March Madness is approaching and the 64 team tournament is consistently the most heart pounding and exhilarating collection of games in all athletics. Who will win it all? A perennial favorite that won't be denied or will one team catch lightning in a bottle and make history?
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Preakness Stakes 2019: Latest Odds, Picks, & Betting Tips
Triple Crown races always seem to mean more when a horse is going for the trifecta. That won't apply this year after the Derby winner, the polarizing Country House, pulled out due to sickness. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy — or more importantly, make money off of — the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming race, including Preakness Stakes Odds and free betting tips.
Let's have a look at the top three favourites according to the racebooks:
- Improbable (+175)
- War of Will (+275)
- Alwaysmining (+650)
Preakness Stakes: Start Time & How To Watch
The second jewel of the Triple Crown takes place on Saturday, May 18. The Preakness airs live on NBC television. The race can also be streamed on the network's own app or through FuboTV.
Expected post time for the event is slotted for 6:48 pm EST. The Pimlico Race Course is just shorter than Churchill Downs — half a furlong or one-sixteenth shorter if we're being exact. Expect the race to be under two minutes long.
Preakness Stakes 2019 Odds
Being only two weeks apart, there's usually a lot of crossover between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes betting favorites. The keyword is usually because no such distinction exists this time (more on why later). Only Improbable is a familiar name on both pre-line lists.
The latest odds Preakness Stakes over at Bovada has the following horses with at least 10-1 odds to win it all:
- Improbable (+175)
- War of Will (+275)
- Alwaysmining (+650)
- Bourbon War (+700)
- Owendale (+800)
- Anothertwistafate (+1000)
- Win Win Win (+1000)
Lasting Fallout From Wild Kentucky Derby
Out of all the adjectives that could best sum up the 2019 Kentucky Derby, our favorite has to be head-scratching.
For starters, the pre-race favorite, Omaha Beach, was scratched (no pun intended) three days before the competition. It was the most-notable withdrawal since 2009 when the then-morning line favorite, I Want Revenge, also dropped out of the Run for the Roses. That year, the late scratch paved the way for a 50-1 longshot, Mine That Bird, to pull off a stunning victory.
Unironically, the same would transpire a decade later, this time with Country House winning the Derby at 65-1 odds — the second-highest in event history. By now, you've heard about the controversial ending and surely have an opinion on if the disqualification to Maximum Security (who actually finished first) was warranted or not.
That's neither here nor there, but there are lasting ramifications in Baltimore. There will be no rematch between the two disputed horses as neither will compete at the Pimlico Race Course. Maximum Security suffered abrasions during the now-infamous run, while Country House has a "cough," according to trainer Bill Mott. While conspiracy theorists aren't buying the cough excuse, the fact is for the first time in 23 years, a Kentucky Derby winner will not continue his Triple Crown bid at the Preakness.
That turn of events has caused absolute madness with the Preakness Stakes Betting Odds. Of the aforementioned betting favorites, only Improbable, War of Will, and Win Win Win even ran at Churchill Downs.
Who Will Win The Preakness Stakes?
Every time a huge underdog pulls off a miracle win —as Country House did last week — it becomes easier to believe it can happen again the next time out. We'd strongly warn against that mindset. As we've already pointed out, the 2019 Kentucky Derby was a complete anomaly. The likelihood of any of those surrounding events repeating themselves is slim to none.
Expect a return to the norm at the Preakness — the norm here being complete dominance out of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith. Baffert will attempt to break a deadlock tie with 19th-century trainer R. Wyndham Walden for most Preakness victories all-time. He's currently at seven and his horse, Improbable, enters as the slight favorite.
To make history, Baffert has enlisted a trusty partner, Smith. As we've previously noted, "Big Money Mike" is as good as they come. The two Triple Crowns he's won for Baffert in the past five years proves that. In an otherwise chaotic field, Smith brings a calming presence with him that you can trust as a better.
At Churchill Downs, Improbable was actually ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., this after Smith snubbed Baffert in favor of riding Omaha Beach. However, the late scratch to Omaha Beach left Smith horse-less at Churchill Downs. Obviously, there are no hard feelings between the two, nor should there be after the pair's rich history of winning.
Under Ortiz's guidance at the Derby, Improbable finished at a strong fourth. It appeared he was bogged down in the last quarter mile once Ortiz tipped him. Still, none of the three horses that finished ahead of him will compete at the Preakness.
Between a weakened racing field and the Baffert-Smith pedigree, it feels like the perfect storm for Improbable. Bank on Baffert to enter the history books as the most prolific Preakness winner ever.
Pick: Improbable (+150)
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