2014 Preakness Stakes oddsmakers really don't want you betting on California Chrome. They made this year's Kentucky Derby champion a massive favorite to win at Pimlico on Saturday.
Before taking a closer look at the numbers, here are the lines and payouts for the field, according to Preakness.com:
|2||General A Rod||15-1||$32.00|
|9||Pablo Del Monte||20-1||$42.00|
|10||Ride On Curlin||10-1||$22.00|
Not only is California Chrome a 3-5 favorite in Baltimore to win the 139th running of the Preakness, but Odds Shark pegs him with 2-1 odds to win the Triple Crown, a feat unaccomplished since 1978.
Despite the favorable numbers, there are plenty of reasons not to go all-in for California Chrome. Just last year, Orb entered the Preakness fresh off a Kentucky Derby victory with the same 3-5 odds. He lost by nine lengths.
Is California Chrome overrated?
California Chrome doesn't have an ideal post position either. While his eyes are set on 1978, a horse hasn't won the Preakness from the three inside posts since 1994.
While most horses on the outside posts don't project to have the speed to keep up with California Chrome, Social Inclusion, and his 5-1 odds, does. He boasts a top Beyer Speed Figure of 110, per Daily Racing Form. California Chrome—who, according to Tom Pedulla of The New York Times, finished with the slowest winning time on a Derby fast track since 1974—has never topped 108.
Speed means more at Pimlico because it's the shortest of the three Triple Crown race courses at 1 3/16 miles. That isn't necessarily in California Chrome's favor.
It's no wonder why David Papadopoulous of Bloomberg urged his readers not to bet on California Chrome. It isn't worth it. While he dominated the Kentucky Derby, winning by almost two lengths, too many other odds are stacked against him, besides the ones coming from Las Vegas, to bet on a horse that will reap minimal rewards.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report and editor at Wade-O Radio.