How to Watch and Bet on the 2018 Preakness Stakes

The third Saturday of day marks an important occasion in horse racing, and you can probably guess what that is. Yes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown is right around the corner. The 2018 Preakness Stakes will be going off on Saturday, May 19th at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland and the oddsmakers are watching with keen eyes.

In fact, most horse racing betting sites have already posted early odds on the winner of the Preakness Stakes. Not surprisingly, Justify is already leading the pack as the odds-on favorite. has currently priced Justify at 2/5 to win it, followed by Good Magic at 4/1 and every other horse at much longer odds.

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Justify went off as the favorite at the Kentucky Derby and stayed near the front of the pack throughout the race before pulling off down the stretch on a muddy, rain-soaked track. Good Magic put together an admirable run and looked like he was going to give Justify a run for his money, but Justify turned it up yet another notch and took the win by a comfortable 2 ½ lengths.

Audible made a respectable comeback from 12th to challenge Good Magic for the second-place spot before ultimately coming up just short by a head to settle for third. Instilled Regard, My Boy Jack and Bravazo all settled in for fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes respectively.

Now, the first and second place finishers are priced as the 1-2 favorites heading into the 2018 Preakness Stakes. The strength of Justify’s run at the Derby foreshadows a potential Triple Crown contender in the making and that alone makes for an interesting Preakness. Add to that the chance to (hopefully) see Justify run in better conditions and you’ve got all you need to make this a Preakness worth watching.

Our Preakness Stakes preview today will discuss where you can watch the Preakness Stakes online and which horses you should be watching as the race approaches. We’ll also list the current Preakness Stakes odds below and see what the bookmakers are offering for a Triple Crown victory for Justify.

How to Watch the Preakness Stakes Live

NBCSN and NBC will be broadcasting the 2018 Preakness Stakes live on the following schedule:

  • Friday, May 18th: Black Eyed Susan from 3-5 PM ET on NBCSN
  • Saturday, May 19th: Preakness Prep from 2:30-5 PM ET on NBCSN
  • Saturday, May 19th: 143rd Preakness Stakes from 5-7:15 PM ET on NBC

You can also watch the 2018 Preakness Stakes live stream online at or through the NBC Sports App. These particular online options only work if your current TV provider offers NBC live streaming.

Another option is to place a wager at BetAmerica or TwinSpires so you can stream the race free. Both sites will offer a Preakness Stakes live stream, but only the race itself and not any of the pre or post-race commentary.

Top Preakness Stakes Picks

Three Kentucky Derby standouts now rank as the three betting favorites ahead of the Preakness Stakes. Derby winner Justify is the dominant favorite for obvious reasons and is priced far ahead of every other potential runner so far. Justify won the Kentucky Derby by a solid margin and never once looked in serious trouble despite running in a field of 20 horses and in terrible track conditions.

Justify: Triple Crown Potential?

Talk of a potential Triple Crown contender is a surefire way to get fans excited, which in turn is good for the industry, good for sportsbooks and good for people like me who write about horse racing betting. Not surprisingly, the slightest hint of a strong Triple Crown horse tends to result in overblown hype and high expectations.

Occasionally, the horse turns out to be worth the hype after all. American Pharoah finally got the job done in 2015 to end a Triple Crown drought dating back to Affirmed’s 1978 run. There have only been 12 Triple Crown winners to date, so a horse needs to be more than just good or strong.

This year, all eyes are on Justify as the winner of the first stretch of the Triple Crown. Justify is being looked at as a potential Triple Crown challenger after a dominant run under terrible conditions. Justify was never truly challenged during the wettest Kentucky Derby on record. He trailed the anticipated pacesetter Promises Fulfilled before pulling away down the stretch and winning by a solid margin.

Justify also broke the 136-year-old curse of Apollo. Back in 1882, Apollo won the Kentucky Derby despite not having raced at age two. That trend stood for 136 years before Justify broke it on May 5th.

The significance of breaking the Apollo curse has been at times overplayed and underplayed, but it is noteworthy nonetheless. Trainers typically prefer to give their horses some experience, especially in races with 20+ horses in the mix. That Justify was able to not only run the derby on limited experience, but do so in such commanding fashion and under such sloppy conditions speaks highly of this horse’s abilities.

What’s perhaps even more important is the strength of the field. The 2018 Preakness Stakes betting odds tell the story. Aside from Justify at 2/5 and Good Magic at 4/1, does not yet have a single horse listed at odds shorter than 20/1.

Justify may not face a strong field at Preakness. Many of the Derby favorites and best runners are unconfirmed to race again in Baltimore. Third place finisher Audible was priced at 4/1 as recently as last night, but the oddsmakers have since removed him from contention. The final Preakness Stakes field still has some solidifying to do, but right now there are no obvious threats.

Good Magic

The next horse that is anywhere near Justify in terms of betting odds is Good Magic at 4/1 according to Good Magic ended up taking second place about 2 ½ lengths behind Justify and slightly ahead of Audible who finished in third place.

Audible is not currently listed as a contender at major racing bookmakers, so Good Magic remains the second-favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby. Looking past Audible, we had Instilled Regard 4 ½ lengths behind Justify, My Boy Jack 7 lengths behind and Bravazo 8 lengths back. From there, the margin of winning distance only increases.

One point to note is Good Magic isn’t even guaranteed to run at Preakness. Trainer Chad Brown told the Associated Press that he’ll be weighing his options before making a final decision as to whether or not to run Good Magic again at the Preakness Stakes.

Brown said this regarding Good Magic:

“I want him back in New York and that gives me time to decide what’s next. I think for me to rule it out this morning would be foolish. I don’t want to get into a situation where I commit to one way or another and I change my mind. I want to give myself a little room to really observe the horse. The horse will tell us.”

Rest of the Field

Recent news reports indicate Justify will likely face a field full of fresh contenders rather than Kentucky Derby runners. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who had Audible, Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso and Noble Indy in the Derby, is said to be unlikely to turn his horses around so fast and have them make a run at Preakness.

The Baltimore Sun also reports that Bolt d’Oro and Mendelssohn are also unlikely to return for the Preakness Stakes.

Tampa Bay Derby Winner and Arkansas Derby second-place finisher Quip is confirmed to head to the Preakness Stakes. Other probables include Kentucky Derby 8th-place finisher Lone Sailor, Cash is King, Diamond King, Tenfold and Givemeaminit.

As more horses are confirmed, oddsmakers will update the outright betting odds, but it is almost certain Justify will remain the betting favorite heading into the Preakness Stakes. His dominant performance at the Kentucky Derby will remain the premier achievement of any horse entering the Preakness Stakes.

Preakness Stakes Odds

Horse racing betting sites have published early odds on confirmed and probable contenders so far. Here’s what the major international bookmakers have concluded so far regarding the odds of likely Preakness Stakes runners.

Racebets.comWilliam Hill
Audible (Questionable)N/A4/1
Bolt D’Oro (Questionable)N/A20/1
Good Magic4/16/1
Diamond King20/1N/A
Sporting Chance25/1N/A
Magnum Moon25/120/1
Noble Indy66/1N/A

Triple Crown Odds

It didn’t take long after Justify’s strong Kentucky Derby run for analysts to start making noise about another run at the Triple Crown. Although much remains to be seen as Justify must now prove he has the stamina to turn right around and run the Preakness Stakes (then repeat again at the 12-furlong Belmont Stakes), he certainly shows potential.

At least two bookmakers have released odds on Justify winning Triple Crown glory this year. If you have a hunch Justify will join the history books with follow-up wins at the Preakness Stakes and again at the Belmont Stakes, you can get early prices today at William Hill.

2018 Triple CrownWilliam Hill
No Triple Crown WinnerN/A