Preakness 2022 Horses: Entry List, Vegas Odds and Dark-Horse FavoritesMay 16, 2022
Epicenter entered the 2022 Kentucky Derby as the betting favorite to win the race. And he nearly did. However, he ended up getting passed shortly before the finish line, as 80-1 longshot Rich Strike surged from deep in the field to earn a surprise victory.
Now, Epicenter is again the favorite heading into this year's Preakness Stakes, which is set for Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. But this time, Rich Strike won't be in the field, as the Derby champion isn't competing in the race. That means there won't be a Triple Crown winner in 2022.
But it doesn't guarantee that Epicenter is going to win the Preakness. While he should be among the top contenders, anything can happen in horse racing. And that was proven less than two weeks ago with the Kentucky Derby.
Here's a look at the current odds for the top horses entering the 2022 Preakness Stakes.
Secret Oath: 11-2
Early Voting: 6-1
Creative Minister: 10-1
Un Ojo: 18-1
Ethereal Road: 25-1
Rattle N Roll: 28-1
Odds via SportsLine (h/t CBS Sports)
The three horses with the best odds are most likely to contend for the win at the Preakness. Epicenter was the Kentucky Derby runner-up, Secret Oath won the Kentucky Oaks and Early Voting (who was held out of the Derby) has had early success in his career.
But Simplification shouldn't be counted out for the Preakness. While Rich Strike passed Epicenter and Zandon in a thrilling finish at the Kentucky Derby, Simplification crossed the finish line just after that trio to end up in fourth in the race.
Prior to that, Simplification had placed in the top three at each of his previous six races, notching three victories over that span. Now, the Antonio Sano-trained colt could have another strong showing at the Preakness—and perhaps even win it.
"He really likes it here. He likes the track [surface]," assistant trainer Jesus Prada said, per Paulick Report. "I think he likes it here more than he liked it at Churchill Downs."
It's worth noting that Simplification will have a new jockey for the Preakness. Jose Ortiz, who rode the colt at the Derby, will be on Early Voting at the Preakness. So Simplification will be ridden by John Velazquez, a three-time Kentucky Derby champion and two-time Belmont Stakes winner.
Although Velazquez has been successful in his career, he's never won the Preakness. That could potentially change on Saturday with Simplification.
Another dark horse to keep an eye on is Creative Minister, who didn't race the Kentucky Derby. The Kenneth McPeek-trained colt has finished either first or second in each of his first three career events, and he could fare well at Pimlico.
It would be a bit of an upset if Creative Minister won the Preakness, considering he hasn't yet faced this level of competition. But it's quite possible that he'll finish in the money at least.
Of course, all of these horses will have to find a way to beat Epicenter. Even though he came up just short at the Kentucky Derby, he continues to have success everywhere he races. And the Preakness shouldn't be any different.