There are no odds out yet for the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. But there’s no question which horse will be the heavy horse betting odds favorite when the field for the May 21 race is finalized: Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. The Preakness field is limited to 14 horses. That Nyquist wins the race is -140 and no is even money. But exact pricing won’t be available until the field is set.
A Look at Nyquist to Win Preakness Stakes with Current Betting Odds
The bay son of Uncle Mo was to arrive at Pimlico on Monday in his quest to become racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion and second in as many years following American Pharoah’s popular triumph in 2015. Nyquist improved his record to 8-0 with a 1 1/4-length victory over Exaggerator in the Kentucky Derby, making him the first unbeaten Derby horse with as many wins since Majestic Prince in 1969. There were 380 possible exacta combinations. The $30.60 payoff was the lowest possible.
“What a horse,” Keith Desormeaux, the trainer for Exaggerator, said. “I can’t respect that horse enough.”
Nyquist became just the second Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner — a feat he accomplished in October at Keeneland — to win the Kentucky Derby, following Street Sense in 2006. Louisiana Derby winner Gun Runner ran third Saturday. Despite being shuffled back early and swinging six-wide late, Fountain of Youth winner Mohaymen ran a respectable fourth.
It was the fourth time in five years that a horse that trained in California has won the Kentucky Derby. And the three that preceded Nyquist in that span — I’ll Have Another (2012), California Chrome (2014) and American Pharoah (2015) — also won the Preakness Stakes.
Nyquist has taken on 71 horses so far and beaten them all. Exaggerator, who ran a terrific race to be second in the Derby, is 4-for-6 in races without Nyquist and 0-for-4 in races with Nyquist.
Nyquist earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 103 for his Derby victory, the best of his career thus far and comparable to the 105 assigned to American Pharoah’s victory last year. It was also a visually impressive race for Nyquist, who tracked in second place down the backstretch behind Danzing Candy, whose blistering pace of 45.72 seconds for the first half-mile doomed him coming around the final turn.
Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez also teamed up to win the Derby and Preakness in 2012 with I’ll Have Another before the horse was retired on the eve of the Belmont Stakes with a leg injury. O’Neill returned to Pimlico to finish fifth in the 2013 Preakness with Goldencents. I’ll Have Another is the only previous Preakness mount for Gutierrez, the lone jockey to win the Derby with each of his first two mounts. Nyquist came out of the Derby in good health.
“It doesn’t seem like we have ever really gotten to the bottom of him,” O’Neill said. “That’s very exciting about the future. And, again, like every other athlete, you just got to stay injury free.”