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Update: Getting Creative Betting The Preakness Stakes



Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The second jewel of horse racing’s triple crown, the Preakness Stakes, highlights an afternoon of racing on the NBC family of networks. Coverage from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland kicks off at 1:00pm on CNBC before shifting to NBC at 4:30pm.

The field for second jewel of the Triple Crown is highlighted by Kentucky Derby winner Mage, who would become the first horse since Justify in 2018 to win both the Derby and the Preakness. He’s the clear standout, but I do not think a win bet on him will provide much value. I am going to have to get creative here to get enough bang for my buck, so let’s dive deeper:




As I mentioned above, #3 Mage is the clear standout and is by far the most likely winner of this race. I would be very interested in betting him to win at 6/5 or higher, but I am expecting him to be odds-on. So, let’s try to get creative by using longshots underneath in the exacta and trifecta.

(Read More: Mage’s Routine at Pimlico)

I think the best way to create value in this race is to toss the 2nd and 3rd favorites, #1 National Treasure and #7 Blazing Sevens, from my wagers. Some bettors will gravitate towards National Treasure as he is trained by the famed Bob Baffert, but I am firmly against him in this spot. Baffert has a record-tying 7 wins in the Preakness, but each of those seven ran in the Kentucky Derby. National Treasure did not run in the Derby, and Baffert’s Preakness record with horses that did not compete in the Run for the Roses is an abysmal 0-for-6 with a best finish of 5th. I think National Treasure continues that streak and finishes in the back half of the field.

Some might see Blazing Sevens, who skipped the Derby despite having enough points to enter, as a good alternative to the top-3 choices. After all, trainer Chad Brown’s two Preakness winners – Cloud Computing in 2017 and Early Voting last year – both skipped the Derby as well. But those two horses are far more talented than Blazing Sevens, and this colt tends to throw in some clunkers, as evidenced by his 8th place finish in March’s Fountain of Youth. I am leaving him off my tickets and, for my wagering sake, hope he throws in another clunker in the Preakness.

(Read and Watch More: How to Watch the Preakness)

That leaves four longshots: #2 Chase the Chaos, #4 Coffeewithchris, #5 Red Route One, and #6 Perform. I am going to “part-wheel” these four underneath Mage, who will be keyed on top. I do not often recommend “wheeling” horses as it can make your tickets get very expensive very quickly, but I have concluded this should give me more bang for my buck than a simple “win” bet on Mage.

In the simplest terms, I need 2 things to happen– Mage to win and both National Treasure and Blazing Sevens to finish outside the top-3.


WIN: #3 Mage, at 6/5 or higher

EXACTA: 3 / 2,4,5,6

TRIFECTA: 3 / 2,4,5,6 / 2,4,5,6

Enjoy the Preakness on NBC and enjoy the sweat along with me.