Horse Racing Odds: 2024 Preakness Bets, Past Performances, No Sweat Win Bet Promo

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Written By Dave Bontempo | Last Updated
preakness bets

Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan is already a sentimental hero to horse-racing fans by entering Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. And now he’s going to be favored in the $2 million, 1 3/16-mile showcase, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown series, 2024 Preakness odds. Muth, initially installed as the 8-5 betting chalk, scratched from the Preakness Stakes Wednesday morning with a 103-degree fever. Mystik Dan, originally 5-2, will become the Preakness favorite and perhaps a prohibitive one. Here is a look at how I’ve assembled my Preakness bets for the 149th running.

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2024 Preakness Morning Line Odds

Gamblers can access the action, along with a day-long star-studded package at Pimlico Race Course, via FanDuel TV. A blockbuster 14-race card unfurls at 10:30 a.m. ET. Pimlico has the industry’s largest purse payout of more than $3.5 million on Saturday.

Post time is approximately 6:50 p.m. ET Saturday.

Here’s a look at the field. Your odds and potential payout on Preakness bets will shift and become official at post time, per pari-mutuel regulations. New to racing? Learn how to bet on the Preakness on your phone.

Post PositionHorseMorning-Line OddsTrainerJockey
1.Mugatu20-1Jeff EnglerJoe Bravo
2.Uncle Heavy20-1Butch Reid Jr.Irad Ortiz Jr.
3.Catching Freedom6-1Brad CoxFlavien Prat
4.MuthSCRBob BaffertJuan Hernandez
5.Mystik Dan5-2Kenny McPeekBrian Hernandez Jr.
6.Seize the Gray15-1D. Wayne LukasJaime Torres
7. Just Steel15-1D. Wayne LukasJoel Rosario
8.Tuscan Gold8-1Chad BrownTyler Gaffalione
9.Imagination6-1Bob BaffertFrankie Dettori

Preakness Scores Coup By Landing Kentucky Derby Winner

Recent Preakness history has not been kind to Kentucky Derby winners.

The scratch of Muth, sad as it is to the horse-racing community, brings an additional element into play. Mystik Dan, who lost to Muth by five lengths in the Arkansas Derby, now has a better chance to win the Preakness and compete for a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on June 8.

That would make him the first to do the trick since Justify in 2018. Horse racing went through a 37-year Triple Crown drought until American Pharoah triumphed in 2015, and Justify soon followed.

Authentic appeared in the 2020 Preakness after winning the Derby, but that was during the COVID-induced schedule shuffling. The Preakness was held on Oct. 3, four weeks after the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby, and there was no Triple Crown chase as Tiz the Law had won the Belmont Stakes in June.

Kentucky Derby horses have begun bypassing the traditional Preakness, held just two weeks after the Run for the Roses, whenever connections consider the schedule too demanding on young animals. Owners also eye the lucrative stud fees linked with top horses and seek to avoid either an injury or sub-par major-race performance that would dampen that value.

That could change this year. If Mystik Dan wins here, he can vie for a unique Triple Crown, as the Belmont Stakes runs June 8 at Saratoga Race Course while renovations are ongoing at the event’s home track.

Monitor The Weather In Baltimore

Showers are expected on Saturday. Their severity will determine whether the track is listed as fast, good, or sloppy (which is tiring and heavy).

Mystik Dan won his first big race of the year, the Southwest, in slop. If rain falls heavily, he might become further chalk.

The Empire Strikes Back?

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whose horses were not allowed in the Derby while he serves a suspension in Kentucky, initially entered two horses in Muth and Imagination. Baffert seeks to extend his Preakness record to nine victories. 

Imagination, who is still scheduled to run, is expected to be the early pacesetter.

Past Performances For Potential Preakness Bets

1. Mugatu (20-1)

Does not inspire much confidence, but connections seek as much bang as possible for their horse. Has one victory in 13 tries, at maiden company. Rallied from last to fifth in the Blue Grass, won by Sierra Leone, and did beat Seize The Grey, who is entered here. Not normally a pace factor. Chances are remote.

2. Uncle Heavy (20-1)

Tries to rebound from the Bookend Back Break in the Wood Memorial. Dug an early hole by breaking a step slow from the far-outside 13 post. Made a strong middle move but was forced outside around the turn.  He was later next to Deposition, who fell but was unharmed in the stretch. The fall nonetheless wiped horses in that area out of the race. Uncle Heavy finished a troubled fifth, never in the hunt.

Gamblers will consider how much a better break helps him here. He is a closer, which is not to his advantage. And the scintillating Withers triumph, a photo-finish beauty, came over El Grande O, who did not quite cut Triple Crown mustard.

Gets Irad Ortiz Jr. for the first time, a jockey upgrade.

3. Catching Freedom (6-1)

Kentucky Derby fourth-place finish looks better in retrospect. He did not break straight, probably losing a couple lengths out of the gate. Ran strongly but was still passed in the stretch by Sierra Leone.

Would not have to improve much to get back to his Louisiana Derby-winning form, which unfolded at this exact distance. He is the only entry to win at 1 3/16 miles and can run well in the slop.

The drawback is that he may need a speed duel to run into.

5. Mystik Dan (5-2)

Gets a break in that one of Baffert’s new shooters won’t be here. Has he just been handed the Preakness? Or is he simply going to have to accomplish it against a different Baffert horse?

In a shorter field, he has an even better chance to be near the pace to make a run. Instead of trying to shoot past Muth, he’s likely to be chasing Imagination, who is usually in the front.

Has already formed the outlines of a budding 2024 Eclipse Award. He romped in the Southwest as an 11-1 underdog, ran a beaten third to Muth in the Arkansas Derby, and then won the Kentucky Derby at 18-1 in one of the most thrilling finishes in the 150-year history of the Run for the Roses.

Unless Seize the Grey decides to pepper Imagination, he won’t have any horse doing the set-up work for him.

6. Seize the Grey (15-1)

Wonder if we will see a change of tactics from him to impact the pace of this race. He was nowhere to be seen in the Blue Grass, finishing a distant seventh to Sierra Leone after running in that slot the entire race.

Switched to a frontrunning mode in the much cheaper Pat Day Mile and prevailed at 9-1, sitting just off a blistering 44.54 half mile. It’s possible that he’s a good horse who simply can’t break through at this level and distance.

If connections repeat the Pat Day Mile strategy, he could keep the race honest for a closer.

7. Just Steel (15-1)

Has run strong seconds to Muth, Mystik Dan and Catching Freedom in separate races before turning in a dull 17th in the Kentucky Derby. Typically a stalker or middle-of-the-pack horse, it was puzzling that Just Steel was on the lead in the Derby.

This is a redemption opportunity two weeks later at a shorter distance. On his best, he could stalk and hit the bottom of the superfecta board. But the son of Justify has never won at longer than 6 1/2 furlongs.

8. Tuscan Gold (8-1)

Superb stalking effort in the Louisiana Derby, netting third behind Catching Freedom and Honor Marie at this exact 1 3/16-mile distance. He had plenty of run at the end after gaining a perfect setup, sitting behind pacesetter Track Phantom. He was outrun clearly by Catching Freedom in the last 200 yards. Tuscan Gold may need a small improvement to turn the tables.

9. Imagination (6-1)

Bettors won’t have to use their imagination to picture Muth’s stablemate as a major threat.

The exhilarating at-the-wire finish was just enough to outlast Wine Me Up in the San Felipe. Came up just shy in the Santa Anita Derby, finishing second to Stronghold. Gave bettors a thrill down the stretch each time.

One could look at Stronghold’s seventh-place Kentucky Derby finish and believe Imagination can’t cut the Preakness mustard. But he’s a good stalking-type horse and went 1:11.80 with Muth for a recent six-furlong workout at Santa Anita.

Look for him on the lead. Baffert’s horse National Treasure prevailed in frontrunning fashion in the 2023 Preakness. If nobody contests him early, he should be there at the end.

Pace SCenarios

Before placing Preakness bets, you must consider the pace.

This looks like a positioning-and-propulsion race. Jockeys figure to get their horses in the right spot, relax, and then try to win down the lane.

There does not appear to be a pace scenario bothering Imagination. Seize the Grey could create a variable if he sought the lead this time.

My Preakness Bets

Muth was my pick here. Now, I see Imagination to the front, Mystik Dan coming to get him late. Exacta box (5-9).

I love Catching Freedom in the picture after his Derby trip. He could easily join these two. Trifecta box (5-9-3) for $1 apiece ($6 total).

My favorite four horses are 3-5-9-8 (adds Tuscan Gold). Is it worth a 50-cent trifecta or superfecta box? We’ll see.

I hesitate mid-week because exotics payouts in the Preakness are notoriously small. This requires a more narrow conviction, influenced by post-parade evaluation. History of Preakness payouts suggests just that.

Uncle Heavy (2) may now have a chance hit the superfecta board.

Good luck with all of your Preakness bets. It’s a shame the race got changed, but we can always find something to play!

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