Picking out the winner of the Preakness Stakes just got a little easier over the last week with contenders dropping like flies.

First, Rich Strike was ruled out, and on the week of the race, connections of the Kentucky Derby third, Zandon, have also decided not to go to Pimlico.

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Looking at the stats over the last 10 years of the race, we see eight of the last 10 winners had a Beyer speed rating of 101 or higher, with the other two being rated 99 and 97. 

That is a significant stat for horseplayers to look at when handicapping and choosing their wagers.

The runner merry-go-round did not stop either with the Kevin McKathan-trained Fenwick being added to the field on Monday morning and he is the big outsider of the field.

Could we see another lightning bolt, like Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby? In addition to the Preakness Stakes horses found below, check out our Preakness Stakes picks and Preakness Stakes odds articles.

New to horse racing betting? See Joe Fortenbaugh’s horse racing betting guide below.

Preakness Stakes Horses?

The field has already been whittled down to single digits and as we write this we have nine runners set to go to post on Saturday, May 21. 

That number of entries could change, though, with one or two still not certain to run. So let’s take a look at all of them and rate their chances.

Epicenter +110 (11/10) - Beyer Rating 102

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Everything in the race is focused around Epicenter. He has the best form as proven by his second spot in the Kentucky Derby. He is the only runner with a Beyer speed figure over 100 and the cutback in distance is going to be ideal for this son of Not This Time.

His run in the Kentucky Derby showed he has plenty of speed and after stalking the speed in the Run for the Roses, he angled out around the far turn to take it up at the top of the stretch only to be beaten in deep stretch by Rich Strike.

With Zandon now out of the race, Epicenter looks to be chalked up as a very strong favorite.

Early Voting +400 (4/1) - Beyer Rating 96

Early Voting is another speed horse and another who will love the cutback in distance. The question is does he have enough class to beat Epicenter.

Early Voting likes to go right from the gate and he’ll try to take this field gate to wire. In the Wood Memorial, he set decent fractions but was still gunned down late by Mo Donegal, which looking back was a fantastic run, as that horse ran so well to finish fifth in the Kentucky Derby.

Secret Oath +450 (9/2) - Beyer Rating 94

The only filly in the field going up against the boys, she was an impressive winner of the Kentucky Oaks and may be the one to give the chalk the most to do. 

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas had a few in here at the initial entries stage but relies on this filly by Arrowgate (himself a champion).

Her run in the Kentucky Oaks showed she stayed very well but the question is whether she will have enough speed. She looks more of a Belmont horse.

Simplification +700 (7/1) - Beyer Rating 96

One of the highest Beyer speed figures in the race and his run in the Kentucky Derby tells us how classy he is. He won a really rough Fountain of Youth but cleared right away from the top of the stretch.

For a horse that has shown so much, it is disappointing he was beaten at very short odds on his second start, but there is no doubting he can really put a stretch run together as proven by his near 10-length victory earlier in the season.

Creative Minister +1000 (10/1) - Beyer Rating 92

He won an allowance in the style of a very good horse on the same card as the Kentucky Derby, but is he going to be good enough against these proven graded stakes horses?

He is now 2-3 and tends to miss the gate with slow starts. He has shown good mid-race pace to get in a good stalking position and launches his move each time off the far turn. It remains to be seen if he has the class for this after just three starts.

Armagnac +1400 (14/1) - Beyer Rating 93

A late entry here from trainer Tim Yakteen, and Irad Ortiz Jr. takes the ride. Armagnac won his maiden in good style on his second start but has since come up against much better foes in the San Felipe and the Run Happy when well beaten.

Another foe in this field is Happy Jack, who has beaten him in both of those races, so Armagnac looks to hold very little chance here. He got back to winning ways last time, going gate to wire when stepping down the class ladder but would need to improve to trouble the big guns. 

Skippylongstocking +1800 (18/1) - Beyer Rating 91

Skippylongstocking won just one of his first six starts and has been well beaten by another of the foes in here, Simplification. 

He really has it all to do against some much stronger foes and is likely to be chalked up as a long shot on the boards.

Happy Jack +3300 (33/1) - Beyer Rating 83

Happy Jack has been slow away from the gate in nearly all of his starts to date and in this race which really relies on speed, he looks as though he will be far back early and will find it tough to land a blow.

He is a strong closer and will be rallying from the 1/8th pole, but surely will have too much ground to make up on these speedier rivals. If they go very quick, then he may be one for the exotics.

Fenwick +3300 (33/1) - Beyer Rating 88

Fenwick was a late additional entry on Monday morning and on all known form he deserves to be 33/1. But, are we looking at another Rich Strike here?

He was a very promising second on debut but totally blew out on his next two runs before winning at odds of 21/1 when going gate to wire on Tampa Bay Derby Day, winning by nearly 10 lengths.

There is no doubt the ability is there, but he ran very badly last time when stepping up the class ladder and has it all to do against these foes.

Preakness Stakes Betting Odds?

Odds To Win the Preakness Stakes
HorseOdds
Epicenter+110
Early Voting+400
Secret Oath+450
Simplification+700
Creative Minister+1000
Armagnac+1400
Skippylongstocking+1800
Happy Jack+3300
Fenwick+3300

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It looks nearly impossible for Epicenter to be beaten, but we do not know how much the Kentucky Derby has taken out of him. Really, if he turns up in the same form, he should have too much class and speed for the rest of the field.

Early Voting looks sure to be the speed and he could get an easy time on the front end. He has posted some very fast fractions in all his races and looks like the main danger to Epicenter. It is also a bonus that he comes here a very fresh horse.

Connections have paid a fee of $150,000 to get Creative Minister into the race and he is certainly a horse with a bright future and looks sure to run a very big race on only his fourth career start and cannot be discounted.

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Happy Jack +3300 (33/1) - Beyer Rating 83

Happy Jack is one horse that could maybe hit the board at big odds. He has been running in all of the big three-year-old races and after winning on debut he then finished third in the San Felipe, rallying at the top of the stretch.

Next up was the Run Happy Stakes where he came up against Messier and Taiba. He bobbled at the start before taking third at the clubhouse turn, only to drop back to near last down the backstretch.

Once again he rallied from the top of the stretch to finish third and although he likely does not have the class for the win, he is chalked up at a big price and will be rallying and closing late. His stalking style may suit this race well with Early Voting sure to be on the speed and he looks the value play here, especially in exactas, trifectas and superfectas.