The only thing more exciting than seeing Animal Kingdom win the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore this Saturday afternoon, is to be holding the winning ticket of a 30-1 long shot that scores a huge pay day.
In order to do so, you have to reach deep down into the field and find a winner with some long odds but a reason to bet on him.
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Everyone knows that the lines are ever-changing right up until post time, but these four horses will most likely go off in Saturday’s race as the long shots, and if wagered on, could garner a healthy profit for the venturesome bettor.
14. Mr. Commons (25-1) – This John Shirreffs-trained colt came from mid-pack to finish third in the Santa Anita Derby, but will arrive at Pimlico having never raced outside California., With only four career races, Mr. Commons will at least arrive in Baltimore well-rested for this race. However, drawing the far outside post, he will have to try to nudge into a tight pack heading into turn one that includes one of the horses that beat him at Santa Anita—Midnight Interlude. Sired by Breeder’s Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller, his pedigree suggests that he is better suited to turf than dirt. But stranger things have happened.
2. Norman Asbjornson (30-1) –Has won or placed in three of his last four starts against competitive fields. However, the son of 1998 Preakness winner Real Quiet, is yet to win at the stakes level despite showing unfailing speed gains this season. This colt boasts a pedigree more suited for stamina than speed, and this race’s distance could be just outside the length where he can stay competitive. Still critics are quick to point to his fade to a distant fourth in the 1 1/8 mile Wood Memorial. With Pimlico muddy on Thursday, the potential for a slow pace is possible. If so, Norman Asbjornson might not fade this time.
12. Isn’t He Perfect (30-1) – The grandson of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Pleasant Colony, and great-grandson of Triple Crown winner Affirmed, has won just twice in 12 starts. The three-year old Doodnauth Shivmangal trainee posted consecutive fifth-place finishes in the Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial (G1) and Jerome (G2) Stakes at odds of 65- and 39-to-1, respectively. His pedigree, however, for this race suggests that Isn’t He Perfect is a solid long shot bet. Although a win might be far-fetched for this horse, the pace may be significantly slowed on race day pending wet race conditions. That could bolster his chances.
13. Concealed Identity (30-1) – A product of Maryland and son of 2004 Preakness winner Smarty Jones, Concealed Identity, will go off as the hometown favorite. Although, a bet for him to win, will still generate a hefty profit right up until post time. Edmond Gaudet’s trainee has finished first at Pimlico twice in the last two months. First, in the Pimlico Allowance OC on April 15, and then in the Frederico Tesio Stakes on May 7. That could be a huge advantage, as no other horse in the field has yet to win a race on the actual Pimlico track surface. Drawing post 13 will prove either really lucky or unlucky. The big field of 14 and the length of the Preakness are going to make things much tougher on Concealed Identity in his bid for a third win in three months.
My long shot pick is Concealed Identity. Even though this horse is straying from the 13 postposition, he seems to be peaking at the right time with two back-to-back first place finishes, especially since they came on the 1 1/16 mile at Pimlico.