Preakness Stakes: Win, Place & Show Picks for 2023

The best Preakness Stakes picks and betting predictions for 2023, including our favorite win, place, and show picks for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 20.

May 20, 2023 • 15:38 ET • 4 min read
Horses break from the grate during the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

A field of eight three-year-olds is set to contest the Grade I, $1.5 million Preakness Stakes this evening at Pimlico racecourse in Baltimore.

The middle jewel of the Triple Crown will see Mage as the lone runner returning from the 2023 Kentucky Derby — he, of course, won the Run for the Roses less than two weeks ago.

Mage was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the 148th running of the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, but is he the best bet among the other Preakness Stakes horses? Check out my free betting picks for win, place, and show in the 148th Preakness Stakes, and don't forget to check out my Preakness Stakes trifecta, superfecta, and exacta picks for even more insights.

2023 Preakness Stakes picks

Preakness Stakes win bet

Though the horse racing fan in me would love to see Mage try for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, logic is telling me that the race setup and the two-week turnaround will be too much to overcome for him. The price on Mage is likely to be in the 4-5 range, and that's far from a tantalizing proposition.

No. 1 National Treasure (4-1) is the most likely winner on Saturday, and the better bet in the Preakness Stakes odds. 

National Treasure won his debut in gate-to-wire style going 6.5 furlongs before settling for second in Grade I American Pharoah in his second lifetime start. He was far from disgraced when he ran third in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile to conclude his two-year-old season. However, National Treasure's three-year-old debut was disappointing, as he ran third in the Grade III Sham Stakes at 3-5. 

The Bob Baffert trainee would take three months to show up at the races again due to a minor foot injury, and returned to run fourth in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. 

The blinkers go on National Treasure on Saturday — he previously raced with them on debut and in the Breeders' Cup. They should keep him focused and sharpen his speed from the rail. As long as he breaks cleanly, he and jockey John Velazquez should be able to choose whether to set the pace or stalk No. 4 Coffeewithchris. With First Mission scratched, the pace should be more relaxed, which should enable National Treasure to hold off the late closers in the stretch.

Win pick: National Treasure

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Preakness Stakes place bet

Though I’m not necessarily endorsing a place bet on Mage, who will likely pay $3.00 or less if he runs second or better in the Preakness, he is the most likely horse to round out the Preakness Stakes exacta this Saturday.

Mage was an admirable second in the Grade I Florida Derby prior to his breakthrough in the Kentucky Derby. It was the third time in four lifetime starts that he at least secured place honors.

Distance seemed to be the biggest question mark for Mage ahead of the Run for the Roses, but he showed that 10 furlongs was in his wheelhouse, let alone 9.5. The problem with the cutback in the Preakness could be Mage’s tendency to get out slowly from the gate.

He was off about a length slow in the Derby, which actually may have prevented him from incurring some bumps at the start. There is no guarantee that Javier Castellano will be able to work out another great trip at Pimlico on the Gustavo Delgado trainee. Mage could also be adversely impacted by the demanding two-week turnaround, and a potentially slow pace.

Place pick: Mage

Preakness Stakes show bet

No. 6 Perform (15-1) could be the longshot who spices up the exacta or trifecta in the 2023 Preakness Stakes.

He’s fresh off a lifetime-best speed figure earned in the Federico Tesio Stakes — Maryland’s own prep for the Preakness — at Laurel Park. He endured all kinds of traffic trouble before finally bursting through to hit the wire first. 

Starting with a Preakness Stakes post position at 6, Perform has gotten better with age and with distance, and he could be sitting on a new career-best effort on Saturday. Hall-of-Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has never won the Preakness, but has taken both the Kentucky Derby (2013) and the Belmont Stakes (1989) in his decorated career.

Jockey Feargal Lynch is not a household name but is a solid local rider. His presence aboard Perform could help bettors secure some betting value on this son of Good Magic.

Show pick: Perform

Where can I bet on the Preakness Stakes?

This all depends on where you live. If you’re in the USA, betting on the Preakness Stakes online isn’t as simple as simply launching your favorite sportsbook app. Instead, you’ll have to use a specialist-pooled horse racing betting site.

Those in Canada or the UK have it much easier as most sports betting sites offer horse racing markets. Take a look at the top horse racing betting sites available in your area.

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