Preakness Stakes (Pimlico) Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds

Preakness Stakes

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Crowded Trade (10/1)

Preakness Stakes Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 RAM 30/1
R Santana Jr. D W Lukas
D Cohen R Diadoro
J Velazquez B Baffert
J Castellano C Brown
I Ortiz, Jr. S Asmussen
F Prat M McCarthy
J Rosario H Mori
L Saez T Pletcher
J Ortiz C Brown
M Smith B Baffert

Best Bets for the Preakness Stakes

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$20 Win – Crowded Trade = $20

$20 Exacta Box – Crowded Trade and Midnight Bourbon = $40

Top Pick:

Crowded Trade (10/1)

With a disqualification from his Kentucky Derby victory looming, Medina Spirit is one of ten 3-year-olds entered for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, the $1 million Preakness Stakes, set for Saturday at Pimlico

Medina Spirit followed up a victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes earlier this year with two second-place finishes in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. Sent off at 12/1 in the Kentucky Derby, he quickly took the lead and held off all challengers on the way to a hard-fought victory.

Celebration in the Bob Baffert barn was short-lived, though, as the son of Protonico failed a post-race drug test. Pending the results of a second sample, he is in danger of becoming just the third horse to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby victory.

Chief among his challengers in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness is his stablemate Concert Tour. An impressive winner of two stakes races this year, the son of Street Sense was upset last time when he faded to third as the heavy favorite in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. The defeat was the first of his career.

Another Preakness contender who should receive plenty of betting attention is Midnight Bourbon. A son of Tiznow, trained by Steve Asmussen, he won the Grade 3 Lecomte early this season, before finishing third and second respectively in the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. In the Kentucky Derby, he lost all chance for victory with a tardy break but kept trying to the wire to finish the 6th of 19.

How to Watch the Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes Information
What Preakness Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Pimlico
Time Saturday, May 15 — 6:47 pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBC
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

Medina Spirit

The Kentucky Derby winner has created a firestorm of controversy in the sport with his positive drug test. Still, he is allowed to run in Saturday’s Preakness and is the likely favorite. Similar performance to one that he turned in Louisville could be enough to win on Saturday, but this time he will be the horse with the target on his back.

And don’t forget, he was well beaten by both Life Is Good and Rock Your World in the previous two races. He is likely to find more pace pressure on Saturday, and for that reason, I will try to beat him as the favorite.

Concert Tour

Somewhat ironically, the most likely horse to turn the screws on the Derby winner early in the Preakness is his Baffert-trained stablemate. From different owners, this is a race they would love to win too, so they won’t give away the early lead to Medina Spirit.

His Rebel win was impressive, but faced with a talented horse who wanted the lead in the Arkansas Derby, he failed to finish strongly in the Arkansas Derby. He very well could bounce back on Saturday, but with the extra distance and other speed, he is also vulnerable here.

Midnight Bourbon

The third choice also has plenty of early speed, although he wasn’t able to use it after a poor start in the Derby.

Still, he persevered and finished with good energy to finish sixth. That leaves plenty of hope on Saturday where he will face a field twice as small. He also could sit in the cat-bird seat in third behind the two favorites early. I look for another good effort from a horse who has performed well in six graded stakes. With Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the saddle this time, he just might be the horse to beat.

Crowded Trade

My favorite of the longshots is this runner from the Chad Brown barn. He showed a lot of class to fight all the way to the wire while just missing in the Grade 3 Gotham. What made that race so impressive to me was the fact that he had only one previous start, which was a 6-furlong maiden win five weeks earlier.

Off that effort, it’s no wonder that the son of More Than Ready bounced a bit in his next start when third in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial. It wasn’t the best Derby prep by any means, but he ran a solid race while beaten just over a length. With that under his belt and six weeks between races, I fully expect him to take another step forward. He is my top pick.


This one’s only stakes win did not come on dirt, but having said that, he has run some sneaky good races on the main track.

Last time he was third behind Essential Quality in the Blue Grass, which was a race that likely did not set up well for him. Trained by Mike McCarthy, he is a confirmed closer and is one of several in here who could benefit from a sharp early pace. I like a few others a little better, but I certainly would not talk anyone off this son of Twirling Candy.

Unbridled Honor

After starting four in the Kentucky Derby, Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher starts only one in search of his first Preakness victory. In this son of Honor Code, he has an improving colt coming in off a lifetime best when he rallied for second behind King Fury in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes.

Slowly but surely improving, he could be a big beneficiary if the early pace is taxing for the favorites. I’m not sure he is ready to win the Preakness, but he is an interesting longshot to rally up into the exotics.


Another late runner and an accomplished juvenile, this son of Laoban ran decently to come from last and finish seventh in the Kentucky Derby. It was, however, his third consecutive off-the-board result in three tries this year.

His supporters would love a fast pace to set the table for his late run, but he just doesn’t look good enough this year to do anything more than clunk up for a minor award on Saturday.

Risk Taking

A good come from behind winner of the Grade 3 Withers, he came back to disappoint when well beaten as the favorite in the Wood Memorial.

He may prove better than that result, and it is interesting that they chose this over last weekend’s Peter Pan, but still, I believe he did not beat much in his only stakes win. I also believe his stablemate from Chad Brown is the more talented runner, and like others better.

France Go de Ina

This American-bred and Japanese-based runner won his final two starts as a juvenile in Japan quite impressively. Unfortunately, he has made only one start this year, and it was just okay, when finishing sixth after a poor start in the UAE Derby in Dubai.

He very well might have some talent, but what he is trying to do, coming from the other side of the world with only a single mediocre race this year, seems like a lot to ask on Saturday. Perhaps this race will serve as a prep for a better chance in the Belmont.


While trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won the Preakness five times, his entrant this year looks like a deserving longshot. The son of American Pharoah lost his first seven starts before breaking through against maiden claimers two starts back.

On the positive side, his next race was clearly his best yet in winning a Churchill Downs allowance race, but still the leap into this class seems like too big a hill to climb.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]