers prop bets on the prestigious race, with one of the most popular wagers being “margin of victory” by the winning horse.
In addition to Maximum Security and Country House, connections to Code of Honor and Tacitus have all joined in passing on the Preakness, marking the first time since 1951 that the first four horses across the wire in the Derby won’t run back at Pimlico.
The post position draw for the Preakness field will likely include four other horses that raced in the Derby — Improbable, War of Will, Win Win Win and Bodexpress. They get their starting post assignments on Wednesday, May 15.
Some of the non-Derby starters expected in the field include Alwaysmining, who comes into this event on a six-race winning streak. Let’s take a look at the top four contenders, including each horse’s career record, and try to pick the winner of the race which will be run at its traditional distance of 1-3/16 miles (Preakness Stakes Betting Odds provided by Bovada):
(3-2-0 in 6 starts) The son of City Zip has been favored in all three starts this year and has yet to reach the winner’s circle. Mike Smith, who won the Triple Crown with Justify last year, will ride the colt for the first time. Trainer Bob Baffert, who will try for his record-breaking eighth victory in this historic race, said he thought Improbable “ran very well” in the Derby. “When he finally got loose he made a little run.”
(3-1-1 in 9 starts) Many believe Maximum Security was the best horse and shouldn’t have been disqualified in the Derby. “For all the people that said he shouldn’t have come down, did War of Will need to fall for them to take him down?” said Mark Casse, his trainer. “Because that’s about as close as you’re going to get to it.” The son of War Front had little room to run in the Derby. When he finally made his move, he was forced to check hard at the top of the stretch. Casse said he’s just hoping for a clean trip in the Preakness. “I just would want to go there to try to win. I just think War of Will’s an extremely good horse.”
(7-0-1 in 12 starts) The speedy son of Stay Thirsty has won six races in a row at nearby Laurel Park, gradually increasing his distance to nine furlongs in his last victory. Alwaysmining’s last five wins have come in stakes races, but he has yet to face the big boys in graded company. Trained by former teacher Kelly Rubley, Alwaysmining has been dazzling in his recent efforts. This is certainly the biggest race of his life.
(2-1-0 in 5 starts) This son of Tapit has only had five lifetime starts, so he is still learning the game. He finished second behind Code of Honor in the Fountain of Youth Stakes in March and fourth in the Florida Derby behind Maximum Security in April. Trained by Mark Henning, Bourbon War likes to race from off the pace, so he will need an honest pace to have a shot in the Preakness which usually favors the frontrunners.
Pick — Improbable (+175). The formidable combination of Baffert and Smith should put this colt in a prime position to capture a piece of racing glory. There’s no more excuses for Improbable, especially in a field smaller than the Derby. It’s time for this promising three-year-old to win his first race of 2019 and earn Baffert his record Preakness victory.
The race can be viewed online with the NBC Sports App and streamed live on NBCsports.com/live and fuboTV.
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