A Ticket for the Preakness
When you’re betting on a horse race, it’s always good to try to envision how the race will unfold. With the Preakness Stakes having the smallest field in years, that task should be easy. After all, we know at least a little about five of the colts in the eight-horse field; they just ran in the Kentucky Derby. And four in the field have little to no chance of winning.
The bad news is that the favorite, American Pharoah, was at 4-5 in the morning line, and that figure will probably be bet down further. Those kind of odds don’t bring much at the window. So, mixing your wagering opportunities is a good idea for this Saturday’s Preakness. Let’s take a look at the field at post, and figure a strategy.
1 – American Pharoah (4-5) – Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner starts on the inside, so he’ll dash to the first turn in order to be among the frontrunners, the position that got him the Derby.
2 – Dortmund (7-2) – The second of Baffert’s horses will allow Pharoah, the Triple Crown candidate, to the front and keep a position just behind.
3 – Mr. Z (20-1) – Went for the lead in the Derby, so he could try to cut the corners on the Baffert horses. But, as in Kentucky, he shouldn’t hold out.
4-6 – Danzig Moon, Tale of Verve and Bodhisattva – The three should run around mid pack most of the way. Any could make a run for a top-4 at the last.
7 – Divining Rod (12-1) – A month ago, this colt scored a three-length win in a Grade 3 race at Keeneland, but didn’t have the points to qualify for Kentucky. The wild card, look for him to be a presence at some point.
8 – Firing Line (4-1) – Went at it with American Pharoah in the last 1/16th of a mile at Churchill Downs. Since the Preakness is 1/16th shorter than the Derby, he may have what it takes.
With American Pharoah, Dortmund and Firing Line likely to hook up in the stretch again, lets play a $20 ticket this way:
1-2-8 Exacta box – and hope the best price wins; that’s six bets at $2 each = $12
7 Across the board (win, place and show) – and look for Divining Rod to make a push at the end. Three wagers at $2 = $6
6 to win – Bodhisattva has won at Pimlico, so $2 on a long shot, in case the whole thing falls apart.
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