If there's money to be found, everyone wants to get in on the action.
Yet so often, our grand plans of hitting it big at the races falls into a crumbling heap. Our "sure thing" doesn't look so sure halfway down the straight and the horse that we "thought about backing" takes the lead and ends up running away to an easy victory, leaving us with nothing but a piece of paper.
Trust me, I've been there many times before.
So let's make the Preakness Stakes a little different this year, and let's actually get our predictions right when it comes to making a dollar or two this weekend.
Read on to see the best value-for-money picks in the field this year and the horses that you want to be backing on Saturday so that I don't have to say, "I told you so."
2013 Preakness Stakes Odds: Full Listings for Every Horse in Field
Odds via Derby Contenders. Current as of Wednesday, May 15, 11:45 p.m. ET.
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shyg McGaughey||1-1|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux||D. Wayne Lukas||30-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||6-1|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||5-1|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||15-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||14-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||12-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr.||10-1|
2013 Preakness Stakes: Best Value-for-Money Picks
Let me just preface this by saying that Orb (currently 1/1) is a deserved favorite and will be very tough to beat on the day. It's hard to pick a winner aside from him and he'll no doubt feature in every trifecta and superfecta bet on the day—and for good reason given his rich form and talent.
However, there is lots of value to be found outside of the favorite.
Most Likely to Dethrone Orb: Departing (6/1)
Departing comes into the Preakness Stakes this year without a run in the Kentucky Derby, which makes it hard to gage his form. However, given that he didn't slog away in the mud at Churchill Downs, he therefore comes to Pimlico this weekend well-rested and capable of knocking off Orb.
He had a great run in the Illinois Derby and has great tactical speed that will likely be dependent on how Joel Rosario rides Orb throughout the race.
Departing has great speed and should definitely be in contention when the finishing post looms. If anyone is going to take down Orb in the Preakness this year, it's going to be Departing, and the value around him at the moment is definitely worth taking a look at courtesy of how short-priced Orb is.
And who knows with Orb—inside draw? Stuck in traffic?
Anything could happen on the day.
Most Likely to Feature in Exactas/Trifectas: Goldencents (8/1)
For those that are going to go for the big money and try and predict which horses will end up featuring in the podium positions, you can't afford to go past Goldencents.
He had a horrendous run in the Kentucky Derby, but he's a much better horse than that and should thrive on a firmer, less-muddy and shorter track this weekend.
Kevin Krigger will likely try to get this horse to the lead early given he's drawn post No. 2, which should mean that he'll run on well down the straight.
He probably doesn't have the endurance to hold off a challenger from the back of the field like Orb or Departing, but Goldencents has enough of a kick to make him a real challenger here, one that you can't afford to leave out of your trifectas and superfectas this weekend.
Especially with last year's champion jockey in Doug O'Neill on board.
Most Likely to Upset the Field: Will Take Charge (14/1)
Golden Soul ruined many people's predictions with his second-placed finish at the 2013 Kentucky Derby. And if any long shot is going to upset the field and work his way into contention for the top prize this year, it's going to be the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Will Take Charge.
Will Take Charge has an excellent pedigree and should provide great speed from his ideal post-position in the No. 7 slot. His performances in 2013 show that he's more than capable of thriving here, and he appears most likely to be the outsider with the biggest chance this year.
He has two victories at Oaklawn Park in 2013, plus a win in the Rebel Stakes. Throw in the fact that he was matching strides at Orb at the Kentucky Derby—before a small jockey error by Jon Court cost him several positions—and Will Take Charge definitely has credentials worth noticing for this one.
He could be the outsider that will upset the field and if played correctly, you could well be left standing with a huge smile on your face after the race is over.
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