While the Preakness Stakes is a race that doesn't receive as much hype as the Kentucky Derby, it is obviously still a huge event for horse racing fans and gamblers alike. Now that the field is whittled down considerably compared to the Derby, the betting should be quite interesting.
There was no clear favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but that isn't the case when it comes to the Preakness. Derby winner Orb is a massive favorite at 10-11, so it will be quite difficult to make money off of him alone. Luckily, there are eight other horses to work with that could be very lucrative on Saturday.
Here are three great value bets that won't necessarily cost much to make, but could pay huge dividends once the Preakness reaches its conclusion.
Official Preakness Lineup
|1||Orb||Joel Rosario||Shug McGaughey||10-11|
|2||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||8-1|
|3||Titletown Five||Julien Leparoux ||D. Wayne Lukas||28-1|
|4||Departing||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Albert M. Stall Jr.||13-2|
|5||Mylute||Rosie Napravnik||Tom Amoss||6-1|
|6||Oxbow||Gary Stevens||D. Wayne Lukas||16-1|
|7||Will Take Charge||Mike Smith||D. Wayne Lukas||12-1|
|8||Govenor Charlie||Martin Garcia||Bob Baffert||10-1|
|9||Itsmyluckyday||John Velazquez||Eddie Plesa Jr. ||12-1|
*Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
Best Value Bets
Will Take Charge to Win
The vast majority of observers seem to think that Orb is destined to win the Preakness and perhaps the Triple Crown after his dominant performance in the Kentucky Derby, but it wouldn't be fair to discount the other contenders. It's certainly possible that one of the other eight horses will play spoiler and prevent Orb from capturing the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Will Take Charge appears to have the best chance at doing it.
While he only finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, Will Take Charge came on late before getting stuck in traffic. With only nine horses in the Preakness, he will almost certainly get a clean run and could give Orb some trouble. Will Take Charge is only 12-1 at the moment, according to Bovada, so he provides excellent value. Nick Horvath of PennLive.com is one expert who believes Will Take Charge has what it takes to unseat Orb.
According to Horvath, Will Take Charge switching jockeys from Jon Court to Mike Smith could be a major coup. Smith is a Hall of Fame jockey who isn't likely to allow a bad trip. Orb is a considerable favorite for good reason, but if you're looking for a different winner, look no further than Will Take Charge as he could potentially make you some money on Saturday.
Orb/Titletown Five Exacta
Although he is the least heralded of the three D. Wayne Lukas-trained horses in the Preakness, Titletown Five shouldn't be forgotten. Titletown Five has only won once in seven races, so he probably isn't a threat to cross the finish line first, but that isn't necessary when it comes to betting. If you're one of the many who feel like Orb is a lock to win the Preakness, then pairing him with Titletown Five in an exacta could be a fantastic move.
Predicting Titletown Five to finish second is merely speculative because there is nothing that suggests he will fare that well. At the same time, very few thought that Golden Soul would be a factor in the Kentucky Derby, but he managed to excel against a bigger and more talented field, and he finished second to Orb. Titletown Five is a threat to do the same thing as Golden Soul, and his trainer believes that he is being overlooked, according to HRTV.
Lukas is obviously going to talk up his horses, but he's probably right. With only nine horses in the race, it's tough to justify Titletown Five being a 28-1 shot. You won't make much betting on Orb to win, but an exacta with Orb winning and Titletown Five in the place position is a very simple bet and it could pay out quite a bit.
Oxbow to Place
While betting on a horse to win is probably the most common gambling practice in horse racing, making a place or show bet could be a smarter move in some cases. For those who are already resigned to Orb prevailing, the focus should shift to second place. That position could very easily go to any of the other eight horses, but Oxbow is the total package as he has an impressive resume and is a longer shot at 16-1.
Oxbow is quite experienced with 10 races to his credit and he acquitted himself well in the Kentucky Derby by finishing sixth in a stacked field. Oxbow seems to be the type of horse that isn't necessarily a threat to win, but is always in the mix and in a position to finish well. His trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, is particularly excited about his prospects due to a favorable starting position, according to Brian Zipse of Horse Racing Nation.
Making place bets is tricky because the money goes into a different pool than the win bets, but they can still lead to solid payouts. Oxbow has a Hall of Fame trainer in Lukas and a great jockey in Julien Leparoux. He has also proven that he can run with the big boys. There is no reason to think that he can't stick with Orb and finish right behind him.
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