With post positions drawn, betting odds for the 2013 Preakness Stakes field are now readily available. For the next three days, odds for each horse will fluctuate as a result of both favorable or unfavorable starting positions and heavy wagering on some of the field’s top thoroughbreds.
Orb is sure to be the most heavily-favored horse in the Preakness field after running to a first-place finish at the Kentucky Derby. Early lines list the colt at even money, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Shug McGaughey-trained thoroughbred provide even less lucrative odds by the start of the race.
But betting on a winner isn’t the only wager worth making this year.
With an extremely thin field of just nine horses, exacta, trifecta and superfecta betting has the potential to provide a handsome payday to those bold enough to test their luck on multiple horses.
Superfecta wagers (predicting the top four finishers in order) are risky ventures, but bettors don’t need to throw down a hefty sum in order to be rewarded with a big payout. The risk sometimes outweighs the reward, especially with a field less than half the size of the Derby field taking the track at Pimlico May 18.
Let’s take a look at the field of nine running at the Preakness this year and break down the best superfecta combination to offer a big reward.
Post positions via Colleen Thomas:
Preakness post positions twitter.com/colleenthomas_…— Colleen Thomas (@colleenthomas_) May 15, 2013
|2||Goldencents||Doug O'Neill||Kevin Krigger||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||D. Wayne Lukas||Julien Leparoux||30-1|
|4||Departing||Albert M. Stall, Jr.||Brian Hernandez, Jr.||6-1|
|5||Mylute||Tom Amoss||Rosie Napravnik||5-1|
|6||Oxbow||D. Wayne Lukas||Gary Stevens||15-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||D. Wayne Lukas||Mike Smith||14-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Bob Baffert||Martin Garcia||12-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||Eddie Plesa Jr.||John Velazquez||10-1|
*Odds courtesy of KY Derby Contenders Twitter account.
1. Orb (1-1): Post No. 1
Orb is well on his way to securing the first successful Triple Crown bid in 35 years, but he’ll have to triumph on Pimlico’s 1 3/16-mile track this weekend to remain in contention.
The colt burst from the pack at Churchill Downs on May 4 to earn the Garland of Roses, highlighting the tremendous sprinting speed and exciting running style to make his Preakness run especially intriguing. Pimlico’s shorter track favors horses that can run just off the pace and sprint down the stretch, and Orb certainly has the ability to do just that.
With the No. 1 post position, McGaughey’s best three-year-old has an opportunity to either set the pace or run from a stalking position for most of the race, though the rail position doesn’t always favor horses that must come from the middle of the pack down the stretch.
Still, Orb is a heavy favorite for a reason. Few horses in the field have the speed, endurance and pedigree to overtake him at Pimlico.
2. Itsmyluckyday (10-1): Post No. 9
Itsmyluckyday was a popular long shot pick at the Kentucky Derby, but sloppy track conditions limited his effectiveness from the middle of the group, leading to a disappointing 15th-place finish.
Which horse has the best chance of upending Orb on May 18?
Hopefully, that won’t be an issue at Pimlico.
One of the fastest sprinters in the field, Itsmyluckyday can run from nearly any starting position—especially on the outside from the No. 9 post. Jockey John Velasquez has an opportunity to run his horse from the middle of the pack to set up a late sprint down the stretch from a position that will allow Itsmyluckyday plenty of breathing room on the outside.
At 10-1, the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained colt offers fairly lucrative odds, especially in a superfecta wager. Look for Itsmyluckyday to burst from the back of the group to challenge Orb for a first-place finish down the stretch.
3. Goldencents (8-1): Post No. 2
Like Itsmyluckyday, Goldencents was expected to run much better than he did at Churchill Downs. The colt stumbled from the start, however, turning in a 17th-place finish and a disappointing showing.
The fastest sprinter in the Preakness field shouldn’t be counted out, though. With five victories since last September, Doug O’Neill’s finest three-year-old has shown the speed and endurance to triumph on Pimlico’s shorter track.
At 8-1, Goldencents doesn’t offer outstanding odds, but he’s the fourth favorite behind Orb. He wouldn’t be a bad choice to win outright at the Preakness.
4. Mylute (5-1): Post No. 5
Mylute had a strong showing at the Derby on May 4, battling his way to a fifth-place finish from the No. 6 post.
The colt will have the No. 5 post this time around, directly in the middle of the field of nine. With a running style more conducive to running from the stalking position to break free down the stretch, Mylute could have drawn a better post position for the Preakness.
Still, the Thomas Amoss-trained thoroughbred has never finished worse than seventh in a race, seven times posting a top-three finish since last June.
At 5-1 now may not be the best time to bet on Mylute. There’s a good chance his payout potential increases with limited wagering in the next few days, meaning a pre-race wager on the colt should yield a better return than it currently would.