Hopefully, the circus surrounding the horse racing industry will not tarnish the second leg of the Triple Crown this weekend. Trainer Bob Baffert acknowledged that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with Otomax following a flare-up of dermatitis after the Santa Anita Derby. The medication contains the banned medication betamethasone - which could have led to Medina Spirit testing positive following his win in the Run for the Roses.
As a part of an agreement reached late Tuesday, Baffert will allow Maryland Jockey Club officials to conduct rigorous testing and monitoring leading up to post time.
With all the scrutiny around Medina Spirit, the Preakness Stakes is expected to have a field of 10 entrants.
NBC will televise live coverage of the 146th running of the Preakness on Saturday.
Medina Spirit (9/5) will be breaking from post No. 3 and installed as the prohibitive morning-line favorite in the $1 million Preakness.
Concert Tour (5/2), who has not run since a shocking third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), is arguably a major threat to Medina Spirit breaking from post No. 10.
Midnight Bourbon (5/1), who finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby, drew post No. 5 and is listed as the third betting choice at odds of 5-1.
Chad Brown’s lightly-raced Crowded Trade (10/1) slots in as the fourth betting choice of all the newcomers in the field.
Preakness Stakes Betting Angles/Trends
- Top trainer Bob Baffert, among all the distractions, has a chance to make history once again. After becoming the all-time winning trainer in Kentucky Derby history, the much-maligned trainer has a chance to become the all-time leading trainer in Preakness history as he looks to add to his seven victories. He will have two shots at taking sole possession of the leaderboard with Medina Spirit and Concert Tour.
PACE MAKES RACE: PREFERRED RUNNING STYLES
The pace of the race should be hot and heavy as Concert Tour, Medina Spirit, and Midnight Bourbon should all be forwardly placed and vie for the early lead. The discussion as to who will gain the early lead and become the lone pacesetter is easily up for debate.
The question then becomes, can any of the newcomers come from mid-pack and close into a pace meltdown that could develop among the top three horses? One important betting angle all bettors should take note of is four of the last 12 Preakness winners have won employing gate-to-wire running styles.
Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper into this race.
Preakness Stakes (G1)
- Racetrack: Pimlico - Baltimore, Maryland
- Date: Saturday, May 15, 2021
- Purse: $1,000,000
- Distance: 1 3/16 mile, Dirt
- Race: 13
- Post Time: 6:47 p.m. EST / 3:47 PST
- TV: NBC
HORSES OF NOTE
(Listed by post number, name, and odds)
#8 Medina Spirit (9/5) - Block out all the noise because my formula, which was highest on Medina Spirit to win the Kentucky Derby, is once again highest on him versus arguably a much weaker field. On paper, this son of Prontico will likely be gunned to the lead once again by John Velazquez, who will look to be the lone pacesetter. We could be looking at another win from a talented horse who has run first or second in all six career races. Top Choice
#5 Midnight Bourbon (5/1) - This son of Tiznow looked great in his win in the Lecomte Stakes and was very consistent - before his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby - hitting the board in all seven of his previous career races. Trainer Steve Asmussen switches to Irad Ortiz in the irons for the Preakness Stakes. This colt seems to rank as the biggest threat to Median Spirit if he can land a better trip than he got in the Derby. Contender
#10 Concert Tour (5/2) - Concert Tour, who was scratched from the Derby, was seen finishing third in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park back on April 4 after finding the winners circle in the first three starts of his career - highlighted by wins in the Rebel and San Vicente Stakes. Before the clunker in the Arkansas Derby, he was the "talk" of the Derby futures. I am not a fan of the outside draw, but the fact that Baffert has entered him against Medina Spirit makes him a must use. Threat
Double-Digit Board Crashers
#6 Rombauer (12/1) - Rombauer posted his best speed figure last out but still finished third at odds of 24-1 behind Essential Quality and Highly Motivated in the Blue Grass Stakes back in April. He still earned a 100 Equibase Speed Figure despite being bumped and being compromised at the opening break. Top Longshot
#9 Risk Taking (15/1) - This son of Medaglia D’ Oro was an impressive winner in the Withers Stakes back in February but then followed up with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Wood Memorial. After bobbling at the start, he never seemed to recover in the Wood but, with a clean break, poses as an attractive target for exotic tickets. Exotics
#7 France Go de Ina (30/1) - Upon initial glance, this was a horse I was looking to toss on Saturday after his sixth-place finish in the UAE Derby overseas in March. However, due to his preferred racing style close to the pace, he could be primed to hit the board at a huge number. Top Moonshot
Preakness Stakes Formula Rankings
- #3 Medina Spirit
- #5 Midnight Bourbon
- #10 Concert Tour
Exacta, Trifecta Players
- #6 Rombauer**
- #9 Risk Taking
- #7 France Go de Ina
BY THE NUMBERS: EQUIBASE TOP SPEED FIGURES
Preakness Stakes Betting Breakdown
This race will boil down to whether Medina Spirit can win the second leg of the Triple Crown despite all the distractions and not having Baffert’s guiding hand trackside. I envision 5/2 or higher on Medina Spirit at post-time as many will look to play against him, which will work in our favor. My top play is #3 Medina Spirit (9/5) who I will use with #5 Midnight Bourbon (5/1), #10 Concert Tour (5/2), and #6 Rombauer (12/1). Due to either poor form or numbers consistently lower than the contenders, I will be tossing #1 Ram and #2 Keepmeinmind off all tickets.
TOP Exacta Box: 3-5-10-6-9
- COST: $1 wager: $20
TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 3 with 5,6,9,10 with 5,6,9,10
- COST: $1 wager: $12
BOMBS AWAY Trifecta SPREAD Part-Wheel: 5,6,9 / 3,5,6,7,9,10 / 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
- COST: 50-cent wager: $27
WIN BETS: #8 Medina Spirit (ONLY at Odds of 2/1 or higher)
***May look to add win wagers on Rombauer at odds of 14-1 or higher as well as Risk Taking at odds of 17/1 or higher**
All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll
Over the course of 2020 and into 2021, our Senior Gambling Analyst and Vegas Insider- Frankie Taddeo - has shared his horse racing handicapping formula which has correctly predicted the following winners at SI Gambling:
Travers Stakes - Exacta (8/1), Trifecta (36/1)
Blue Grass Stakes - Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1)
Frizette Stakes - Exacta Cold
Desi Arnaz Stakes - Exacta (31/1)
Ontario Derby - Trifecta (72/1)
Tropical Turf Stakes - Trifecta (37/1) - 2021*
Rebel Stakes - Concert Tour - Winner
Kentucky Derby - Medina Spirit (13/1) & Exacta (251/1)
MORE PREAKNESS STAKES COVERAGE: