Preakness Stakes

May 18, 2022; Baltimore, MD, USA; Simplification on track during morning workouts at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

  • Saturday’s Preakness Stakes in Baltimore is an opportunity to swing for the fences
  • Exotic wagers give bettors an opportunity for a big score
  • How are we playing exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagers at Pimlico?

When Rich Strike crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby with odds of +8080, casual observers gasped at the $2 win payout of $163.60. While it is a massive number, nobody is paying the mortgage with that. The exotic wagers are a different story.

A $1 exacta at the Kentucky Derby returned over two grand, and that featured race favorite Epicenter finishing second. The fifty-cent trifecta, with +610 Zandon in third place, paid $7,435.35. If you added in Simplification for fourth and had the superfecta, you needed a Brink’s truck to haul your cash home. The ten-cent super cashed for $32,150.

Current Preakness Stakes odds and payouts can not be as huge as the Kentucky Derby. Twenty horses ran in Louisville, while only nine are taking their chances at Pimlico. Obviously, with way fewer combinations possible for each bet, the chances of hitting are larger, and possible payouts go down. That said, by understanding horse racing bet types, you know that sizable profits are possible when making your Preakness best bets.

It is crazy to think how the Preakness field has evolved in two weeks. With a lot of the favorites not running, does it open the door for longshots? Keeping an eye on Preakness Stakes odds can help guide your bets.

Preakness Stakes Best Bets

While Preakness longshot picks are fun to make, sometimes your best bet is to key in on a horse. For example, some people made a lot of money on the Kentucky Derby by focusing on Epicenter. How do you win a trifecta with Rich Strike on top? Probably something along the lines of the following three bets:

1) Epicenter over All others (19 horses) over All others (19 horses) — $180.50 for a fifty cent bet
2) All over Epicenter over All — $180.50
3) All over All over Epicenter — $180.50

The total investment is $541.50. The return was more than 13 times that.

For the purposes of our Preakness picks, we are going to focus on Simplification. He ran great in the Kentucky Derby despite a troubled trip. At +600 (6/1 fractional which you will see at racebooks) in Baltimore, any combination with him involved will pay well. Though Epicenter (+120 or 6/5), Early Voting (+350 or 7/2) and to a lesser degree Secret Oath (+450 or 9/2) are probably viewed by experts more positively than Simplification, they don’t offer as much betting value.

We also are not going to bet the Preakness as heavy handed as the All/Epicenter sort of play required to win at the Derby. This feels like a reasonably formful race, and we are going to scale back our wagers to try and preserve ROI and use a budget of $200 for the feature event.

Preakness Stakes Exacta Picks

Because the number of combinations for an exacta isn’t enormous with only nine horses in the race, we’re not going to go wild here. In fact, we’ll do just the opposite. There are three horses that we feel strongly about, and think are the best. Therefore we are going to play only those three in our Preakness exacta picks.

  • $10 exacta Simplication over Epicenter and Early Voting — $20
  • $5 exacta Epicenter and Early Voting over Simplification — $10
  • Total Wager — $30

If Simplification finishes first or second at a decent price, and one of the logical other contenders is the other horse that is among the top two, you hit for a reasonable number.

Preakness Stakes Trifecta Picks

Here is where we will start to fish for a price in the Preakness trifecta odds. The minimum bet goes down to half a buck, and things can get weird after the first couple finishers. That said, we aren’t changing anything about the top two finishers, so this is a pretty modest stab.

  • $0.50 trifecta Simplification over Epicenter and Early Voting over All others (8 horses other than Simplification) — $8
  • $0.50 trifecta Epicenter and Early Voting over Simplification over All (8 horses other than Simplification) — $8
  • Total Wager — $16

Understand, we aren’t going all in on this bet. This $16 says that if we win our exacta bet, we’re going to cash a trifecta wager too.

Preakness Stakes Superfecta Picks

If you are going to make a splash, why not do so when the price is just a dime per combination? Let’s get frisky and see if we can find a massive upset in the Preakness superfecta odds.

  • $0.10 superfecta Simplification over All (8 horses other than Simplification) over All over All — $51.20
  • $0.10 superfecta All over Simplification over All over All — $51.20
  • $0.10 superfecta All over All over Simplification over All — $51.20
  • Total Wager — $153.60

If Simplification finishes first, second, or third you hit. Now in order to make a lot of money you need a screwball result with who else hits the board, exactly the sort of thing we saw at Churchill Downs two weeks ago.

Preakness Stakes Exotic Betting Summary

We may have a larger portion of our $200 budget in the superfecta than is advisable, but it is the only way to give yourself a shot at a massive payout in your Preakness Stakes exotic picks.

There is an argument to bag the super, bet the exacta for more money, and play the tri more liberally. Regardless, have fun, good luck, and consider keying a single horse you think can lead to a successful day in your picks to win the Preakness.

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