May 17, 2022; Baltimore, MD, USA; Simplification has a workout prior to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

  • In recent years the Preakness Stakes has produced significant upsets
  • Could Saturday’s Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown be ripe for a longshot?
  • Where can we find betting value in The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans?

Last year Rombauer won the Preakness Stakes and paid $25.60 on a two dollar win bet. Two years ago Swiss Skydiver cashed to the tune of $25.40. In 2019 War of Will awarded backers with $14.20. Don’t let anybody tell you Epicenter, Early Voting, and Secret Oath are the only three serious contenders this year. There is always good value in making some Preakness sleeper picks.

The latest Preakness Stakes odds indicate plenty of value if you look beyond the favorites. To some degree, these prices are by default. With Derby winner Rich Strike, and third-place finisher Zandon not participating, the projected field following the Run for the Roses has thinned.

Preakness Stakes betting sites online allow you to play the race in a variety of ways. While understanding how pari-mutuel wagering works is valuable, and considering exotic wagers is worthwhile, if you can find a price horse with a decent chance to win, sometimes betting to win is the easiest and most profitable wager.

Preakness Sleeper Picks

The horses who ran in the Kentucky Derby enter the Preakness Stakes on limited rest. Others have had more time to be ready to roll at Pimlico. Who prefers the mile-and-three-sixteenths course with tighter turns to the long stretch during the mile-and-a-quarter Derby? Post time is slated for 7:01 pm ET, and NBC will televise the race. The weather forecast calls for hot conditions and a small chance for rain.

You are going to see picks for the Preakness vary. Some will tell you Epicenter was the best horse at the Kentucky Derby and though he finished second, he will be the best in Baltimore too. Others will look at pace and consider Early Voting a wire-to-wire candidate. Many think Secret Oath, who won the Kentucky Oaks, is better than the boys. None of those thoughts are all that original, or profitable. Preakness longshot picks can be valuable for a couple of reasons. If they win, they will pay well, and you can use them underneath to spike exacta, trifecta, and superfecta payouts.

Happy Jack and Fenwick are Preakness Longshots

Epicenter was awarded a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for finishing second in the Kentucky Derby. The Beyer par over the years for the Preakness winner has been 103. While horses improve, it is hard to imagine anyone that has never hit 90 before jumping up that significantly. That said, Rich Strike had never run better than an 84, and then won the roses with a 101.

Happy Jack finished 14th in the Derby with a Beyer of 75. He has one win in five starts and has never posted a fig better than 83. Happy Jack is +3000 (or 30/1) for a pretty good reason.

Fenwick is +5000 (50/1) entering the Preakness. He beat maidens at the Tampa Bay Downs with an 88 fig in March. That is his only win, and only Beyer number better than 68. Fenwick finished last in the Blue Grass Stakes at +2120 in April.

Armagnac’s Preakness Odds

The Kentucky Derby had the fastest start in race history. That essentially eliminated all the horses who were in front or near the torturous pace, leading to great conditions to come from behind. The Preakness could be just the opposite. While Early Voting (+350 or 7/2) is getting a lot of love as the wire-to-wire option, Armagnac is viable too.

While he finished well behind Derby contenders Taiba and Messier earning an 83 Beyer number in April, his impressive performance from the get-go last time out makes you wonder. The former Bob Baffert trained son of Quality Road posted a 93 for that effort. Baffert is currently suspended, and Tim Yakteen is supervising many of his top horses. The +1200 (12/1) odds aren’t bad for an improving colt.

Skippylongstocking Is Well Rested

A lot has been made of the fact Early Voting hasn’t raced since early April. The speedster was second in the Wood Memorial, and his trainer Chad Brown won the Preakness in 2017 with Cloud Computing who was equally well-rested. However, Cloud Computing finished third at the Wood. This year Skippylongstocking was third in Aqueduct Park’s biggest prep.

The first seven races of Skippylongstocking’s career he never posted a Beyer figure better than 79 and won only once. Then he won with an 88, and hit 91 in the Wood. He needs to make another leap, but that isn’t impossible and +2000 (20/1) is a big number.

Creative Minister Is Improving

Creative Minister didn’t debut until March, and his first win came in April. He earned an 83 Beyer for his victory against 11 other maidens, but then shot up to a 92 when dusting a solid field hours before the Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs.

Each race has been better than the last for Creative Minister. Could he get a nice trip just off the pace? At +1000 (10/1) there are worse shots on the board for your Preakness sleeper picks.

Simplification Offers Mid-Tier Preakness Odds

Can I interest you in a $14 winner? Nobody is retiring on that, but it sure beats +120. Simplification (+600 or 6/1) has posted a Beyer figure of 90 or above six times in eight races. He was rolling late in the Kentucky Derby after going wide and has proved himself at a pretty high level.

Simplification should be closer to the pace on Saturday than he was in Kentucky. Twice he has run a 96 Beyer, better than everyone in the field except Epicenter.

Preakness Stakes Longshot Picks

While we all get excited about the massive upset, like the Kentucky Derby, where you can bet $2 and win over $100, sometimes expectations need to be tempered. An upset can absolutely take place Saturday but maybe not of those proportions.

Creative Minister has really improved, and +1000 is a solid value. He may make another jump in the Preakness. That said, Simplification is the most likely winner among this group. He ran terrific in the Kentucky Derby. He is likely to be closer to the front and avoid the racing trouble he encountered in Louisville. At +600, he has a big chance.

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