Preakness Odds 2018: Picks and Predictions Based on Recent Betting Lines

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 15, 2018

Mike Smith rides Justify through the fourth turn and unto victory during the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Justify enters the 2018 Preakness Stakes with plenty of pressure to keep the Triple Crown dream alive. 

Not only is the Kentucky Derby winner searching for horse racing glory, he is looking to become the fifth horse trained by Bob Baffert to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in the same year. 

Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah achieved the feat in the past, but only American Pharoah finished off the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. 

Given the way Justify performed at Churchill Downs, it wouldn't be surprising to see him dominate a field with fewer entries than the first leg of the Triple Crown. 

       

Preakness Stakes Odds (via OddsShark

Justify (-200; bet $200 to win $100) 

Good Magic (+450; bet $100 to win $450) 

Diamond King (+1600) 

Bravazo (+2500) 

Quip (+2500) 

Sporting Chance (+3300) 

Tenfold (N/A) 

Lone Sailor (N/A) 

      

Picks and Predictions 

Justify 

It's going to be hard to pick against Justify Saturday given the small field of horses he's going up against. 

Justify's top competition comes from Good Magic, who placed second at the Kentucky Derby, while two other derby competitors, Lone Sailor and Bravazo, are entered in the field of eight. 

Since he's been in this position four times in the past, Baffert understands what he has to do to keep Justify fresh for the Preakness Stakes, per Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier-Journal. 

Morry Gash/Associated Press

“They’re in the zone; they’re just peaking out,” Baffert said. “And so we don’t do a lot with them because they’ve just run. And (Justify) is pretty fit. We’ve been running him into shape, and (the Kentucky Derby) was probably his hardest race."

With a minimal amount of challengers to the Kentucky Derby winner, it might be a wise idea to throw money down on Justify before his odds continue to drop in the coming days. 

If there were more contenders for Justify, like he faced at Churchill Downs, the odds might not have been as low, but you're not getting away with a bargain on the horse hunting for the Triple Crown. 

Justify is the favorite until proven wrong at Pimlico, which at the bare minimum should feature the favorite at the front of the field for a long stretch. 

Prediction: Winner 

       

Good Magic 

Much will be made about the challenge Good Magic can mount Saturday, and there's a legitimate argument he could make a charge at Justify. 

Good Magic took second at the Kentucky Derby, and his trainers decided Sunday to participate in the next leg of the Triple Crown, per Childs Walker of the Baltimore Sun

"I think it's a great opportunity for the horse," trainer Chad Brown said. "I really don't have anything else planned for him before, say, either the Haskell or the Jim Dandy anyway. That said, I wouldn't do it just because he's going to get a bit of a freshening. He has to be doing well, and he's doing exceptionally well." 

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03: Good Magic, trained by Chad Brown, exercises in preparation for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Brown won his first Triple Crown race a year ago at the Preakness Stakes, as Cloud Computing ended Always Dreaming's quest for horse racing's top honor. 

Good Magic is capable of winning big races, as he took first at the 2017 Breeders Cup juvenile and the 2018 Blue Grass Stakes. 

With fewer contenders to deal with throughout the race, Good Magic should thrust himself into the front of the pack alongside Justify in order to set up a one-on-one showdown. 

Although he'll come up just short, Good Magic's display at Pimlico should create one of the more memorable head-to-head Triple Crown races in recent history. 

Prediction: 2nd 

              

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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