We are quickly approaching the second leg of the Triple Crown and the astounding news is that Rich Strike will not be lining up and bidding for Triple Crown glory.
First, he created a shock for all the right reasons by winning the Kentucky Derby at 80/1 and now he is taking all the headlines for the wrong reasons by not lining up for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
Connections have decided to wait for the Belmont Stakes, which will suit the horse much better.
As I said in our Preakness Odds post, trainer Eric Reed had made it clear the day after the Kentucky Derby that they have always spaced Rich Strike’s runs out by at least five weeks, and with the Preakness being a much shorter distance, it was never going to play to his strengths.
He is an out-and-out stayer and the Belmont looks like the ideal race for him.
It’s a real bummer for race fans that we won’t see him attempt the Triple Crown but the owner and trainer are taking the horse’s welfare into consideration and that is their choice. We have a full breakdown of all the Preakness Stakes horses to help you make your pick.
New to horse racing betting? See Joe Fortenbaugh’s horse racing betting guide below.
Preakness Stakes Betting Odds?
Preakness Stakes Pick
The best form in the race is held by Epicenter and with Rich Strike being ruled out, he is now your +110 (11/10) favorite to win the Preakness Stakes.
The race will set up well for him and he will surely try to break from the gate and grab a stalking position just behind the pace.
The cutback in distance is a big positive and he should confirm the form of the Kentucky Derby with Simplification and although there is no fun in backing favorites, a lot of the big horseplayers will think he is going to be mightily difficult to beat at Pimlico.
He has that burst of speed at this distance that many of these just don’t have and he has proven throughout the season that he is one of the best three-year-olds and has to go down as a strong bet.
However, from a value betting look, Secret Oath, the Kentucky Oaks winner priced up at around +450 (4.5/1), looks to be the best bet of the horses chalked up near the top of the board.
Preakness Stakes Betting Favorites
It now looks like we could have a very small but select field by the time the horses reach post time on Saturday, May 21.
Along with Epicenter, we could see Simplification, the horse that finished fourth in the Derby, take his chance. Top jockey John Velazquez has already been booked to take the ride.
Of the horses we did not see in the Derby, two stand out as very interesting and they are Secret Oath and Creative Minister.
Secret Oath +450 (4.5/1)
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly won the Kentucky Oaks very impressively, making her move in deep stretch and digging deep to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
She’ll be receiving weight from the colts and with master handler Lukas having missed out on the first leg of the Triple Crown, it’s possible this filly could bag the second leg.
Creative Minister +1000 (10/1)
The Kenny McPeek-trained gray was a winner at Churchill Downs on Derby Day and looked visually impressive when winning an allowance contest by three lengths. That run gave the horse a Beyer speed figure of 92 which still means he needs to find more to beat some of these foes.
However, he really has untapped potential and won nicely in hand at Churchill Downs and could give the big guns plenty to think about on Saturday.
Preakness Stakes Betting Long Shots
We have a few horses here that are flying under the radar in terms of form and untapped potential.
The one long shot we are looking at, though, is Skippylongstocking.
Skippylongstocking +1800 (18/1)
Trained by the smart Saffie Joseph Jr., this one finished third in the Wood Memorial behind Mo Donegal and Early Voting. Mo Donegal will not be at Pimlico but Early Voting is still in the running.
Skippylongstocking looked like a horse who still needed the experience and is sure to improve and get much closer to Early Voting this time.
Wagering on the Preakness Stakes
Epicenter is going to be a tough foe for all, but Secret Oath looks like the value of the race and worth a win wager at odds of +450 (4.5/1).
In the exotics, the key horse is going to be Secret Oath. We suggest using her on top of Epicenter and Creative Mission.