Make Smarter Preakness Stakes Wagers

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2021 2:53 PM ET
John Velazquez aboard Authentic (9) and Florent Geroux aboard Thousand Words enter turn one during the running of the 145 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course at Pimlico Race Course.
Photo By - Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, welcoming the top three-year-old thoroughbred horses to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on the third Saturday in May.

The Preakness is a change in gears from the Kentucky Derby (1 ¼ miles), shrinking the length to 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs) and putting a dependency on speed and pace rather than stamina.

“The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” draws a lot of horse racing betting action, especially if the winner of the Derby is involved. The promise of a Triple Crown champion captures a wider audience and powers Preakness Stakes betting most years.

Time and place

  • Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • Post time: 5:45 p.m. ET
  • Place: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland

Odds

The odds to win the Preakness Stakes are heavily influenced by the results of the Kentucky Derby, especially if those top horses ran a faster pace at Churchill Downs. Preakness Stakes odds are often released shortly after the conclusion of the Derby and will take action until race time.

Picks & Predictions

Our lead horse racing analyst, Monique Vág, gives her best bets, including her favorite trifecta pick, in her Preakness Stakes picks and predictions article.  

Horses

The field for the Preakness Stakes is limited to 14 horses (compared to 20 for the Kentucky Derby) with entries based on graded stakes earnings as well as lifetime earnings. The Top 5 horses from the Kentucky Derby are granted automatic entrance, however, not all horses that run in the Derby will run in the Preakness.

Post positions

Preakness post positions will be announced on Tuesday, May 11th at approximately 4 pm ET. The draw was originally scheduled for Monday but has been delayed after Medina Spirit's failed post-race drug test following its Kentucky Derby win.  

Results

Once the race is done, the most important information to bettors is the results: Which horses finished in the top three, and how much did those wagers pay out. Our results guide will be updated immediately following the Preakness Stakes and contains tons of historical information.

Watch

Horse racing fans can watch the 2021 Preakness Stakes on NBC, with coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET. 

Horse racing for beginners

Triple Crown races like the Preakness Stakes have a massive mainstream appeal and bring out many bettors new to horse racing. If you’re looking to learn the betting basics or need a refresher on some simple tips, check out our horse racing for beginners guide.

History

The Preakness Stakes has a rich history as one of the most storied events in horse racing, setting the stage for famed Triple Crown champions and providing countless thrilling finishes for horse racing bettors. 

Distances

The first Preakness was held in 1873 and was originally run at 1 ½ miles until 1894 when the race was shortened to 1 1/16 miles until 1900. Between 1901 and 1924 the distance moved between 1 mile and 70 yards and 1 1/8 miles before being set at its current length of 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs).

Triple Crown road

Twenty-three horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, setting up a run at the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. Only 13 of those contenders have completed the Triple Crown, with the most recent being Justify (2018) and American Pharoah (2015). 

Fastest Preakness

The speed record for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes belongs to the famed Triple Crown champion Secretariat who ran the 9.5 furlongs in a time of 1 minute and 53 seconds in 1973. 

The 2020 Preakness winner Swiss Skydiver not only ran the second-fastest Preakness time at 1 3/16 miles but set the all-time fastest run by a filly at 1:53.28. The 2020 Preakness was held in October rather than May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pimlico Race Course

The Preakness Stake is held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, which opened in 1870. The course has a 1-mile dirt oval surrounded by a 7/8-mile turf track and can accommodate 120,000 spectators including the infield venue. Pimlico is nicknamed “Old Hilltop” due to a hill in the infield, which has recently become infamous for its party atmosphere during Preakness weekend. 

Black-Eyed Susans

Known as the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans”, the winner of the Preakness Stakes is adorned with a blanket of Black-Eyed Susans – the state flower of Maryland – and patrons enjoy a drink of the same name, which includes equal parts bourbon, vodka, and peach schnapps mixed with orange juice and sour mix. 

Where can I bet on the Preakness Stakes?

Several legal horse racing specialist betting sites offer odds on the most popular races from around the world, including the Preakness Stakes.

Here are the best horse racing betting sites available.

Preakness Stakes FAQs

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