Mage is one of the Preakness Stakes Contenders
Horse Racing

Preakness Stakes Horses: A Look At The Top Contenders

The Preakness Stakes, which is the second leg of the triple crown, is firmly on the agenda for the Gustavo Delgado-trained Mage.

And if Mage goes on to win the Preakness Stakes, he'll be just the 24th horse to have achieved the feat of winning the first two legs of the triple crown.

With a current roster of just nine horses entered (some others may still be supplemented), we have a small but select field to look at.

What are The Preakness Stakes Betting Odds?

Odds To Win the Preakness Stakes
First Mission+240
National Treasure+900
 Blazing Sevens+1200
Confidence Game+1200
Red Route One+1400
Chase The Chaos+4000

Preakness Stakes Top Five Contenders

As mentioned above, we have just a small field, but let's look at the top five contenders.

Mage +200 (2/1) – Winner of the Kentucky Derby

The impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby, Mage might not be best suited by this slight cutback in distance, but that can be said for a number of these horses.

His form before the Kentucky Derby was strong, and he is a deserving favorite. Mage came from off the speed in the Derby so he's flexible in terms of race strategy, and should be one of those stalking the speed.

First Mission +240 (12/5) – Winner of the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes

First Mission is the least unexposed in this race and is clearly on an upward trajectory after winning the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes last time.

He goes for the powerful trainer-jockey combination of Brad Cox and Luis Saez. He was incredibly game in his last race, which you can watch below.

Cox was quoted after the Lexington as saying: “The five-week timing to the Preakness is ideal. He has a lot of talent and we’ve liked him for a while."

“We always thought he’d be a horse who could get around two turns or be his best at two turns. I thought that was an impressive effort for a horse that has run only three times.”

Blazing Sevens +1200 (12/1) Last Run - 3rd in the Blue Grass Stakes

Blazing Sevens did not run in the Kentucky Derby, as he missed the cut, but has secured a berth for the 2023 Preakness Stakes and will come here a fresh horse after a short layoff.

That is going to work in his favor, and his mid-pack running style is well-suited to the demands of the Pimlico racetrack.

I thought his run in the Blue Grass Stakes sets him up nicely for this, and he'll enjoy the mile and 3/16 distance.

Disarm +800 (8/1) Last Run - 4th in the Kentucky Derby

Disarm ran a fantastic race in the Kentucky Derby and finished fourth behind Mage.

He is another who likes to make his run from mid-pack and he will run right to the wire, often finishing his races very strong. If he can stalk the likely pace from Confidence Game, then he has a strong chance to hit the board and may well turn around the form with Mage.

Check out the video of his previous run in the Louisiana Derby where he was behind Kingsbarns, a horse he went on to beat in the Kentucky Derby. He'll be a late closer here.

Confidence Game +1200 (12/1) Last Run - 10th in the Kentucky Derby

After a tough go (finished 10th) in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Keith Desormeaux has taken the majority of the blame for the performance.

“We sharpened him up," the trainer said. "We didn’t necessarily train for speed, but I had him aggressive in his works and he ran that way. Is that a jockey error? No, it’s a trainer error, but with that being said my jock needs to be more aware of how fast he’s going.”

It remains to be seen if Desormeaux is right, and, interestingly, he has been well bet by some shrewd handicappers since the Kentucky Derby.