The 142nd Kentucky Derby is now in the books, and it was a race that was totally dominated by the morning line favorite Nyquist. There is already talk that we might well have another Triple Crown winner on our hands, but anyone who follows racing knows that there is an awful lot of work still to be done before Nyquist can stake that claim. The next challenge will come at the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore on Saturday, May 21st, and the early signs are that this is going to be another big field. There are 18 horses listed for the race, although that number may drop if trainers decide that they will be sitting their horses out of this one.
The early odds have already been released for the Preakness, and it’s no real surprise that Nyquist has been made the favorite. Let’s take a quick look at the Preakness betting odds breakdown, keeping in mind that these may change in the next couple of weeks.
Early Preakness Stakes Horse Race Odds
— Preakness Stakes (@PreaknessStakes) May 10, 2016
Nyquist is in as the favorite at 5-7, and it seems unlikely that his odds will go above EVENS before the race begins. The horses that finished right behind Nyquist are also slated to be in the Preakness, and it’s no real shock to see that they are going off at pretty decent odds. Derby runner-up Exaggerator is in at 9-2, while third place finisher Gun Runner is 14-1 in the early odds. Splitting those two horses is the Todd Pletcher trained Stradivari who did not run in the Derby, but who is considered a solid challenger at 12-1.
The Slight Outsiders
While it’s hard to consider a horse a light outsider when it’s sitting at double digit odds, that is in fact the case when you have such a heavy favorite. There are a bunch of horses who fit that bill for the Preakness, many of whom had a run at the Kentucky Derby. You have Suddenbreakingnews 14-1, Creator 16-1, Destin 16-1, and Mor Spirit 16-1 in that group, and while none of them made a major impact in the Run for the Roses, a different track and a different distance can sometimes change things dramatically. At 1 3/16 miles, the Preakness is a half furlong shorter than the Derby, and while that may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, it can in fact be a game changer.
The Big Underdogs
The remaining horses in the field are all listed at 20-1 or higher, but should not be dismissed out of hand. Many of these horses – Outwork 20-1, Lani 33-1, etc. – figured in the Kentucky Derby, which means they have the class to make an impact in this race. With a field this large, anything can happen, and that can open the door for one of the outsiders to make a name for themselves.
We are going to follow the events of the next couple of weeks and monitor all the news out of Pimlico. We will have a better look at the horses and what to expect from them in the Preakness a little closer to race day, so be sure to check back in.