There is a real Triple Crown possibility this year.
We’ll know after the Preakness Stakes on Saturday from Baltimore if the Sport of Kings will generate a Triple Crown worldwide betting buzz for the next three weeks.
Mage, the Kentucky Derby winner, is the 8-5 favorite and the only Derby horse returning to the Preakness. Post time is about 4:50 p.m. for Colorado horse bettors.
Should Mage win the second leg of the Triple Crown, and exit the race healthy, he would likely vie for the sweep in the June 10 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York.
That quest would drape horse racing in a state of euphoria right up until the Belmont. There have been only 13 Triple Crown winners in horse racing history. The last was Justify in 2018.
Colorado bettors want to know if Mage can repeat the feat
Backers of the Derby winner could not have asked for better conditions. His chief rival, Forte, still hasn’t been cleared to run from the bruise that scratched him from the Kentucky Derby.
The second, third, and fourth-place finishers in the Derby, initially projected to run in the Preakness, will not.
It’s Mage against horses he’s projected to beat.
Here, we’ll examine the field and betting options.
How to bet the 2023 Preakness in CO
It’s even more compelling and an advantage to one’s handicapping, to observe earlier races to see how the track is playing.
Pimlico has an excellent slate of stakes races leading up to the main event. Bettors can not only wager on those matchups but get a feel for how the track is playing.
Pimlico is normally speed-favoring, indicating that a horse getting to the lead early is formidable. Contrast that with tiring tracks, in which the surface lends itself to horses coming off the pace.
Here’s a capsule of the field, from shortest to longest betting odds established by track officials. Odds won’t be final until post-time, per pari-mutuel regulations.
|Post Position||Horse||Jockey||Morning Odds|
|1||National Treasure||John Velazquez||4-1|
|2||Chase the Chaos||Sheldon Russell||50-1|
|5||Red Route One||Joel Rosario||10-1|
|7||Blazing Sevens||Irad Ortiz Jr.||6-1|
|8||First Mission||Luis Saez||5-2|
2023 Preakness favorite
Has authored an inspiring story in his last three races.
In the first, he was blocked heading for home and beaten several lengths by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Forte in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in Fla.
He displayed big improvement in the second, gaining a strong second to Forte in the Florida Derby. Mage put it all together in winning the Kentucky Derby at 15-1. He gets better every race.
Contenders for the Preakness Stakes
First Mission (5-2)
Showed an excellent burst of speed in putting the field away in the Lexington Stakes. It was a minor Kentucky Derby prep, but, like Mage, First Mission is improving steadily.
National Treasure (4-1)
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert seeks to become the all-time Preakness leader in victories. This is not his best horse, but Baffert won here with American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. They went on to notch racing’s last two Triple Crown sweeps.
Preakness mid-pack threats
Blazing Sevens (6-1)
A clear-beaten third in the Blue Grass Stakes. Has slowly been getting back to top form. Connections hope he is ready. Appearance in Derby preps makes him logical to hit the board.
Red Route One (10-1)
Spots the field 10-20 lengths and tries to make it up down the lane. Risky style for short 1 3–16-mile surface. Is more dangerous in the “slop”. Rain is forecast at 30% Saturday. Heavy rain would be in his favor.
Looked like he was in another zip code before strangely rallying and passing the entire field in the home stretch in his last race. That was in a minor stakes race, but connections were encouraged to seek the big payday.
Bombs away Preakness longshots
Coffee with Chris (20-1)
Good local horse, an early speed candidate. Moving up in class. In the Blue Grass, Blazing Sevens easily beat Hayes Strike, who had topped Coffee With Chris one race earlier.
Chase the Chaos (50-1)
Hard to recommend after he was badly beaten as a 30-1 longshot in the San Felipe Stakes, a Derby primer. But ownership must have thought he simply wasn’t right that day. Otherwise, there would be no reason to put him here.
Pace considerations for betting the Preakness
Mage is a slow starter and may trail the field by several lengths early. His key to the race is not being stuck too far back because the 1 3-16 mile Preakness is shorter than the 1 1-4 mile Kentucky Derby.
Coffee With Chris may shoot the lead along with First Minister. After that, it’s all about how the race sets up, heading for home.
Ways to bet the Preakness
Win — Horse must cross the line first
Place — Horse can finish first or second, smaller payouts on the place line.
Show — Horse must finish third or better. Larger chance to hit at short price.
Exacta — First two finishers in exact order. Exacta box recommended. A 2-4 box, for instance, pays whether the outcome is 2-4 or 4-2.
Trifecta — Top three horses in order of finish
Superfecta — Top four finishers. It paid more than $321,000 in the 2022 Kentucky Derby, but in a small field like this, the return may not be worth the investment.
Good luck finding your Preakness winner.