It’s the 148th running of “The Run For The Black Eyed Susans” and Mage will be the favorite for this year's race after winning the first leg of the Triple Crown at the beginning of May.
The race takes place at Pimlico Racetrack, one of the most iconic sports venues in the United States, and the home to that famous match race in 1938 between Sea Biscuit and War Admiral, when thousands flooded the infield to get a view of the people's horse.
That is history, and Mage will be trying to write his own piece of history over the next few weeks, first by winning the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes to try and become the 14th winner of the Triple Crown.
So, which horses stand in his way, and who are our top three picks for this year's Preakness Stakes?
New to horse racing betting? See Joe Fortenbaugh’s horse racing betting guide below.
2023 Preakness Stakes Betting Odds
|Red Route One
|Chase The Chaos
When is the Preakness Stakes?
Coverage for the race will be on NBC Sports at 2 p.m. ET and continue on to NBC at 4:30 p.m. ET. The race is set to begin at approximately 6:50 p.m. ET. The coverage will also be streamed on Peacock.
Preakness Stakes Picks To Win
Our first pick is Red Route One 12/1 who won the Bath House Row last time and this deep closer could well get a perfect race set up with both Coffeewithchris and National Treasure blasting away on the pace up front.
He closed all the way to the wire and in this smaller field, he is less likely to encounter traffic problems. He was ten lengths behind in that race and if you watch the replay with half a mile to go (link below) he was going nowhere fast.
However he rallied gamely to get up right on the wire and he'll be the strongest closer here.
Our second pick for this year's Preakness is National Treasure +450 who was one of the best of these as a two-year-old. He came up against Forte and his barn buddy Cave Rock (top juveniles from 2022) a few times last year and ran extremely well on each occasion.
He has already run well as a three-year-old when finishing fourth in the Santa Anita Derby and if you watch the rerun, you'll see he bobbled and was squeezed as the gates opened but soon recovered. As they hit the turn into the stretch you'll see he had to be reined back as Skinner went up on his outside.
He lost plenty of momentum so did very well to get back into the race and closed all the way to the wire, and at 18:1, he looks an interesting across-the-board play.
Our third pick for the 2023 Preakness Stakes is First Mission +250. He is very lightly raced in his career so far having had just three races but he took a step up the class ladder last time to win the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, and out of the whole field, he is probably the one with the most improvement to come.
As you can see from his last win, he has a game attitude and does not know when he is beaten, a trait he'll need against these much tougher foes.
Preakness Stakes – How to bet on the big race
Many people watching the Preakness Stakes on the May 20 will be wondering what type of bet they should place, so using our selections above let's share some ideas.
Win - Disarm +1000
Although First Mission has the shortest odds of our top three picks, we like the chances of Red Route One as the main win bet and he is a nice price at the moment, with many sportsbooks offering 12/1, and that looks even better value for an across the board wager (win, place, and show).
Win, Place & Show
If you wish to place the minimum stakes of $2, then it will be a $6 investment to wager on your own pick for the Preakness Stakes.
This is just a fun bet you can have and something to cheer home for this year's Run For The Black-Eyed Susans.
Our own choice across the board is NATIONAL TREASURE.