Preakness 2022: Early Predictions Post-Kentucky Derby

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 8, 2022

Horse Racing: 146th Preakness Stakes: Aerial view  of grandstands, winner's circle and partial view of grass track before race at Pimlico Race Course. Baltimore,  MD 5/15/2021 CREDIT: Simon Bruty (Photo by Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X163618 TK1)
Set Number: X163618 TK1

A stunning development took pace at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday as Rich Strike, who was a late addition to the field after Ethereal Road got scratched, won at Churchill Downs with 80-1 odds.

Rich Strike is the longest shot to win the Kentucky Derby since Donerail at 91-1 in 1913.

Now attention turns toward the second Triple Crown race in the Preakness Stakes. The 147th running of the Preakness will go down Saturday, May 21 from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The field will run on a dirt track of 1 3/16 miles.

As far as projecting a winner goes, we don't know the Preakness field yet. However, we do know that Rich Strike will be there after trainer Eric Reed confirmed as much post-race on the NBC broadcast.

It's not uncommon to see longshot Kentucky Derby winners do well in the Preakness.

In fact, Charismatic, which won the 1999 Kentucky Derby with 31-1 odds, finished first in the Preakness as well. He ended up taking third in the Belmont Stakes.

Mine That Bird, with 50-1 Kentucky Derby odds, finished second in the 2009 Preakness to filly Rachel Alexandria. Giacomo, also at 50-1, took third in the 2005 Preakness. Thunder Gulch (25-1) finished third in 1995.

Although Rich Strike lost his last five races, Saturday doesn't feel like a total fluke as evidenced by his incredible run down the stretch, which saw jockey Sonny Leon hold off a pair of pre-race favorites in Epicenter and Zandon.

Speaking of those two horses, they ran a great race. They were simply outclassed on this day by a jockey and a horse who ran the race of a lifetime.

If Epicenter and Zandon enter the Preakness, they may be the favorites again.

Epicenter, which finished second, won the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby back-to-back before entering the Kentucky Derby. He has finished first four times and second two times in seven career starts.

Zandon, which finished third to Epicenter in the Risen Star Stakes, entered the Kentucky Derby off the heels of a win at the Blue Grass Stakes.

There is a potential wild-card pick for the Preakness, and that horse didn't even compete in the Kentucky Derby.

Secret Oath, a three-year-old filly, took home the Kentucky Oaks on Friday. She is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who has won 14 Triple Crown races (six Preakness Stakes victories).

Secret Oath isn't confirmed for Pimlico just yet, but per Nicole Russo of Daily Racing Forum, Lukas said the Preakness is an option.

Secret Oath has won four of her last five races. The only exception was the Arkansas Derby, which Kentucky Derby participant Cyberknife won. Barber Road took second.

Ultimately, the Preakness will be tough to project, but the guess here is that Epicenter takes it if he rides in Baltimore. If not, then the arrow points to Rich Strike, with Secret Oath a strong contender to finish top three.