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The Preakness Stakes Free Picks – May 18th

The second leg of horse racing’s triple crown in the afternoon, and like every Preakness, the casual observer has only one real question; can the Derby winner strike again and make the Belmont must-see television?

While Orb certainly has a chance to edge closer to history, he certainly shouldn’t have an easy day.  He will go off as the prohibitive favorite, but will drawing the rail position be a hindrance?   And if so, who is a likely candidate to nose past him and take the Preakness Stakes?  Let’s take a look at a couple horses that could challenge today.

The 138th Preakness Stakes Preview:

Here are the latest odds according to BOvada.lv.  Please keep in mind horse racing odds are exceptionally fluid and will continue to chance all the way up to post time.  Unlike football, baseball, basketball, hockey and nearly every other sport, horse racing wagering is a zero-sum game – the odds fluctuate based on where the money comes in and which horse(es) gather sudden wagering momentum.

1

ORB J ROSARIO

1/1

2

GOLDENCENTS K KRIGGER

8/1

3

TITLETOWN FIVE J LEPAROUX

30/1

4

DEPARTING BJ HERNANDE

6/1

5

MYLUTE R NAPRAVNIK

5/1

6

OXBOW G STEVENS

15/1

7

WILL TAKE CHARGE M SMITH

12/1

8

GOVENOR CHARLIE MAR GARCIA

12/1

9

ITSMYLUCKYDAY JR VELAZQUE

10/1

 

So can anyone knock Orb off the rail and away from a chance at potential history?  While I hate to be fickle and abandon my Derby-winning pick, there isn’t the same value in him this time around.  At the Kentucky Derby I was able to get the longest-odds favorite to win the race in the HISTORY of the Derby.  This time at even money, there isn’t the same bang for your buck.  Unless you are putting Orb atop some exotic wagers, like an exacta or superfecta, it won’t pay well.  He is the biggest, strongest horse in the field, but again, I’m looking for some better value picks.

But there are a few horses with good value in this small nine horse field.  Let me give you my two favorites…

Departing (6/1) – BJ Hernande will be astride a horse that is fresh off an impressive win at the Louisiana Derby and has won four of his five starts.  Departing, like Orb, is a late charger, and could surprise today at Pimlico.  Either way, Departing is a good bet to place.

Goldencents (8/1) – This horse was a popular bet at the Kentucky Derby, where he finished a distant 17th.  There won’t be the same “we love Rick Pitino” rush to the betting window like there was in Louisville, giving this horse a slightly better value – but I am not sold he can go the distance.

Syracuse Jim Boeheim got off one of the best one-liners of the season this week, when asked why Rick Pitino wasn’t at an ACC media event, he quipped, “he’s probably still waiting for his horse to finish the Kentucky Derby…”  Brilliant.  And I have a feeling the joke might hold up after today’s race.

Mylute (5/1) – When it doubt, go with the hot jockey.  Rosie Napravnik rode Mylute to a 5th place finish, finishing 3 ¾ lengths away from becoming the first female jockey to ride a Derby winner.  Mylute was roughed up a little early in a corwded Derby field, but with only 9 horses today should find it slightly easier navigation.  Mylute is a genuine contender, but I am not sure he has the speed to hold off a hard-charging Orb.

My Pick:

It’s hard not to like Orb.  But with the 1/1 (or worse) odds, and considering no horse has won from the post draw at The Preakness since 1994, I’ll find my value elsewhere.  I’m going to go with an upset and pick Departing (6/1).  However, I’ll also through in a trifecta wager with Orb at the top of the card and Departing to place, and Mylute hanging on to show.

Longshot Winner: Departing to WIN (6/1)

Trifecta Pick:  Orb, Departing, Mylute