Big Favorite Muth Scratched For Preakness Stakes

  • Muth, trained by eight-time Preakness winner Bob Baffert, was favored around +160 for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
  • Baffert revealed on Wednesday morning that Muth had to be scratched from the race because of a bad fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan is now the Preakness Stakes favorite at the best horse betting sites, valued at +190.

The 149th running of the Preakness Stakes received a big shakeup on Wednesday. Trainer Bob Baffert revealed that Muth, the odds-on favorite to win the “Run For The Black-Eyed Susans”, headed to Pimlico Race Course on Tuesday night. He was preparing for a rematch with Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan, which Muth beat at the Arkansas Derby on March 30th.

However, it was announced on Wednesday that Muth would have to be scratched from the Preakness States field. Baffert said that Muth had a temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Baffert stated:

“We are sick about this. The horse had been doing really well. But we have to do what’s right by the horse.”

Muth was favored at around +160 according to Preakness Stakes odds, which would have given him an implied probability of 38.5% to win the race. In his absence, there is a new favorite for the Preakness States.

Mystik Dan has stepped up as the favorite with odds of +190 at popular bookmaker Bovada, meaning that he has an implied probability of 34.5% to win on Saturday in Baltimore. The door is open for what should be a very exciting running of the Preakness.

Preakness Stakes Fields Receives Odds Boost In Muth’s Absence

Mystik Dan isn’t the only horse that received a bump in the Preakness Stakes odds this weekend. Imagination has moved up from +450 to +400 since it was announced Muth wouldn’t be in the field.

This is another horse trained by Baffert, who is trying to extend his record of eight wins by a trainer at the Preakness Stakes.

Baffert won here last year with National Treasure and obviously, with eight wins here, he knows how to train a horse for the Preakness. This is the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs).

Imagination is one of three horses rated at +400, and an implied probability of 20% to win the Preakness. Tuscan Gold and Catching Freedom are both in the mix. Like Mystik Dan, Catching Freedom ran in the Kentucky Derby, coming in fourth behind a top three that had a three-way phot finish.

Tuscan Gold finished third at the Louisiana Derby, which Catching Freedom won. Imagination won the San Felipe Stakes, and then finished second to Stronghold at the Santa Anita Derby. All of these four horses have solid pedigrees heading into the Preakness Stakes.

The rest of the field is valued as follows (as of May 16): Just Steel (+1100), Seize The Grey (+1200), Uncle Heavy (+1600), and Mugatu (+3500).

Post Positions Also Shift At The Preakness Stakes

With Muth out, that means the field goes from nine horses to eight and the post positions change. Muth was at post position #4, but that spot now goes to Mystik Dan. Mugatu (#1), Uncle Heavy (#2), and Catching Freedom (#3) all stay in the first three positions.

Mystik Dan (#4), Seize The Grey (#5), Just Steel (#6), Tuscan Gold (#7), and Imagination (#8) all moved up one spot.

Why does this matter? An article from NBC Washington shows that 17 winners have come from the #6 post position. #4 and #7 are next with 14 winners each. The #8 spot has had just 10 winners. Last year’s winner, National Treasure, won from the #1 post position.

Post positions are just another piece of data to factor in when making your picks at horse racing betting sites

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Elliot Nield
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Elliot Nield has worked in the online gambling industry for almost two decades, and while his focus is on sports, he doesn't mind a few hours on the poker felts and the blackjack tables. In his spare time, Elliot can be found cheering on Manchester United and the Kansas City Chiefs, and praying that Patrick Mahomes stays healthy forever.

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