Betting guide for the 2022 Preakness Stakes

The 147th running of the Preakness Stakes will take place Saturday at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

While Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike will sit out the race, this year's Preakness will be interesting to watch, with Derby runner-up Epicenter and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath in the nine-horse field.

Post time is 7:01 p.m. ET. In last year's edition of the Preakness, Rombauer upset Medina Spirit as a 12-1 underdog with a last-second push down the homestretch.

Among the notable betting options are:

Win: Picking the winning horse
Place: Picking a horse to finish first or second
Show: Picking a horse to finish first, second or third
Exacta: Picking the top two horses in the exact order
Trifecta: Picking the top three horses in the exact order
Box: In wagers such as exactas and trifectas, covering all permutations of the picked horses

Here is a breakdown of every horse in the Preakness field with suggested plays and picks.

Note: Horses, with morning-line odds, listed in order of post position.


1. Simplification (6-1)

Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey: John Velazquez

I expected this one to run well at a big number in the Derby, and he didn't disappoint as he completed the superfecta. Where in that race I was hoping Jose Ortiz was going to take back and make a run, here he might need to be a little more in touch early on because of what will be a softer pace than the Derby. The rail draw gives him the shortest way around, if he wants it to set up a run to pick off horses late. If Epicenter runs his race, nobody will beat him. But if Epicenter doesn't fire, he's one of the ones with a big chance in here.

2. Creative Minister (10-1)

Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

I can see this one being the trendy new shooter that takes a ton of money. Clearly he's done nothing wrong in his three races, but I really don't know how much he has beaten. Is he good enough to go by Epicenter, who will likely fall into a perfect trip? I'm not sure he is. I'll have him in the exotics underneath, but that's about it.

3. Fenwick (50-1)

Trainer: Kevin McKathan
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Finished 11th in the Blue Grass off a maiden win at Tampa -- in his fifth try after failing at BEL, FG and AQU -- so that's what we're dealing with. From the sounds of things, it appears they will send and hope for the best. If they do send, it makes Epicenter's decision -- and job -- that much easier. Hey, it's not the best of fields, so why not see if you can hang on for a piece of the purse?

4. Secret Oath (9-2)

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Jockey: Luis Saez

Can't fault Lukas for taking a shot with the Kentucky Oaks winner. I loved her in that race and she delivered, bouncing back from a horror trip in the Arkansas Derby with a huge rider upgrade. Another who will want an off-the-pace trip and a hot pace, which is no guarantee here, although I think the addition of Fenwick means there will be a decent pace up front. I'm not sure she's fast enough to win, but she's certainly a good possibility to hit the board, as she wasn't embarrassed at all in the Arkansas Derby with that finish, considering the trip.

5. Early Voting (7-2)

Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Ran too good to lose to Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial. We'll find out if he can win a pace duel with Epicenter, assuming the favorite sends, or if he can pass the favorite when the real running begins. I have mixed feelings on him, as if he loses the pace duel, it might just cause him to completely fall out of the money spots. But if Epicenter is a little tired off that fast Derby pace, maybe he can win this thing.

6. Happy Jack (30-1)

Trainer: Doug O'Neill
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

The owners must really like to party because they showed up in Louisville with a hopeless long shot and they've shown up again with a hopeless long shot at Pimlico. Go find a nice five-horse allowance out West, please.

7. Armagnac (12-1)

Trainer: Tim Yakteen
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

We've got another "Bafteen" runner here and I don't know if it's worth reading much into the Derby, but neither Taiba nor Messier offers much inspiration that this one can be a factor, especially when you look through the PPs and see he has twice finished behind Happy Jack. I'm guessing he'll send and hope for the best, but all he has got are two front-running wins in a five-horse maiden race and a six-horse Optional Allowance.

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8. Epicenter (6-5)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario

He was the horse to beat in Louisville and is the horse to beat here. Only a complete space meltdown and a lot of racing luck got him beat by a hopeless long shot. It's really about how well he came out of the race. But I don't think he would be here if he didn't come out of the race well. Feels like a race with a little bit of vindication for the best 3-year-old in the game. He can go to the front if he wants it, or just sit off Early Voting or Armagnac if he wants a target to run at. And being drawn outside helps that strategy. He'll be a key in every spot in my trifecta, weighted more heavily to the win and place spots. And if we press it a bunch of times and get something other than the second or third choice in the other exacta spot, it should be a nice payoff.

9. Skippylongstocking (20-1)

Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Will be curious to see what tactics the connections take here. His only win came in front-running fashion in his maiden score, but he hasn't been fast enough to make the lead in any other race and opted for closing/stalking trips. He was no match for Mo Donegal or Early Voting in the Wood, so not sure he's a serious exacta threat here, but he's not without exacta hope if there's a bit more of a pace duel than expected. He'll be limited to being part of the underneath portions of my trifectas and that's it.

Suggested ways to bet the Preakness

$2 trifecta 8/1-4-5-9/all ($56)
$2 trifecta: 8/1-4-5-9/ 1-2-4-5-7-9 ($40)
$1 trifecta: 8/all/1-4-5-9 ($28)
$2 trifecta: 8/1-2-4-5-7-9/1-4-5-9 ($40)
$1 trifecta: 1-4-5-9/8/all ($28)
$1 trifecta: 1-4-5-9/8/1-2-4-5-7-9 ($20)

$10 exacta: 8/1-4-5 ($30)
$6 exacta: 8/2-9 ($12)
$5 exacta: 1-2-4-5-9/8 ($25)

Betting and race nuggets

  • Think it's as easy as betting Epicenter over Early Voting? Think again. The last time the favorite won and the second choice ran second in the Preakness was 1981 when favored Pleasant Colony won and second choice Bold Ego ran second. Note there have been instances since then where the second choice won and the favorite ran second, like in 2012, when second choice I'll Have Another beat favored Bodemeister.

  • From 2001 to 2015, eight of 15 favorites won the Preakness, and only three finished out of the money. In the past six years, only one favorite has won -- 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. In the same span, two have run out of the money.

  • Interestingly, only five of the past 12 odds-on Preakness favorites have won the race.

  • This will be the fourth favorite Steve Asmussen has had in a Triple Crown race. His previous three have finished first (Rachel Alexandra 2009 Preakness) and second (Curlin 2007 Belmont, Epicenter 2022 Derby).

  • This will be the first time since 2017 Bob Baffert doesn't have the favorite in the Preakness.

  • In the past nine years, 15 of the 27 horses to finish in the trifecta spots have been at least 9-1 and eight were at least 15-1.

  • If Epicenter is upset and a double-digit price wins, it would be the first time since 1974-76 the Preakness was won three straight years by a horse 10-1 or higher.

  • The only year the horse that crossed the wire first in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were sent off at double-digit odds was 2011 when Animal Kingdom won the Derby at 21-1 and Shackleford won the Preakness at 13-1. Rich Strike just won the Derby at 80-1.

  • Since Justify won the Triple Crown, only two horses shorter than 6-1 have been the eventual official winner of a Triple Crown race.


Anita Marks' picks

2. Creative Minister (10-1)

Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

(Win and place), Exacta Box (2, 4, 8), Trifecta (2,4,8; Under with 9 and 5)

The Preakness will be a much different test as the second leg of the Triple Crown. The field goes from 20 to nine horses and is a half-furlong shorter, so look for speed to be king, or queen! I'm always looking for great odds in each race, and at 10-1, Creative Minister is your best option. His trainer has won the Preakness before. He also posted one of the fastest times at a Derby undercard race, but that was with Lasix, which is not allowed on Saturday.

4. Secret Oath

This filly won the Kentucky Oaks in dominant fashion. This will be the second time she will be racing with the big boys. Her first was at the Arkansas Derby, where she finished third. She has the ability to sit off the pace and make a big move late to win or finish in the top three. Luis Saez is her jockey and will give her a good ride.

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8. Epicenter (6-5)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Joel Rosario

Epicenter should have won the Derby, but jockey Joel Rosario moved too early and allowed Rich Strike to get inside. He is the best 3-year-old in this field and should win or at least finish in the top three.

1. Simplification (6-1)

Trainer: Antonio Sano

Jockey: John Velazquez

Simplification finished fourth in the Derby and always runs a solid race. I will use him in my trifecta.

5. Early Voting (7-2)

Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Early Voting's trainer is Chad Brown, who decided to skip the Kentucky Derby and take aim at the Preakness, so he comes in fresh. Early Voting came in second at the Wood Memorial and has the speed to steal this race. This is another horse I will use in a trifecta.