Now that the Kentucky Derby has come and gone, we shift our attention to the second leg of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing. The 2017 Preakness Stakes will get underway on May 20th at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore with a 6:45 PM ET post time. NBC Sports Network will be broadcasting the first races Friday afternoon / Sunday morning and then NBC will take over on Saturday from 5 PM ET through 7:15 PM.
International betting sites are now taking early bets on the winner while the major US-legal racing betting sites will soon be opening their books as well once the post positions have been set.
Where to Bet on the 2017 Preakness Stakes Online
These are our recommended betting sites for the Preakness Stakes and horse racing in general because they are licensed, legal and safe. There are a few unlicensed bookmakers taking early bets right now, but there is simply no need to take the chance when we have legal options right here at home.
Even better – you can place every type of bet online that you could place in person. These include straight-up bets on the winner as well as place bets, show bets and all the exotics such as trifectas and superfectas. Just last week, some of those trifectas ended up paying very well.
Preakness Stakes Preview and Odds
Always Dreaming has opened as the early even-odds favorite among international bookmakers and will most likely open as the favorite in the US as well after a dominant performance at the Kentucky Derby just over a week ago. Despite sloppy conditions and a competitive field, Always Dreaming looked thoroughly in control throughout the entirety of the race.
The big question handicappers will be trying to answer over the next is whether or not Always Dreaming can make a quick turnaround and continue in the footsteps of past favorites who followed up a win at the Kentucky Derby with a second win at the Preakness Stakes.
Last year, Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby but gave up the Triple Crown chase after Exaggerator came through for the win at the Preakness Stakes. In 2015, American Pharoah won both races and would go on to win the Belmont Stakes as well to become the first Triple Crown winner in nearly 40 years. California Chrome and I’ll Have Another also came close in 2014 and 2012 respectively when they won the Derby and Preakness but then came up short at the Belmont Stakes.
If Always Dreaming is to make a run at the Triple Crown, he’ll have to do it on shorter rest than he’s ever had before. As GoErie.com notes, Always Dreaming has never come back for a second race on less than a month’s rest. To his credit, Always Dreaming was not only strong in the Kentucky Derby, but he has now proven himself on both wet conditions and dry tracks alike. This is a horse that seems to be comfortable anywhere.
Early Always Dreaming odds are priced right around 1/1. If you live outside in the United States, you can bet on the Preakness Stakes today to lock in your price. If you live inside the USA, you’ll be able to bet at true track odds once the post positions have been established and the US-licensed betting sites begin taking Preakness Stakes bets.
Always Dreaming will also face stiff competition from the likes of Classic Empire, Lookin At Lee, Gunnevara and Hence – all of whom were also Kentucky Derby contenders. Although Always Dreaming beat them the last time around, that does not mean he’s a lock to do it again. Always Dreaming had a great post position and made that run on difficult conditions. Both of those factors will likely be different at the Preakness Stakes. Furthermore, the Preakness Stakes will have a smaller field which means less jockeying for position and flat-out running.
Classic Empire is currently priced as the strongest contender with projected odds in the range of 9/2. His performance at the Kentucky Derby was marred by difficulty after a rough bump early that was so bad that his jockey later said he was just relieved Classic Empire didn’t fall. As if that wasn’t enough, Classic Empire then got hit in the eye by something and fell to as far back as 13th among all the runners.
This is all significant because despite all those challenges, Classic Empire still managed to recover for a fourth place finish. Now, he’ll get a chance to challenge Always Dreaming once again in a smaller field and hopefully make a clean run the entire way. With the betting public focused on Always Dreaming, there may be some value in picking Classic Empire for the upset.
Lookin At Lee comes in as the third-favorite with projected odds right around 8/1. Lookin at Lee was priced as a 33-1 outsider ahead of the Kentucky Derby but put on a strong showing and gave Always Dreaming the only challenge for the first place finish. After drawing away from the pack, Lookin at Lee made one last push down the final stretch but was ultimately unable to catch up to Always Dreaming and had to settle for 2nd.
One more thing to watch this year is the post position draw. Look for that to happen this Wednesday. Once we have post positions, the odds will start to come into their final form. Look for the US-licensed betting sites to publish the odds on Wednesday.
Currently, betting sites located outside the United States have rated all the Kentucky Derby contenders as Preakness Stakes favorites. Here’s a look at what one popular UK bookmaker is paying for each Preakness Stakes runner.
- Always Dreaming: 1-1
- Classic Empire: 9-2
- Lookin At Lee: 8-1
- Hence: 12-1
- Gunnevera: 12-1
- Conquest Mo Money: 16-1
- Multiplier: 16-1
- Cloud Computing: 20-1
- Senior Investment: 25-1
- Term Of Art: 25-1
The Kentucky Derby contenders have the advantage of being proven runners on the biggest stage and giving us a recent look at their form, but Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term Of Art all have the advantage of rest. None of those horses ran in the Kentucky Derby and will not be making the quick turnaround currently being demanded of the Derby contenders.
These longer-shot horses will be tempting, but you should keep in mind that long shots have not performed very well in past Preakness Stakes instances. Looking back at the last 10 winners and their morning line odds, we see that this tends to be a favorites-heavy event.
- 2016: Exaggerator won at odds of 3-1
- 2015: American Pharoah won at odds of 4-5
- 2014: California Chrome won at odds of 3-5
- 2013: Oxbow won at odds of 15-1
- 2012: I’ll Have Another won at odds of 5-2
- 2011: Shackleford won at odds of 12-1
- 2010: Lookin At Lucky won at odds of 3-1
- 2009: Rachel Alexandra won at odds of 8-5
- 2008: Big Brown won at odds of 1-5
- 2007: Curlin won at odds of 7-2
The Preakness Stakes is just a bit shorter, the course is said to be a little firmer and the field is smaller. All three of these factors cater to horses that can just power out from the gate and run a more straightforward race. This event favors the fastest horses, period. Long shots do deliver a big upset from time to time, but we tend to see the favorites perform the best at Pimlico.