Picking the winner of a big race is always fun, but it is not always particularly rewarding financially. Always Dreaming won big at the Kentucky Derby, and he is set to go off as a pretty big favorite in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico this coming Saturday. His current odds sit at 4/5, which means you are not going to get a ton of value for your money.
If you are looking to cash in big without spending a ton of money, then you need to turn your attention to the exotics. There is the possibility of big payouts here, especially if you can get one of the longshot picks in the money, which is exactly what I think will happen this weekend. Let’s take a moment to break down some potential exotic picks.
Exacta, Trifecta & Superfecta Picks For 2017 Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes Exacta
There are some who believe that Always Dreaming (#4) is a certainty to win after his Kentucky Derby showing, but I am not so sure. Classic Empire (#5) had a horrible trip at Churchill Down, but still managed to get up late to finish 4th. We are looking at a much smaller field here, and that means less chance of getting bumped or stuck in traffic. With a clean ride, I think Classic Empire gets up to win, with Always Dreaming coming in second, giving us an exacta play of 4-5. This would not be a particularly big payout, so you may want to take a run at a longshot in hopes that he can spoil the party. I’m looking at Hence (#3) for reasons which I will explain shortly. If you play 3 horse, go with an exacta box of 3-4-5. If any of those 3 horses finish first and second, you win.
The Preakness Stakes Trifecta
Picking first and second correctly is tough, and it only gets more difficult when trying to go with the top 3. I think that Always Dreaming and Classic Empire look to be a shoe-in to land in the money, which means you need to pick a horse that will finish behind those two. The one that jumps out to me is Hence. You can look at his 11th place Derby finish and not be totally convinced of his ability, but he looked uncomfortable from the start, and did not seem to like the sloppy track. He had a big win at the Sunland Derby earlier this year, which came after a poor performance in his prior outing. Similar scenario here. I would add Lookin at Lee (#9) to create a 4-horse exacta box of 3-4-5-9.
The Preakness Stakes Superfecta
Now that we have our top 3 horses nailed down for the Preakness, we need to choose one more to add to our superfecta ticket. When I play the superfecta, I usually go with a 4-horse box, simply because it starts to get a little expensive when you add more. I would play the same 3-4-5-9 box as the trifecta, and may run a second ticket where I swap out Looking at Lee with Cloud Computing (#2).