This year’s Preakness will not see a chance for a Triple Crown winner. Before the race is even run, this fate has already been sealed.
Rich Strike, which won the Kentucky Derby at 80/1 odds, is passing on the race and eyeing the Belmont Stakes, or perhaps a different plan entirely. Still, this second leg has history, and it’s a massive test for three-year-old horses coming into their own.
Pimlico Race Course will host the event on Saturday, May 21. The race length is 1 3/16 miles, which is slightly shorter than the Derby. It comes only two weeks after the Derby, which is a quick turn for any horse running once again.
The field is less than half the size the Derby was, which is not uncommon. Let’s explore the 2022 Preakness Stakes field, draws, odds, and track notes.
Preakness Stakes Winner Odds & Position
All 2022 Preakness morning line odds are provided by TVG.
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- No. 1: Simplification (6/1)
- No. 2: Creative Minister (10/1)
- No. 3: Fenwick (50/1)
- No. 4: Secret Oath (9/2)
- No. 5: Early Voting (7/2)
- No. 6: Happy Jack (30/1)
- No. 7: Armagnac (12-1)
- No. 8: Epicenter (6/5)
- No. 9: Skippylongstocking (20/1)
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Preakness Stakes Contenders
One of the favorites of the Kentucky Derby is assuming the role of chalk a few weeks later.
If not for a truly unbelievable close by Rich Strike, Epicenter, which finished runner-up in the Derby, would have been racing for a shot at the Triple Crown.
Given the way the Derby ended, a little less distance won’t hurt Epicenter. The horse might just be good enough where the distance, at least within a reasonable threshold, won’t matter.
The only concern is the fact that Epicenter, like most of the other horses in the field, just raced. Outside of that, this looks like the clear-cut favorite.
Early Voting (7/2)
It was a bit surprising that Early Voting, one of the better three-year-olds out there, skipped the Kentucky Derby. With only three career races, however, trainer Chad Brown didn’t believe a 20-horse field would help the development of a horse with a ton of ability.
The benefit now, of course, is that Early Voting will enter this race fresh.
A second-place finisher at Wood Memorial, Early Voting was barely edged by Mo Donegal, a Derby contender, last time out.
Yes, the lack of experience is a factor. But with a smaller field and many horses likely still recovering, this is an interesting option. Lots to like about this horse, including its ability to get out to a lead in a race where it might have a chance to control the pace.
Secret Oath (9/2)
Now, this one is mighty intriguing.
The winner of the Kentucky Oaks, a race geared for three-year-old fillies that took place the Friday before the Derby, will take a crack against the male horses. This is not the first time Secret Oath has done this; she also ran in the Arkansas Derby and finished third.
Against fillies, Secret Oath has been dominant. While this certainly represents a sizable step up in class, the Oaks performance warrants plenty of respect. And the fact that legendary trainer, D. Wayne Lukas is including her in this race means something as well.
I’m curious where her odds ultimately land, although this is one worth watching.
Preakness Stakes Sleeper Longshot
The name is tremendous. I want to be clear, that’s not how I pick long shots. But I also appreciate a good name when I see one, and this certainly applies.
Skippylongstocking has long odds for a reason. He did not run in the Derby, and it has not won nearly as much as some of the other horses in this race. It has, however, worked out well on the track. Skippylongstocking also has a wealth of racing experience, and he delivered a game third-place finish in the Wood Memorial.
A sizable uptick in performance will be necessary for this horse to win here, although it certainly makes some sense in exotics.
Preakness Stakes Best Bets
Early Voting: Win, Place and Show
I like Epicenter quite a bit, and I think the distance suits the horse well. But the pace in this race really aligns for Early Voting.
I don’t expect to see the same torrid fractions we saw in the Derby. Instead, I expect to see Early Voting grab the lead, control the speed and hang on for the win.
There aren’t a ton of horses that need to jump out to the lead in this race. That should suit this horse quite nicely, and I will gladly take the value at these odds.
Early Voting + Skippylongstocking + Secret Oath + Epicenter: Exacta Box
This is not a get-rich-quick bet. Let’s be clear about that. I am taking the chalk of the race along with Skippylongstocking, which has some value.
But if Skippylongstocking can finish in the top two with one of these other horses, it could be a nice win. At the very least, it won’t cost a great deal to box four horses. In a field of only nine horses, however, I won’t go any deeper than that.
Preakness Race Notes
- Keep an eye on the weather (again). Baltimore, Maryland is calling for rain on Friday and potential storms on Saturday. We’ll see if that changes on race day, but the track conditions will be worth monitoring. The Kentucky Derby had a similar threat early on, although the track ended up being dry.
- Don’t forget about Simplification. I didn’t love this horse in the Kentucky Derby, and I don’t love it in the Preakness. But a lot of smart horse placers saw something in this horse, and it backed up that love with a respectable fourth-place finish. Curious to see what happens next.
- How rare is it for a filly to win the Preakness? Rare. But the most recent instance was Swiss Skydiver winning the race in 2020. The previous winner before that, however, was Rachel Alexandra in 2009. You have to go back to the 1920s for another filly that triumphed at Pimlico. A win for Secret Oath would be histori.