When a thoroughbred is racing for the coveted Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, the third jewel, is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in the United States. When a horse hasn’t won the first two legs heading to the Belmont in June, it doesn’t make much of a blip. We find out what kind of hype the 2018 Belmont (June 9) will have on Saturday following the 143rd Preakness Stakes.
The Preakness is run on the dirt track at Pimlico in Baltimore and is the shortest Triple Crown race at 1 3/16 miles or 9.5 furlongs. All eyes will be on Kentucky Derby winner Justify, who won by 2½ lengths at Churchill Downs to stay unbeaten in his brief racing career.
Justify, who was the betting favorite in Louisville, was the first horse to win the Derby after not racing as a two-year-old since 1882. The colt is a -225 favorite on the Preakness Stakes odds. Justify is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who has won the race six times– last in 2015 with eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The record for Preakness wins by a trainer is seven, set by R. Wyndham Walden in the 1870s-80s.
American Pharoah was also the last Derby winner to take the Preakness. Baffert’s four Derby winners – also Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem – all took the Preakness.
While Justify had to beat 19 other horses at Churchill Downs, it appears there will be only seven competitors in Baltimore. Most owners/trainers don’t want to put their horses through the stress of two races in just two weeks unless of course they won the Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness limits the field to 14 regardless. Justify starts from Post 7, same as he did in Louisville.
One Derby horse who followed Justify to Baltimore is Good Magic (+325), who finished second at Churchill Downs. Good Magic was last year’s Eclipse Award two-year-old champion and is trained by Chad Brown. He saddled his first Triple Crown race winner in last year’s Preakness with Cloud Computing. Good Magic runs from Post 5.
Preakness horses who didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby are often referred to as “new shooters” – Cloud Computing was one. One such contender this year is Quip (+1400). In 2018, the colt has won the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and finished second to Magnum Moon in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, but his handlers opted to skip the Kentucky Derby.
Quip starts from Post 1. American Pharaoh was the last Post 1 winner of the Preakness.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
Source: Heavy Sports