Preakness Stakes Betting

Known as the second jewel of the Triple Crown, it is naturally one of the biggest events on the horse racing calendar. The Preakness Stakes attracts tons of attention, even from those who don’t follow horse racing much.

More than 5 million viewers watched the live broadcast of last year’s edition on NBC. Over 130,000 people attended the race live and in person at the host track Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It set a record for betting handle on that day at nearly $100 million.

Horse racing fans circle the date of the Preakness on their calendar every year, as it is one of the highlights of the season. It’s an exciting race that attracts the best the sport has to offer.

As the betting handle and viewership numbers indicate, it’s not only the die-hards who get involved. The Preakness is one of the few races that attract nationwide attention, which makes it an ideal race for those looking to get started with betting on horse races.

It’s a fun pastime that’s easy to get started with, and it can be potentially lucrative to boot. We’re going to take a look at everything you need to know to get started right here, beginning with an important tidbit for Colorado residents.

Bet on the Preakness Stakes in Colorado

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2020 Preakness Stakes Odds & Post Positions

Post PositionHorseJockeyOpening OddsMorning Line Odds
1ExcessionSheldon Russell30-1TBD
2Mr. Big NewsGabriel Saez12-1TBD
3Art CollectorBrian Hernandez Jr. 5-2TBD
4Swiss SkydiverRobby Albarado6-1TBD
5Thousand WordsFlorent Geroux6-1TBD
6Jesus' TeamJevian Toleldo30-1TBD
7Ny TrafficHoracio Karamanos15-1TBD
8Max PlayerPaco Lopez15-1TBD
9AuthenticJohn Velazquez9-5TBD
10PneumaticJoe Bravo20-1TBD
11LiveyourbeastlifeTrevor McCarthy30-1TBD

Is it legal to bet on the Preakness Stakes in Colorado?

Yes, it’s completely legal to bet on horse racing in Colorado, and it has been that way for the state’s residents for several decades. The industry is overseen by the Colorado Racing Commission, which maintains a clear-cut set of rules and regulations on the main state website.

Colorado is home to one operating racetrack, as well as several off-track betting (OTB) venues. Folks can visit those locations and place bets on tracks across the nation. However, that’s not the only option.

It’s also completely legal and safe to bet via mobile apps in Colorado. Naturally, you’ll need to be playing on a reputable and regulated operator. We’ll provide our top recommendation.

If you’ve been on the fence about horse race betting in Colorado, the legality issue isn’t a roadblock. Officials sorted it out a long time ago, and there aren’t any signs of it changing in the future.

How to bet on horse racing

When it’s time to bet on the Preakness Stakes, you’ll need to be able to place to wager. While wagering at an OTB or simulcast facility can be a fun experience, that’s not always the most convenient option.

Betting online or via your mobile device takes care of that issue. TVG is the top choice for horse race betting in Colorado. Even better, TVG is a lot more than just a site for betting. It’s a live network that provides extensive coverage of horse racing.

Action from tracks across the nation is broadcast live on TVG, which is available on leading cable and streaming providers. You can also download the TVG app right to your smart TV to watch whenever you wish.

TVG offers an excellent platform that’s easy to use and provides all of the available bet types. To create an account, just click on our exclusive links.

You’ll get a risk-free bet of up to $300 just for doing so. The promo code LSRTVG should be there automatically. Then enter a few basic pieces of info, such as your name and email address, and then click “Complete Registration.”

Your new account will be created instantaneously. After taking some time to look around the site, follow the instructions on the home page to download the Apple app for iOS. Log in on your mobile device, and you’ll be able to bet whenever and wherever.

There isn’t a TVG app for Android at present, but the website is fully optimized to work on mobile devices. Visit the site from your mobile web browser and log in once your account is all set, and you’ll be good to go.

Horse racing bet types

Beyond just picking the winner, there are several bet types for horse racing. Here’s a run-through of the main wagering opportunities you’ll come across:

  • Win: This is a wager on which horse will win the race.
  • Place: A place bet means that you like a horse to finish in second place or better.
  • Show: If you place a show bet, the horse you select needs to finish third or better.
  • Exacta: An exacta is a bet on the top-two finishers in the race.
  • Trifecta: For this bet, you have to pick the top-three finishers.
  • Superfecta: This wager is on the top-four finishers in the race.

Of these bet types, win, place and show are the most common, while the others are exotic wagers. In the first category, you can place any of those bet types on individual horses in the race.

You can also cover multiple outcomes by placing a bet on a horse to win, place or show. For the other group, you can choose the horses to finish in order. That’s pretty difficult, but you can also “box” your selections, which means that your picks can finish in any order.

Depending on the race, you may also see several other bet types, such as:

  • Quinella: Pretty much the same as an exacta box bet where you’re picking the top two.
  • Super High Five: The goal is to choose the top five finishing horses in the race in order.
  • Pick 3: You have to pick the winner of three consecutive races.
  • Pick 4: A winning ticket means that you picked four straight winners.
  • Pick 5: Picking the winners of five consecutive races on the card.
  • Pick 6: A bet on the winners for six straight races.

You can place each of these bet types at multiple denominations, but the minimums may be different at certain tracks. For example, some venues offer win bets for as little as $1, while the minimum may be $2 elsewhere.

For the exotics, you can start with a small wager amount for straight wagers, but the cost will climb for box bets or when more selections are added to the ticket. For example, some tracks offer a straight trifecta for as little as $0.50, while a box of that wager would cost $6 at that amount.

The road to the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes is the second race of what’s known as horse racing’s Triple Crown. It’s held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and a number of the same horses will compete in both of them.

For the Derby, there are as many as 20 starters in the field. There’s a clear-cut qualification stage known as “the Road to the Derby.” The Preakness field typically includes 14 starters. Here’s how they are selected:

  • The first seven spots are reserved for top earners in graded stakes races, including the Derby.
  • The next four slots are for top-four lifetime earners in nonrestricted races.
  • The final three spots are given to horses with the most lifetime earnings regardless of race.

The top-five finishers in the Derby get priority, but the above process determines the rest of the field. Barring injury, horses that fare well in the Derby will generally be in the field for the Preakness as well.

Naturally, the horse that wins the Derby will see a ton of betting action as it continues on its quest for the Triple Crown. If the same horse manages to win the Preakness as well, then interest will be absolutely through the roof for the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, which takes place in early June each year.

History of the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes debuted in 1873. Outside of three years, from 1891 through 1893, it has been run every year since then. After the Kentucky Derby, the race attracts the most attention from a national perspective each year.

It’s a 1 3/16 mile race on a dirt track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD. As a general rule, it’s a wildly entertaining event that has offered up some incredible performances through the years.

Here are the last 10 winners of the Preakness along with their finishing times:

  • 2019: War of Will, 1:54:34
  • 2018: Justify, 1:55:93
  • 2017: Cloud Computing, 1:55:98
  • 2016: Exaggerator, 1:58:31
  • 2015: American Pharoah, 1:58:46
  • 2014: California Chrome, 1:54:84
  • 2013: Oxbow, 1:57:54
  • 2012: I’ll Have Another, 1:55:94
  • 2011: Shackleford, 1:56:47
  • 2010: Lookin at Lucky, 1:55:47

For last year’s Preakness, War of Will took it down by one-and-a-quarter lengths over second-place Everfast and third-place Owendale. Here’s what the morning line odds looked like for the 13 entrants, listed in order by finishing position.

  • 1- War of Will, 4-1
  • 2- Everfast, 50-1
  • 3- Owendale, 10-1
  • 4- Warrior’s Charge, 12-1
  • 5- Laughing Fox, 12-1
  • 6- Improbable, 5-2
  • 7- Win Win Win, 15-1
  • 8- Bourbon War, 12-1
  • 9- Signalman, 30-1
  • 10- Anothertwistafate, 6-1
  • 11- Alwaysmining, 8-1
  • 12- Market King, 30-1
  • DNF- Bodexpress, 20-1

Preakness Stakes betting tips

Horses that proved themselves in the Derby will be among the favorites at the Preakness. You can look their way for bets and call it a day, but you can also dig a little deeper to find some under-the-radar choices.

A long shot winning the race isn’t out of the question, and horses with lower odds can also be a nice addition to your exotic wagers such as trifectas and superfectas.

Here are a couple of spots you can look to narrow down the field of horses:

  • Recent Form: Horses that have run well in recent races are more likely to continue doing so. The same applies in reverse for those who have been sluggish of late. Review how the horses in the field have fared in recent races. Pay especially close attention to what place they have finished in on the biggest races on the docket.
  • Money Earned: If you’re looking for a simple way to sort through the horses by overall strength and quality, this is one to check out. Just like in any other sport, the top performers make the most money. Horses that have a good track record of earnings have placed well in races, so they are, naturally, ones to watch.
  • Average Speed Ratings: There are lots of stats involved with horse racing, but perhaps none is more important than overall speed rating. This is a metric that essentially places a strength rating on each horse in numeric form. The total speed rating is a good place to look, but the average speed rating for a horse’s last three races can be especially telling.

Horse racing in Colorado

There’s just one currently operating race track in the state of Colorado. The calendar of racing events typically runs from mid-May through August and features thoroughbred and Arabian horse racing. Here are the details.

  • Arapahoe Park
  • Mile High Racing & Entertainment
  • 26000 East Quincy Avenue
  • Aurora, CO 80016

Arapahoe also has full simulcasting on-site, featuring racing from tracks across the US. In addition, Colorado residents have a number of completely legal OTB facilities that they can place on their bucket list.

These venues also provide full simulcasting of the races, and you can legally and safely place your wagers as well. A full list of currently operating Colorado OTB facilities can be found here on the Colorado Department of Revenue website.

Also, don’t forget that you can bet online or via mobile with TVG at any time once you have created your account via our exclusive links.

Preakness Stakes FAQ

What is the all-time fastest winning time at the Preakness Stakes?

The legendary Secretariat holds the record for the fastest Preakness Stakes run at its current distance of 1 3/16 miles. Back in 1973, Secretariat won the race in a time of 1:53:00 on the way to winning the Triple Crown. Since then, the closest horses to that time were Tank’s Prospect in 1985 and Louis Quatorze in 1996, both of whom finished at 1:53:40. Interestingly, Pat Day was the jockey for both of those entries.

Which jockey has ridden the most Preakness Stakes winners?

Eddie Arcaro is the all-time leader for Preakness Stakes winners by a jockey with six victories, the last of which came in 1957. He’s also tied for the all-time lead in wins at the Kentucky Derby at five wins with Bill Hartack, whose last Derby win came in 1969.

When was the last time that horse racing had a Triple Crown winner?

Justify was the last horse to turn the trick of winning all three legs of the Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. All told, 13 horses have managed to pull it off since the Triple Crown became a thing. Prior to Justify, American Pharoah did it in 2015. That was the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Affirmed achieved legendary status.

Is the Preakness Stakes the toughest race to win?

There are certainly plenty of advocates who believe so, but that’s not necessarily the case. Each leg of the Triple Crown is incredibly difficult to win, as the field is filled with viable contenders. The Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes are both very challenging, as is the Breeders’ Cup championship later in the year. For a short-list, those four races have to be considered the toughest to win in the US.

What is pari-mutuel betting?

The most common form of horse race wagering is known as pari-mutuel betting. First, all the bets on a race are placed in a pool. Then, they are divided up based on the winners and their odds less the amount retained by the track, which is also known as the “rake” or administrative fee. Odds are not fixed for pari-mutuel wagering as they can vary based on how much betting action comes in. For example, a morning line favorite at odds of 2-1 could see the odds drop to 4-1 by post time if another favorite emerges.