Preakness 2022: Predicting Post-Kentucky Derby Odds and Preview

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 8, 2022

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Jockey Sonny Leon aboard Rich Strike (21) wins the148th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7th, 2022, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Rich Strike made history at the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, winning the prestigious race as an 80-1 long shot. Now, the quest for the Triple Crown is underway, and the colt is heading to the Preakness Stakes with a chance for another impressive victory.

This isn't a situation that many could have predicted. Rich Strike wasn't even in the Derby field until Friday morning, when Ethereal Road was scratched, creating an opening for one additional colt in the 20-horse field. Then, Rich Strike became the second-largest long shot to win the Derby, behind only Donerail, who had 91-1 odds when he raced to victory in 1913.

With a Kentucky Derby win, Rich Strike is one-third of the way to the Triple Crown. The Preakness is set for May 21, and if he finishes first at Pimlico Race Course, too, then he'll head to the Belmont Stakes on June 11 with an opportunity to become only the 14th horse to win all three races.

The last Triple Crown winner was Justify in 2018. American Pharoah also won all three races in 2015. But over the past three years, the Derby winner has been unsuccessful at the Preakness, as the most recent winners in Baltimore were Rombauer (2021), Swiss Skydiver (2020) and War of Will (2019).

It's not yet known which other horses will be competing against Rich Strike in the 2022 Preakness Stakes. Epicenter (second in the Kentucky Derby) and Zandon (third) were both expected to fare well in the Derby, and they both ended up in the money. They would likely be strong competitors at Pimlico, too.

One non-Derby horse that could be in the Preakness field is Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath. The filly was impressive at Churchill Downs on Friday, and trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he'll make a decision on the horse's Preakness status late this upcoming week, according to Nicole Russo of Daily Racing Form.


Odds Predictions

The early odds for the Preakness haven't yet been released, but there's a good chance that Rich Strike won't be the favorite. Even though the colt won the Derby, that's not a guarantee for a horse to have success in the second leg of the Triple Crown schedule.

The Preakness is a shorter race than the Derby at 1 3/16 miles, as opposed to 1 1/4 miles. And it's been shown over the years how difficult it is for a horse to win both races, much less all three Triple Crown events.

Also, Rich Strike hasn't always raced as well as he did Saturday. Heading into the Derby, he had only one career win, and that also came at Churchill Downs last September. He had finished third or worse in five straight races before the Kentucky Derby.

But Rich Strike shouldn't be a huge long shot again, either. He has proved to be too strong of a horse to have anywhere close to an 80-1 line. So while he won't be the Preakness favorite, expect him to be among the top four or five horses in the field.

As for the favorite, it could be hard to pick against Epicenter. The colt has finished in the top two in each of his past six races, winning four times during that stretch. If it wasn't for Rich Strike's incredible comeback, Epicenter appeared to be on his way to a Derby victory coming out of the final turn.

Zandon is another strong horse that lived up to expectations at the Kentucky Derby. He was battling for the lead down the final stretch, and he ended up in third just behind Epicenter.

After Epicenter and Zandon were both among the favorites heading into the Derby, that should again be the case for the Preakness, assuming both are in the field. And considering how well Epicenter performed yet again, it seems like there's a good chance he'll be the early betting favorite when the odds are released for the Preakness.