Can Secret Oath Continue Recent Run Of Winning Preakness Fillies?

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on May 19, 2022
Preakness filly secret oath

With 80-1 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike not running in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the focus has shifted to other storylines. Perhaps chief among them: how will 2022 Preakness filly Secret Oath perform as the only female horse in 2022 Preakness odds? Preakness Stakes fillies, after a long stretch of not running, have recently become more of a factor.

Let’s take a look at the history.

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Preakness Stakes Fillies: A Tale Of Two Eras

First, it’s important to note that while fillies do have some history of success at the Preakness — six have won the marquee race at Pimlico Race Course — much of that came in the very early history of the race.

Four fillies won the Preakness prior to 1925. However, in those days, the Preakness was shorter. It moved to 1 3/16 miles in 1925, where it has remained. Furthermore, two of those winners came between 1890 and 1908, when the Preakness took place at a different track.

The modern history of the Preakness begins in 1925. Fillies, which had run frequently in the prior years, continued to be regular participants for the next 15 years. They did not perform well, however. Seven ran, but none of them won or placed. Here’s a look at their results.

Perhaps discouraged by the poor results, trainers and owners became reluctant to run their fillies in the years that followed — many years that followed. No filly ran again until 1980.

1925Maid At Arms5-111th
1927Fair Star20-16th
1935Nellie Flag5-17th
1937Jewell Dorsett119-18th

Modern Preakness Fillies Back In Contention

Genuine Risk entered the Preakness in 1980 riding high after a Kentucky Derby win. She went off as the favorite — a first since 1922 — but Codex relegated her to second.

Not quite a decade later, Winning Colors went off as a 9-5 favorite but finished third.

After Excellent Meeting logged a DNF in 1999 following an injury, Rachel Alexandra ended the decades-long Preakness fillies drought in 2009. Going off as a 9-5 favorite, she became the first Kentucky Oaks winner to also take the Preakness, besting Derby winner Mine That Bird, whose late charge ran out of runway to finish second. Rachel Alexandra led nearly the entire way.

Swiss Skydiver made it two fillies to win the Preakness in modern times with a 2020 victory at a more unlikely 11-1 when she held off the heavily favored Authentic.

All told, that makes six fillies running the Preakness Stakes since 1980. Four of them at least showed, with another coming up injured. Their success has perhaps contributed to the early lines showing plenty of respect to 2022 Preakness filly Secret Oath. Can she continue to build on the recent history of success by Preakness fillies?

1980Genuine Risk2-12nd
1988Winning Colors9-53rd
1999Excellent Meeting7-1DNF
2009Rachel Alexandra9-5Won
2014Ria Antonia19-110th
2020Swiss Skydiver11-1Won

Dave Bontempo’s Preakness Picks

Full 2022 Preakness Stakes Field, Odds

PostHorseTrainerJockeyML odds
1SimplificationAntonio SanoJohn Velazquez6/1
2Creative MinsterKenny McPeekBrian Hernandez10/1
3FenwickKevin McKathanFlorent Geroux50/1
4Secret OathChad BrownJose Ortiz9/2
5Early VotingD. Wayne LukasLuis Saez7/2
6Happy JackDoug O'NeillTyler Gaffalione30/1
7ArmagnacTim YakteenIrad Ortiz12/1
8EpicenterSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario6/5
9SkippylongstockingSaffie Joseph Jr. Junior Alvarado20/1
Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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