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2018 Preakness Stakes Betting Trends & Facts

The Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico has been known as the Triple Crown race that tends to run truest to form, but after six straight Kentucky Derby favorites have adorned the Roses, maybe that reputation is starting to change.

The favorites and Derby winners have fared quite well in recent years in Baltimore, and Justify is looking to add to that list, the Bob Baffert trainee a very short price in early Preakness Stakes betting at Bovada.

Let’s dig into the archives and see if we can come up with a few betting trends to help us not only handicap the winner but perhaps come up with an overlay or two for the exotics.

Preakness Stakes Trends & Facts
  • Cloud Computing paid $28.80 last year, just the fourth Preakness winner to pay $9.00 or more since 2001. The others were Bernardini (2006) at $27.80, Shackleford (2011) at $27.20 and Oxbow (2013) at $32.80.
  • The betting favorite in the Preakness has won 13 of the last 32 editions and has run second nine times. The second choice in the betting has won nine times with four running second.
  • Over the past 32 years, the Preakness favorite has landed in the money 24 times (78%) and in the top four 28 times (88%).
  • Since 2001, 13 of the 17 Preakness winners have paid $8.80 or less. Four of the winners went off at EVEN money or less.
  • While the Kentucky Derby has had two winners pay over $100 in the last 13 years, the top payoff in Preakness history is Master Derby, who returned $48.80 in 1975.
  • The betting favorite has won 72 of the 142 editions of the Preakness.
  • While favorites have run well, the runner-up in the Preakness can sometimes be a long shot — Cherry Wine in 2016 at +1700, Tale of Verve in 2015 at +2800, First Dude at +2300 in 2010, Macho Again at +3900 in 2008, Scrappy T at +1300 in 2005, Midway Road at +2300 in 2003 and Magic Weisner at +4500 in 2002.
  • In 2002, War Emblem (+250) and Magic Weisner (+4500) combined for a record $327 exacta. The 2013 exacta with Oxbow (+1300) and Itsmyluckyday (+800) returned $301.
  • Trainer Bob Baffert has won the second jewel of the Triple Crown six times. The record is seven held by R. Wyndham Walden. Todd Pletcher’s record in the Preakness is now 0-for-9 after last year’s Derby winner Always Dreaming was fourth in the Preakness as the beaten favorite.
  • Three active jockeys have won the Preakness three times — Kent Desormeaux, Gary Stevens and Victor Espinoza.
  • Since 1997, 10 of 21 Derby winners came back to win the Preakness. Only one (American Pharoah) went on to complete the Triple Crown.
  • Since 1983, only four Preakness winners did not compete in the Kentucky Derby, including last year’s winner, Cloud Computing.
  • Exaggerator in 2016 became the first Kentucky Derby runner-up to win the Preakness since Prairie Bayou in 2003.
  • Over the past 41 years, the best post positions in the Preakness have been the eight post with eight winners and the three and seven posts with six winners each. Since 1986, we have seen just four winners that have broken from the 10 post and outward.
  • Three of last nine Preakness winners took the field gate to wire. While the Pimlico surface has a reputation for favoring speed, stalkers and closers have fared well in the race.
  • The largest margin of victory in the Preakness belongs to Smarty Jones in 2004, winning by 11 ½ lengths. American Pharoah won by seven lengths in 2015, tied for sixth in largest margin of victory.
  • Over the last 19 years, an average of five Derby starters have returned in the Preakness. In two of the past four years, just three returned. The most to return over the past two decades was 10 in 1999 and 2005. Those Derbies were won by long shots Charismatic ($64.60) and Giacomo ($102.60).

Handicapper Michael Dempsey will be covering the Triple Crown for Oddsshark and his full card reports with selections, analysis, fair odds line and wagering recommendations for major tracks can be found daily at turfnsport.com.