Preakness predictions

The 2019 Preakness may feel like a little downer without the Kentucky Derby winner running in this year’s race. But the field for the Preakness is the largest since 2013, and there is definitely a potential to score with another longshot in the 13 horse field.

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Four of the last five Preakness winners raced in the Kentucky Derby, however, three of those winners won the Kentucky Derby including dominant Triple Crown winners Justify and American Pharoah. While the Preakness favorite, Improbable, will take plenty of win wagers followed by second choice War of Will, the race could set up for a stalker or closer to make a strong stretch run should the pace be fast on the front end.

Will another longshot pull the upset and payoff big like 2017 winner Cloud Computing (13-1) or 2013 winner Oxbow (15-1)?

Here are five best bets to consider for your exotic and vertical bets and win wagers.

1. Warriors Charge (12-1) to win

Warriors Charge moves up to graded stakes company for the first time. But don’t discount this capable colt, who will be on the lead throughout the race. Trainer Brad Cox made a tactical change in the two recent races won by Warriors Charge, who won both races on the front end after finishing third in his previous three races from off the pace. Warriors Charge ran a career-best speed figure in his last race, and that figure matched Preakness favorite Improbable’s speed figure in both the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby. Warriors Charge will try to steal the Preakness on the front end and may do it if the pace is moderate or slow.

2. Owendale (12-1) to win

Owendale is a closer who could benefit most if the pace is hot on the front end with Warriors Charge pressed by Improbable and War of Will. Brad Cox also trains Owendale, so he has two different style horses in the race in which he can benefit by the pace. Following a two month layoff after a poor performance in the Risen Star, Owendale showed his talent winning the final Derby Prep with a huge sweeping move and closing kick to capture the Lexington Stakes. He flew past another Preakness runner Anothertwistafate, who was the favorite in the Lexington. Owendale posted a career-best speed figure in that race to nearly match Warriors Charge last effort, and also had a strong five-furlong workout last week leading into the Preakness. Another move forward in the Preakness and he’ll cash in at a bigger price.

3. War of Will (4-1) to win

War of Will had the troubled trip at the top of the lane in the Kentucky Derby when he was interfered with trying to pass Maximum Security, who was ultimately disqualified as the winner. War of Will was restrained by his jockey early in the Derby, and he really wanted to run and showed he could have in the stretch had he not been cut off and interfered with turning for home. War of Will is a well-bred War Front colt who won the Lecomte and Risen Star Derby preps after racing last year on the turf. He’ll offer more value than Improbable, and is a talented colt to include in all wagers.

Exotic bets like exacta, trifecta, or superfecta are wagers where you add multiple horses and combinations to your bets in search of a bigger score and payoff. Exacta is picking the exact order of the top two finishers. Trifecta is 1-2-3 in order. And superfecta is the top four finishers in order. Adding more horses, or “boxing,” your wagers costs more money. That’s because any combination of those horses finishing in the top 2, 3 or 4 places wins your bet. But a sometimes better and less costly way to place exotic wagers is to “key” a few horses and then add more picks underneath.

4. $1 Exacta

No. 1 War of Will, No. 3 Warriors Charge and No. 5 Owendale on top of No. 1 War of Will, No. 3 Warriors Charge, No. 5 Owendale, No. 7 Alwaysmining and No. 13 Win Win Win ($12)

Alwaysmining is a Maryland-bred and local favorite that has tactical speed. He’s won six races in a row and posted a career-best speed figure in winning the Federico Tesio Stakes last month at Laurel Park. That speed figure that matched Improbable in two races this year. Alwaysmining makes his graded stakes debut, and while no Federico Tesio winner has hit the board in the Preakness in four of the last five years, this horse is the best of the bunch to compete against stronger runners. Alwaysmining showed that in December when he went wire-to-wire to win the Heft Stakes over runner-up race favorite Win Win Win, who went on to finish a closing third in the Tampa Bay Derby and second in the Blue Grass.

5. $1 Trifecta

No. 1 War of Will and No. 5 Owendale with No. 1, No. 3, No. 5, No. 7 with No. 1, No. 3, No. 5, No. 7, No. 13 and No. 4 Improbable ($24)

Preakness Post Positions And Odds

Post PositionHorseOpening OddsCurrent Odds
1War of Will4-14-1
2Bourbon War12-112-1
3Warriors Charge12-112-1
4Improbable5-25-2
5Owendale10-112-1
6Market King30-130-1
7Alwaysmining8-18-1
8Signalman30-130-1
9Bodexpress20-120-1
10Everfast50-150-1
11Laughing Fox20-120-1
12Anothertwistafate6-16-1
13Win Win Win15-115-1