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Current Betting Favorites For The Preakness Stakes

09-05-2024


© Maryland GovPics, 139th Preakness Stakes by Jay Baker at Baltimore, MD

The countdown to the middle leg of the Triple Crown is well underway, as some of the top three-year-olds in the United States will line up in the Preakness Stakes on May 18. For the second year running, it is likely that there will be limited runners from the Kentucky Derby making the trip to Maryland, but newcomers to the series will ensure that it remains a hot betting heat.

One of the biggest stories to follow will be the runners sent by Bob Baffert, with the Hall of Famer ineligible to make entries for the Derby, meaning that the eight-time winner of the race has targeted the Preakness more readily in recent editions. You can find all details about the Stakes here: twinspires.com/preakness-stakes/

But, which runners are currently among the leading contenders for the race at Pimlico?

Muth

Muth will likely be sent off as a short price favorite for the Preakness Stakes for trainer Bob Baffert. That is little surprise considering that the three-year-old is one of the most exciting in the U.S., and he would have likely battled Sierra Leone and Fierceness for favoritism in the Derby betting should he have been able to run.

Muth was a bright performer as a two-year-old last season, winning the G1 American Pharoah, before finishing a distant second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. However, his performances have kicked up a gear so far this year, winning the G2 San Vincent Stakes by a commanding margin at Santa Anita on his return.

His status as one of the best horses aged three was confirmed in the G1 Arkansas Derby when finishing two lengths clear of Just Steel, with Derby victor Mystik Dan being back in third. Muth is very much the horse to beat in the Preakness this year.

Mystik Dan

Mystik Dan stormed to success in the Kentucky Derby at the start of May, and connections are teasing the prospect of the three-year-old continuing his bid for Triple Crown glory at Pimlico this year.

However, Kenneth McPeek will likely take his time when it comes to making a decision, as he won’t be forced into running his Derby hero unless he is 100% that he will be able to give his running. The three-year-old was excellent in the Derby at Churchill Downs, with Brian Hernandez giving the colt one of the great race rides to fire up the rail before staying on to beat Sierra Leone by a nose.

However, he could have too much to find on Muth on bare form after finishing over six lengths behind the Baffert runner in the G1 Arkansas Derby in late March.

Tuscan Gold

Tuscan Gold could be the most interesting non-Baffert runner to enter the Triple Crown series at Pimlico in mid-May. The three-year-old will represent the Chad Brown yard, who was so close to landing a Derby success with Sierra Leone at Churchill Downs.

Tuscan Gold has looked largely progressive throughout this season, and he made a pleasing impression on his first start as a three-year-old when capturing a maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park. He improved once again in the G2 Louisiana Derby when finishing third behind Catching Freedom and Honor Marie.

That form reads fairly strong, with both of the first two going off in the Derby at competitive prices. The additional rest could work in his favor and he is one that has a very likely chance at Pimlico if connections decide to go down the Triple Crown route.

Imagination

The second of the likely Baffert runners in the Preakness Stakes this year is Imagination. Frankie Dettori will likely take the ride on the three-year-old, as the legendary Italian goes in search of a first victory in a Triple Crown race. Imagination has been ultra-consistent throughout his career, winning once but finishing second on four occasions in five starts.

He was just held off on his final start when finishing a neck behind Stronghold in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, but he has been within a neck on all three of his four starts since the start of December.

The runner’s only victory was achieved in the G2 San Felipe Stakes when beating Wine Me Up over an extended mile. His competitive nature means that he will likely be a popular angle in exotics for the Preakness, but whether he could get the better of his stable mate remains to be seen.

Seize The Grey

D. Wayne Lukas last trained the winner of the Preakness back in 1999 with Charismatic, but he could have a leading chance with one of the big emerging stars in the three-year-old division.

Seize The Grey has won three from seven starts and has been highly tried in a stakes company after winning once from seven. One of his only out-the-money finishes came when claiming seventh behind Sierra Leone in the G1 Blue Grass, but he looked a transformed contender on the Derby undercard.

Seize The Grey travelled well throughout the G2 Pat Day Mile, before finishing just under two lengths clear of Nash. Further improvement is likely, and connections will be hopeful of another big run at Pimlico.



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