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Preakness Betting Guide: A Triple Crown Race

Saturday, May 15, 2021, will mark the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes. The Preakness will be the second leg of the Triple Crown this year, and is a Grade 1 thoroughbred racing event that draws bettors of all levels. If you can’t get to the famed Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, there are ample opportunities to place a bet on the Preakness Stakes online at our favorite racebooks.

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Below you’ll find a Preakness betting guide with the different types of horse racing bets you can make along with handicapping info. Who knows, you could become the Bob Baffert of Preakness Stakes betting online.

2021 Preakness Betting Information

The Preakness Stakes is the second race of horse racing's iconic Triple Crown. Following the Kentucky Derby and preceding the Belmont, the world's top horses, trainers, and jockeys flock to Baltimore every year to continue their quest for racing greatness. If you watched the Kentucky Derby, or think you have a good idea of what horse will take home the Preakness, there is no better racing event to wager on than the Maryland Triple Crown event.

  • Date: May 15, 2021
  • Location: Pimlico Race Course — Baltimore, Maryland
  • Post Time: 5:45 p.m. EST
  • Track Length: 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs, 1,900 meters)
  • Television Coverage: NBC

Preakness Betting: Past Winners

YearWinnerJockey
2020Swiss SkydiverR. Albarado
2019War of WillT. Gaffalione
2018JustifyM. Smith
2017Cloud ComputingJ. Castellano
2016ExaggeratorK. Desormeaux
2015American PharoahV. Espinoza
2014California ChromeV. Espinoza
2013OxboxG. Stevens
2012I’ll Have AnotherM. Guiterrez
2011ShacklefordJ. Castanon
2010Lookin At LuckyM. Garcia

Useful Preakness Betting Guides

Preakness Stakes Betting Tips

Picking winning horses is easier than you think. All you need is Odds Shark's Preakness betting tips in your corner and a little luck. Our Preakness betting guide outlines all the types of bets you can make on the Preakness Stakes:

How do I place Preakness Betting Futures?

To make a futures bet, you would pick the horse you think has the best chances of winning the race. If you can correctly predict the winner of the Preakness, you could make some major coin. The odds would be displayed like so:

  • Medina Spirit -225
  • Concert Tour +200
  • Midnight Bourbon + 450
  • Crowded Trade +875
  • Ram +1000
  • Unbridled Honor +1250

Here at Odds Shark, we use American odds but you can use Fractional (1/5) or Decimal (1.20) odds if you like. Generally, people in the U.K. use fractions. Those in Australia and Europe favor decimals, while North Americans like their namesake odds.

In this fictional Preakness betting scenario, the horse named Medina Spirit is the favorite. You can tell this because of the minus sign (-). The rest are underdogs, which you can see by the plus sign (+).

If you were to lay down $100 on Medina Spirit, you’d get a payout of $144.44 – your original money is returned along with your winnings of $44. 

However, if you feel strongly that Unbridled Honor is going to run his way to the finish line first, that same $100 would get you a payout of $1,350 – you get your $100 back, coupled with your winnings of $1,250. Be sure to look at track conditions and race day odds movement before placing your bets!

Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the offered odds and amount bet.

Win, Place, Show Bets

These are three bets rolled into one. To make a win, place, show bet, you need to pick a horse to win, another to come in second (place), and the final one to come in third (show). You will need to correctly predict the positions of each of your chosen steeds, otherwise, your bet is a bust.

Exactas, Trifectas and Quinellas

These are three separate bets. For an exacta bet, you would need to guess the top two horses in the right order. For a trifecta bet, you’ll need to pick the first-, second- and third-place horses. A quinella is the easiest of the three bets since you only have to guess two horses to come in first and second but they don’t have to be in the correct order.

Horse Matchup Wagering

This is a bet that allows you to narrow down the field by choosing only two horses. The horses you pick for your matchup bet don’t need to win the race outright, they just need to end up in the order you selected. Let’s say you bet that Spirit will finish ahead of Joey. If he does, you win your wager. Neither of the horses needs to come in first, they simply have to beat each other. If you only have some information on a few horses or don't have time to handicap the whole field, a matchup bet could be perfect for your Preakness Stakes betting.

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Handicapping Your Preakness Bets

  • Horses have to be three years old in order to race.
  • The race is run over a distance of 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs).
  • It is always held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and two or three weeks prior to the Belmont Stakes. This is done to give horses and jockeys a chance to recover in between races and prepare for a possible Triple Crown win.
  • Secretariat holds the record for fastest time at 1:53.00. He is also considered one of the greatest horses to ever set hoof on a racetrack. Secretariat’s odds to win the Preakness Stakes were -333.
  • Once the horses are called to the post, the United States Naval Academy Glee Club leads the crowd in a rendition of “Maryland, My Maryland,” the official song of the state.
  • How much the horse wins (or more aptly, how much his owners win) is around $1.5 million. The first Preakness purse was $2,050, equivalent to $43,426.17 in today’s dollars.
  • Thirteen horses have won all three of the Triple Crown races, the most recent one being Justify in 2018.
  • The Preakness features a weather vane as part of the infield structure. As soon as a champion is officially declared, an artist has the task of climbing to the top of the Old Clubhouse and painting the vane in the colors of the winner’s silks.

If you are still hungry for more horse racing betting advice for the Preakness Stakes, check out our How to Bet on the Preakness Stakes page for comprehensive strategies for the second leg of the Triple Crown.