Preakness Stakes Betting Guide

Odds, Analysis And Picks For 2020

The Preakness Stakes is the third leg of the 2020 Triple Crown after being rescheduled to Saturday, Oct. 3. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes on June 20 and he finished runner-up in the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. However, Tiz the Law will skip the Preakness and run next in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 7 at Keeneland. The Preakness Stakes draw was completed Sept. 28 and Kentucky Derby winner Authentic was made the 9/5 morning line favorite with Art Collector (5/2) the second choice.

In another change to Triple Crown races, the Preakness Stakes joins the Belmont Stakes as a “Win and You’re In” qualifying race to the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

Trainer Bob Baffert is the leading trainer in Triple Crown history with 16 victories after winning his record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby with Authentic. He is tied for the most wins in the Preakness with seven victories and his last two winners won the Triple Crown – Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015).

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Preakness Stakes post positions and odds

Post PositionHorseOpening Odds (2020)JockeyLast Race
1Excession30/1Sheldon Russell2nd in Rebel Stakes
2Mr. Big News12/1Gabriel Saez3rd in Kentucky Derby (G1)
3Art Collector5/2Brian Hernandez Jr.1st in Ellis Derby
4Swiss Skydiver6/1Robby Albarado2nd in Kentucky Oaks (G1)
5Thousand Words6/1Florent Geroux1st in Shared Belief
6Jesus' Team30/1Jevian Toledo3rd in Jim Dandy (G2)
7Ny Traffic15/1Horacio Karamanos8th in Kentucky Derby (G1)
8Max Player15/1Paco Lopez5th in Kentucky Derby (G1)
9Authentic9/5John Velazquez1st in Kentucky Derby (G1)
10Pneumatic20/1Joe Bravo1st in Pegasus Stakes
11Liveyourbeastlife30/1Trevor McCarthy2nd in Jim Dandy (G2)

Where to bet the Preakness Stakes and race schedule

The 145th Preakness Stakes is set for Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Here is more information and tips on betting the Preakness Stakes, and how you can watch and wager on this year’s event.

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC
  • Tablet, Online, Mobile: NBC Sports App and streamed live on and fuboTV
  • Track & Location: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Distance: 1 3/16 miles (9 furlongs) – since 1925
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Horses: 3-Year-Old Thoroughbreds
  • Track Record: Secretariat  (1:53.00 in 1973)
  • Largest Margin of Victory: Smarty Jones (11 lengths in 2004)

The Preakness post-position draw is Monday, Sept. 28, and Preakness oddsmaker Keith Fuestle will set the odds immediately after the draw. The field is limited to a maximum of 14 starters, but the only years the Preakness starting gate was filled to capacity were 2011, 2005, and 1992.

Fans can wager legally at racetracks, simulcast centers such as Off Track Betting (OTB) Centers, and on advanced deposit wagering platforms such as TVGBetAmerica and TwinSpires, where bettors in 31 states can legally bet on horse races from their mobile devices and web browsers. You can also wager on horse racing legally in the state of Nevada at the hundreds of casinos with race and sportsbooks.

Horse racing wagers and bets

In addition to the traditional “straight” wagers (Win, Place, Show), fans can also attempt to cash big in the various “exotic” pools. Exacta (top two finishers), Trifecta (top three), Superfecta (top four), and Super High Five (top five) wagering are all offered, and cashing a ticket in any of these pools can produce a bigger payday.

  • Win: Bet on the horse you think you will win the Kentucky Derby.
  • Place: Get paid the place price if your horse finishes first or second.
  • Show: A show bet pays the least, but you win and get paid the show price if your horse finishes first, second or third.
  • Exacta: Predict the first two horses in the correct order.
  • Trifecta: Predict the first three horses in the correct order.
  • Superfecta: Predict the first four horses in the correct order.
  • Super High Five: Predict the first five horses in the correct order.

The Preakness Stakes betting odds are finally determined by the pari-mutuel system at the track which means your potential payout depends on how much money is in the pot overall, divided by how many bets are placed. The odds will fluctuate in the build-up to the race and never more so than in the final few moments before post time.

Picking a Preakness winner

There are many ways to handicap a horse race, and there is no shortage of opinions or angles when it comes to the handicapping the Preakness Stakes following the Kentucky Derby results.  From a beginner’s betting guide to the most sophisticated tools for informed handicappers, there are many pieces of information and betting guides to assist you in identifying a potential Preakness winner and narrowing the list of top contenders.

  • Handicapping horses and the races takes much time, research and intuition. Beyond studying past performance charts and horse stats, speed figures, class ratings, tracks and bias, jockey and trainer stats, horse pedigree and even post position (Preakness draw is Wednesday, Sept. 30), a handicapper has to have insight and ability to find various ways to identify horses that are ready to win. That’s especially true in a ‘normal’ year for the Derby horses that are running in the Preakness with just a two-week recovery. But the 2020 races are four weeks apart. You can review race videos, tracks, surfaces or find horses that had troubled trips in recent races. But it’s important to distill information that can help you identify horses that may offer some value next time out or others in good form or improving that can provide value wagering opportunities.
  • Races and horses should be backed based on positive attributes and not as a result of who’s the best of the worst. As you study some of the betting guides and training tools, you’ll become better prepared and equipped to analyze races in a more meaningful way. That includes the Preakness Stakes along with the Kentucky Derby and the prep races leading up to the Derby. Understanding ‘how’ a horse has run leading up to a race versus the far less important ‘where’ the horse finishes and ‘what’ time he/she completed their recent races will help you become more proficient.
  • Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Preakness a record-tying 7 times (D. Wayne Lucas) including in 2015 with American Pharoah and 2018 with Justify, who both went on to win the Triple Crown. Baffert is the trainer for both Authentic and Thousand Words in the 2020 race Preakness.

These sections below will be updated with additional horses and information as more runners are confirmed for the Preakness Stakes.

Front runners and “need the lead”

The pace often makes the race, and the Preakness will be no different. The horses that “need the lead” or will be forwardly placed and pressing the pace include two leading contenders and favorites Authentic and Art Collector. They will be joined up front by filly Swiss Skydiver.

Stalkers ready to pounce

With Tiz the Law opting to not run in the Preakness, there is one less top contender looking to stalk and pounce.  Ny Traffic may make up more ground as he did when closing in on Authentic in the Haskell before losing by a nose.

Value Horses

Thousand Words and Ny Traffic going off at higher odds provides some horses with some value below the top tier runners. Art Collector moves up as the second choice with Tiz the Law out, but sharp horse players believe he’s a real shooter after missing the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Bob Baffert is going for his record eighth Preakness win and will have two chances with Authentic and Thousand Words both leading contenders.

Last year, War of Will was identified on these pages as a value horse and he pulled the upset and won at 6/1 odds.

The Preakness has been dominated in recent years by horses who set or press/stalk the pace, but most of the time those were simply the best horses like Justify, American Pharoah, California Chrome, Big Brown and the filly Rachel Alexandra. Exaggerator was able to come from well off a hotly-contested pace to win the 2016 Preakness. An improving 3-year-old or fresher and talented colt like Art Collector or Thousand Words may be able to pull another upset, but not at odds like Clould Computing (13/1) in 2017 or Oxbow (15/1) in 2013.

Preakness Stakes history and results

YearWinnerPost OddsTimeJockeyTrainer
2020Swiss Skydiver411/11:53.28
2019War of Will16/11:54.34Tyler GaffalioneMark Casse
2018Justify71/21:55:93Mike SmithBob Baffert
2017Cloud Computing213/11:55:98Javier CastellanoChad Brown
2016Exaggerator53/11:58:31Kent DesormeauxJ. Keith Desormeaux
2015American Pharoah14/51:58.46Victor EspinozaBob Baffert
2014California Chrome33/51:54.84Victor EspinozaArt Sherman
2013Oxbow615/11:57:54Victor EspinozaD.W. Lukas
2012I'll Have Another93/11:55.94G. StevensD. O'Neill
2011Shackleford512/11:56.21M. GuiterrezD. Romans
2010Lookin At Lucky75/21:55.47J. CastanonB. Baffert
2009Rachel Alexandra139/51:55.05M. GarciaS. Asmussen
2008Big Brown61/51:54.80C. BorelR. Dutrow Jr.
2007Curlin47/21:53.46K. DesormeauxS. Asmussen
2006Bernardini812/11:54.65R. AlbaradoT. Albertrani
2005Afleet Alex123/11:55.04J. CastellanoT. Ritchey
2004Smarty Jones73/51:55.59J. RoseJ. Servis
2003Funny Cide99/51:55.61S. ElliottB. Tagg
2002War Emblem85/21:56.36J. SantosB. Baffert
2001Point Given112/11:55.51V. EspinozaB. Baffert
2000Red Bullet47/11:56.04G. StevensJ. Orseno
1999Charismatic68/11:55.32J. BaileyD.W. Lukas
1998Real Quiet105/21:54.75C. AntleyB. Baffert
1997Silver Charm73/11:54.84K. DesormeauxB. Baffert