Preakness 2021 Odds: Jockeys to Trust, Fastest Horses and More Picks

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 15, 2021

Exercise rider Humberto Gomez takes Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness entrant Medina Spirit over the track during a training session ahead of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The two fastest horses in the Preakness Stakes field are trained by Bob Baffert. 

Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit and Concert Tour are the three-year-old horses to beat on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. 

Medina Spirit comes into the race under scrutiny after a positive drug test was revealed after his Derby win, but he was cleared to race at the Preakness after passing a negative drug test. 

Medina Spirit will go off from Post No. 3 as the likely favorite with 9-5 morningline odds. Concert Tour is the second favorite at 5-2. 

The payout is much larger if you choose a long shot, but as we learned at the Kentucky Derby, it is hard to bet against a Baffert horse in a Triple Crown race.


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Jockeys To Trust and Fastest Horses

Medina Spirit (John Velazquez)

Medina Spirit has an All-Star Triple Crown team behind him.

Baffert owns seven wins each at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and jockey John Velazquez has six victories at Triple Crown races. 

Velazquez has won three of the last five Kentucky Derbies and became the first rider since Victor Espinoza in 2014 and 2015 to win back-to-back races at Churchill Downs on May 2. 

Medina Spirit does have one trend going against him, as three of the last 10 favorites took first at the Preakness. 

However, the counter to that trend is two of the three horses to win as favorites were American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018, both of whom were trained by Baffert. 

At 9-5, Medina Spirit carries plenty of betting value as the favorite. There is always the potential for his odds to drop before post time, but even then, he may be the safest bet in the field. 


Concert Tour (Mike Smith)

Baffert saddled his other horse with another one of the most experienced Triple Crown jockeys.

Mike Smith led Justify to the 2018 Triple Crown, and he has seven total Triple Crown race victories in his career. 

Concert Tour produced three victories and a third-place finish at the Arkansas Derby in his buildup to the Triple Crown. 

He did not race in the Kentucky Derby, so he is the freshest horse among the favorites—Medina Spirit and third favorite Midnight Bourbon both competed two weeks ago. 

Two years ago, three of the four horses that competed in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes finished sixth or worse. War of Will captured first at Pimlico after taking seventh at Churchill Downs. 

If Medina Spirit and Midnight Bourbon suffer the same fate as the three horses that struggled in 2019, Concert Tour could be the main beneficiary.

Concert Tour should get off to a strong start from the outside post, and if Smith navigates him around the weaker horses in the field, he could be poised for a surge to first.