Preakness Odds: Analyzing Race's Most Inaccurate Betting Lines

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 16:  Jockey Kevin Krigger takes Preakness entrant Goldencents over the track  in preparation for the 138th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 16, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

While oddsmakers usually seem to know what they're doing better than anyone else, there are certainly times when they miss the boat. Orb was installed as an early Kentucky Derby favorite, and while the public bet Revolutionary into the No. 1 position, the oddsmakers ultimately got that right. Other odds weren't quite as accurate, though.

Orb is a huge 10-11 favorite in the Preakness Stakes, and while that seems quite hefty, Orb was clearly the best horse in the Kentucky Derby, so it's tough to argue with that. At the same time, since Orb is such a massive favorite, the odds are a bit out of whack for some of the other horses as they aren't getting as much play.

Here are three horses whose odds are most inaccurate as the prestigious Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course draws closer.


Starting Order

Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
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 13-2
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.


*Betting odds courtesy of Bovada


Goldencents (8-1)

Entering the Kentucky Derby it looked as though all the pieces were in place for Goldencents to reign supreme.

Not only was he on a hot streak, but trainer Doug O'Neill was looking for his second consecutive Derby win, jockey Kevin Krigger was trying to make history as the first African-American jockey to win the race since 1902 and part-owner and Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino hoped to continue his hot streak.

Unfortunately for Goldencents, his handlers and those who voted for him, none of those things came true. Goldencents stormed to the front early along with Palace Malice and set a blistering pace, but it was unsustainable.

He ultimately faded and finished a highly-disappointing 17th. Despite that poor finish, history will still be on the line on Saturday as Krigger looks to become the first black jockey to win the Preakness since 1898, according to the Baltimore Sun.

As great as it would be to see that come to fruition, Goldencents doesn't seem to be as serious of a contender as his 8-1 odds suggest. Goldencents is a front runner and that type of strategy hasn't worked well in Triple Crown races over the past several years. Closers tend to have the most success, which is why Orb is such a big favorite. Goldencents is definitely a quality horse, but he simply isn't cut out for these types of races.


Will Take Charge (12-1)

While ifs, ands and buts don't mean much in horse racing, it's tough not to wonder about how Will Take Charge might have fared in the Kentucky Derby had he not gotten caught up in traffic during the latter stages.

Much like eventual winner Orb, Will Take Charge appeared to make a late run and was on course to surge toward the front. He got a bad trip, however, and ended up finishing eighth when he very easily could have taken second or perhaps even first.

Will Take Charge will get another crack at a Triple Crown race on Saturday, though, as he starts in the No. 7 spot at the Preakness Stakes. One change that has been made relates to Will Take Charge's jockey as he will now be ridden by Hall-of-Famer Mike Smith rather than Jon Court.

This makes Will Take Charge even more dangerous, and other jockeys such as Mylute's Rosie Napravnik have taken notice, according to Mary Rampellini of Daily Racing Form.

Mylute is currently No. 2 when it comes to the betting odds, so Napravnik must see something in Will Take Charge if she is worried about his presence. Will Take Charge easily seems to be the best value play in the entire field at 12-1. It's quite odd for a horse that could have won the Derby with a bit more luck to have the third-worst odds, and you should take advantage of that blunder.


Oxbow (16-1)

Oxbow is one of those horses that appears to be solid, but unspectacular. Anything can happen in a big race like the Preakness, though, so simply being solid could potentially be enough to win. Oxbow hung around and was among the lead group as he finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby. He didn't have the late kick necessary to overtake a horse like Orb; however, he was very much in contention and surprised a lot of people.

Many observers already seem resigned to Orb winning the Preakness, but there is always a chance that Orb gets caught in traffic, pulls up lame or does something that costs him the race. The best horse doesn't always win, which is probably why there hasn't been a Triple Crown winner for so long.

If there is a horse that can overtake Orb, it could be Oxbow. Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas is very high on Oxbow's chances, according to Jennie Rees of The Louisville Courier-Journal.

With Lukas preparing him and Gary Stevens saddling him, Oxbow has a dream team surrounding him. There is no way Oxbow should be behind horses such as Itsmyluckyday, Govenor Charlie and Goldencents in terms of betting odds. He has proven much more than those horses and could possibly shock the horse racing world. With odds of 16-1, he is definitely worth a gamble.


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