BETTING THE PREAKNESS STAKES

Bet the 2016 Preakness Stakes Online

Handicapping the Preakness

There are several concepts unique to the race that have to be taken into account when handicapping the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Obviously these alone won't get the job done, and particularly since the field won't be set until the week before the race. That notwithstanding, once the field is announced it's important to evaluate all of the entries not only as you would any other race but with the following concepts in mind:

Preakness Stakes Distance

The Preakness Stakes is run over a distance of a mile and 3/16, meaning that it's actually a little bit shorter than the Kentucky Derby which precedes it by two weeks. That means that there's not much of a question about Preakness entrants' ability to handle this distance. That's a serious concern for the third leg of the Triple Crown-the Belmont-which is contested over a mile and a half.

Most three year olds of the class to be considered for entry into the Kentucky Derby or Preakness will have had previous experience at the distance in their prep campaign earlier in the spring. While the Belmont distance is such that early speed has a difficult time prevailing in the Triple Crown's final leg, a top level speedster can occasionally set a fast pace and win in the Preakness Stakes.

Preakness Stakes Schedule

One of the most significant reasons that winning the Triple Crown is such a rare event is the grueling schedule of the three races. While the ideal layoff between races varies from horse to horse, most high level equine competitors race fewer than 10 times per year. In most cases, thoroughbreds seldom race without a break of three weeks to a month. For a Triple Crown aspirant, however, it's necessary to win three very competitive races in a five week span. There is a two week gap between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, with three weeks between the Preakness and the Belmont.

In recent years there has been a trend away from horses running in all three legs unless they're in contention for the Triple Crown. The most common scenario is for a horse to run in the Kentucky Derby, skip the Preakness, and run in the Belmont though other combinations also occur. For this reason, it's worth giving special consideration to `rested' horses. In addition, it's helpful to take a look at a horse's past performances and see what his typical turnaround time between races is and how he's fared when undertaking a heavy schedule.

The turnaround from the Kentucky Derby to the Preakness is especially brutal, with only two weeks between races. Factor in logistical concerns such as shipping the horse from Kentucky to Maryland, getting him acclimated in his new surroundings and getting him out for some work on the track at Pimlico and it takes a special quality of competitor to be up to these demands. For that reason it's important to be on the lookout for a horse that skipped the Derby and particularly one with experience on the Pimlico track.

Preakness Stakes Weather and Track Condition

As anyone who watched the 2013 Kentucky Derby can attest, weather can be crucial to the outcome of a race. As a species, horses are very sensitive to the conditions in which they run and the surfaces they run on. On balance, most owners and trainers try to avoid racing a promising young horse in inclement weather or on a sloppy track. If the weather at a racetrack becomes particularly bad you'll see a number of `late scratches' for this reason. A Triple Crown race like the Belmont is a different matter and unless a horse's connections have a reason to fear for his safety due to the elements or track conditions they usually makes the start.

If there is a chance for bad weather and/or an off track it's essential to consider that when handicapping the race. One good measure of a horse's ability in this type of race can be found with a quick look at his past performances. If a young horse has *any* experience on a muddy or sloppy track that's a good indication that his connections have confidence in his abilities in these circumstances. Most promising three year olds are brought along cautiously, and had there been a concern about the ability to perform in substandard conditions it's unlikely they would have competed in it in the first place.

Another predictive component of a horse's ability to run on a less than perfect track is past experience on turf and, to a lesser extent, synthetic surfaces. Turf is more yielding than dirt, so there are some similarities between it and a muddy track. In any case, experience on any surface other than dirt is a positive as it indicates an ability to adapt and perform on a variety of track types.

Finally, a horse's pedigree can also indicate whether or not he'll perform well in substandard track conditions. Like so many other competitive traits, you'll frequently see horses that do well in mud produce offspring that also perform well in the slop.

Preakness Stakes Post Position

In theory, the horses who draw the inside post positions have an advantage over the ones to the outside in any race. At Pimlico, however, there's a historically demonstrated bias to horses that can run well on the rail. There's been a number of theories for why racing near the rail is so valuable at Pimlico, from firmer dirt to an advantage in the tight turns. Whatever the reason, it's something to pay attention to. Only one horse-Rachel Alexandra in2009-has won the Preakness from the outside post position.

Preakness Stakes Race Day Schedule - Saturday, May 16, 2015

Race Condition Distance Purse Post Time
Maryland Heritage Purse 3YO 6 furlongs $31,000 10:45PM
Deputed Testamony 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles $25,000 11:14AM
CoverGirl Purse 3YO&Up 1 1/16 mile (T) $29,000 11:43AM
Allaire duPont Distaff (G2) F&M 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles - Dirt $100,000 12:16PM
Sinai Good Neighbors F&M 3YO&Up 5 furlongs (T) $31,000 12:53PM
Chick Lang Stakes (G2) 3YO&Up 6 furlongs - Dirt $100,000 1:33PM
James Murphy Stakes F&M 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles (T) $100,000 2:15PM
Maryland Sprint (G3) 3YO&Up 6 furlongs (T) $100,000 2:57PM
Gallorette Handicap (G3) F&M 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles (T) $100,000 3:39PM
William Donald Schaefer (G3) 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles - Dirt $100,000 4:22PM
Dixie Stakes (G2) 3YO&Up 1-1/8 Miles (T) $200,000 5:07PM
Preakness Stakes (G1) 3Yo 1-3/16 Miles $1,000,000 6:19PM
Unnamed 3YO&Up 1-1/16 Miles $28,000 7:14PM

Preakness Stakes Purse Structure

Result Purse of $1,000,000
Winner $620,000 (62%)
Second $200,000 (20%)
Third $100,000 (10%)
Forth $50,000 (5%)
Fifth $30,000 (3%)

Black Eyed Susan Day Race Schedule - Friday, May 15, 2015

Race Condition Distance Purse Post Time
Unnamed F&M 3YO&Up 6 furlongs $33,000 12:00PM
Female Jockey Challenge Race 3YO&Up 5 furlongs - Turf $29,000 12:30PM
Unnamed F&M 3YO&Up 1-1/16 Miles - Turf $28,000 1:00PM
Female Jockey Challenge Race F&M 3YO&Up 6 furlongs $36,000 1:30PM
Jim McKay Turf Sprint 3YO&Up 5 furlongs - Turf $75,000 2:02PM
Female Jockey Challenge Race F&M 3YO&Up 6 furlongs $37,200 2:34PM
Legend's for the Cure 3YO&Up 6 furlongs $31,000 3:05PM
Jockey Challenge Race 3YO&Up 5 furlongs - Turf $31,000 3:36PM
Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior Stakes F 3YO 6 furlongs $75,000 4:08PM
Black Eyed Susan (G2) F 3YO 1-1/8 Miles $250,000 4:46PM
The Very One F&M 3YO&Up 5 furlongs - Turf $75,000 5:16PM
Kattegat's Pride Starter Handicap F&M 3YO&Up 1-1/6 Miles $25,000 5:46PM
Hilltop Stakes F 3YO 1-1/16 Miles - Turf $75,000 6:16PM

2015 Preakness Stakes Contenders

Horse Jockey Trainer
American Pharoah Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert
Danzig Moon Julien Leparoux Mark Casse
Divining Rod Javier Castellano Arnaud Delacour
Dortmund Martin Garcia Bob Baffert
Firing Line Gary Stevens Simon Callaghan
Bodhisattva Trevor McCarthy Jose Corrales
Tale of Verve Joel Rosario Dallas Stewart
Mr. Z Corey Nakatini D. Wayne Lukas
Preakness Stakes Winners

Pennsylvania Derby 2016

OTB Schedule - Saturday, Sep 24

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Albuquerque 8:06 PM
Australia A 10:46 PM
Australia B 10:56 PM
Australia C 12:01 AM
Batavia Downs 6:19 PM
Belmont Park 1:31 PM
Belterra Park 1:30 PM
Century Downs 3:13 PM
Charles Town 7:06 PM
Charlottetown 5:00 PM
Daytona Beach Eve 7:27 PM
Daytona Beach Mat 1:09 PM
Dayton Raceway 6:20 PM
Delaware Park 1:17 PM
Finger Lakes 1:11 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:03 PM
Freehold Raceway 12:45 PM
Gulfstream Tropical 12:54 PM
Hastings Park 4:52 PM
Hawthorne (H) 8:17 PM
Hazel Park 7:32 PM
Iowa Greyhound Park Mat 2:01 PM
Jacksonville Eve 7:48 PM
Jacksonville Mat 12:39 PM
Laurel Park 1:11 PM
Lone Star Park 7:37 PM
Los Alamitos (QH) 9:46 PM
Los Alamitos (TB) 5:04 PM
Louisiana Downs 4:18 PM
Mohawk 7:35 PM
Monmouth Park 12:55 PM
Mountaineer Park 7:01 PM
Northfield Park 6:07 PM
Northlands Park (TB) 3:01 PM
Northville Downs 7:01 PM
Palm Beach Eve 7:05 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:02 PM
Parx Racing 12:26 PM
Penn National 6:01 PM
Pleasanton 4:17 PM
Pocono Downs 6:36 PM
Prairie Meadows (TB) 2:01 PM
Remington Park 8:08 PM
Retama Park 7:46 PM
Sanford Eve 7:39 PM
Sanford Mat 1:34 PM
Saratoga Harness 6:51 PM
Southland Eve 8:31 PM
Southland Mat 2:01 PM
Thistledown 1:44 PM
Tri-State Twi 5:00 PM
Vernon Downs 6:49 PM
Wheeling Downs Eve 6:31 PM
Wheeling Downs Mat 12:31 PM
Will Rogers Downs 1:01 PM
Woodbine (TB) 1:10 PM
Yonkers Raceway 7:13 PM
Zia Park 2:26 PM

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