As the saying goes, you don't want to back the wrong horse. When it comes to the Preakness Stakes, you'd much rather make a little bit of money rather than none at all.
There aren't a ton of massive underdogs in the field, so the payoff won't be too great even if you manage to hit the superfecta, like the woman who won $28,000 from the Kentucky Derby.
Still, before you decide to throw down some cash on the race, you need to make sure you're not flushing your money down the drain.
Here is a list of the odds for each horse, followed by three horses that are the safest bets for the Preakness Stakes.
|1 ||Orb||Joel Rosario ||
Shug McGaughey ||1-1
Goldencents ||Kevin Krigger ||Doug O’Neill ||8-1
Titletown Five ||Julien Leparoux ||D. Wayne Lukas ||40-1
|4 ||Departing ||Brian Hernandez, Jr. ||Albert M. Stall, Jr. ||6-1
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 ||12-1
Govenor Charlie ||Martin Garcia ||Bob Baffert ||12-1
Itsmyluckyday ||John Velazquez ||Eddie Plesa Jr. ||10-1
*Note: All odds courtesy of VegasInsider.com
Orb will be the heavy favorite going into the race, and it's easy to see why. He ran a great race at the Kentucky Derby despite what was a mess of a track at Churchill Downs.
Getting stuck in the first position might be a death sentence in many races, especially the Preakness. Just take a look at how much history is up against Orb (h/t David Grening of Daily Racing Form):
Tabasco Cat (1994) only Preakness winner from the rail since 1961. #orb— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 15, 2013
However, Orb is helped by only having nine horses in the field. He might start on the rail, but Joel Rosario should be able to find the holes necessary in order to move through the pack.
There's no doubting Orb has the tools to succeed at Pimlico. Even with a shorter track, he shouldn't be significantly hampered.
Should he not finish at the top, you can be guaranteed Orb will remain among the top finishers at the Preakness. With even odds, it probably isn't smart to bet on Orb to win considering there would be little payoff. Still, look to include Orb in any trifecta or superfecta.
There should be little debate as to the merits of Mylute now. He ran a strong race at the Derby despite the poor conditions. It took a powerful horse in order to finish near the leaders, and Mylute put his strength on display by finishing fifth.
He's never won a race longer than a mile, so there's some questioning as to his chances at the Preakness. Still, Mylute has more than enough to finish at or near the top at Pimlico.
Starting out in fifth can possibly prove troublesome, but Rosie Napravnik should be able to navigate Mylute through the pack. Starting in the middle means he won't be stuck on the rail, yet he should have enough room on the outside to make a move when it counts the most.
Oxbow is an intriguing bet for the Preakness. With 15-1 odds, there's the chance that you can net a nice payday by making the right kind of bet. As the horse with the second-worst odds, you might be scared away from putting anything significant on Oxbow.
If you're swayed at all by history, however, you'll consider Oxbow one of the favorites (h/t HRTV):
Oxbow's post 6 has yielded the most Preakness winners -- 15 -- since 1909.— HRTV (@HRTVinsider) May 15, 2013
Furthermore, this is a strong horse.
He's got a great jockey-trainer combo in Gary Stevens and D. Wayne Lukas. Stevens has seen better days on the track, but he's a two-time winner at the Preakness Stakes and knows how to handle the track. Lukas has done three better as he's a five-time winner at Pimlico.
Oxbow finished sixth at the Derby, which is even more impressive when you consider he started out at the second position. Stevens managed not to get stuck inside too long and fall away from the leaders.