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How Much Would You Make Betting On Preakness Stakes Favorite?

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 6 mins

How Much Would You Make Betting On Preakness Stakes Favorite?

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Without Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike running in the 147th running of the Preakness Stakes Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, bettors might feel just a bit less secure about handicapping the field. 

If you’re in search of a betting strategy, try this: Wager $100 across the board on the favorite using your sports betting app and relax.

Prior to the Kentucky Derby, we examined the previous 30 Derby races to figure out how much money bettors would have won by merely backing the favorite with $100 across the board to win, place and show. 

The strategy had netted horse racing bettors $3,585 up to that point. It returned another $340 profit two weeks ago thanks to Epicenter. That horse was the favorite and returned $7.40 and $5.20 for his place finish behind the 80-1 long-shot Derby champ.

We have done the same for the Preakness. If you bet $100 across the board on the favorite in the previous 30 Preakness Stakes races, you would have earned a $2,130 profit on $9,000 in total wagers. That’s $71 each year to plow back into perfecta, trifectas, or money on a value play. 

The absence of Rich Strike opens the Preakness Field and will likely tighten the odds for Derby favorite/runner-up Epicenter and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath. The Preakness post draw is Monday. 

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Backing The Preakness Stakes Favorite

Here is an analysis of the past 30 Preakness Stakes races listed by year with the race favorite, the favorite's odds, finish, total winnings if you bet $100 on the horse to win, place and show, the winning horse, and its odds. 

Preakness Stakes Favorites, Odds & Payouts

Year Favorite Odds Finish $ Won Winning Horse Odds
2021 Medina Spirit* 2.4 3 120 Rombauer 11.8
2020 Authentic 1.50 2 340 Swiss Skydiver 11.7
2019 Improbable 2.5 6 0 War Of Will 6.1
2018 Justify 0.4 1 390 Justify 0.4
2017 Always Dreaming 1.2 8 0 Cloud Computing 13.4
2016 Nyquist 0.7 3 60 Exaggerator 2.8
2015 American Pharoah 0.9 1 500 American Pharoah 0.9
2014 California Chrome 0.5 1 420 California Chrome 0.5
2013 Orb 0.7 4 0 Oxbow 15.4
2012 Bodemeister 1.7 2 300 I'll Have Another 3.2
2011 Animal Kingdom 2.3 2 390 Shackleford 12.6
2010 Super Saver 2.5 8 0 Lookin At Lucky 3.4
2009 Rachel Alexandra 1.8 1 690 Rachel Alexandra 1.8
2008 Big Brown 0.2 1 370 Big Brown 0.2
2007 Street Sense 1.3 2 170 Curlin 3.4
2006 Barbaro 0.5 9 0 Bernard 12.9
2005 Afleet Alex 3.3 1 840 Alfleet Alex 3.3
2004 Smarty Jones 0.7 1 450 Smarty Jones 0.7
2003 Funny Cide 1.9 1 690 Funny Cide 1.9
2002 War Emblem 2.8 1 900 War Emblem 2.8
2001 Point Given 2.3 1 780 Point Given 2.3
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 0.3 2 240 Fusaichi Pegasus 0.3
1999 Menifee 2.0 2 340 Charismatic 8.4
1998 Victory Gallup 2.0 2 300 Real Quiet 2.5
1997 Captain Bodgit 2.1 3 120 Silver Charm 3.1
1996 Cavonnier 1.7 4 0 Louis Quatorze 8.5
1995 Timber Country 1.9 1 640 Timber Country 1.9
1994 Go For Gin 2.8 2 450 Tabasco Cat 3.6
1993 Prairie Bayou 2.2 1 670 Prairie Bayou 2.2
1992 Pine Bluff 3.5 1 960 Pine Bluff 3.5

(* - Medina Spirit was disqualified from its Kentucky Derby win in 2021. All information was taken from the official Preakness Stakes charts.)

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Analysis Of Preakness Stakes Betting Odds

The favorite at online betting sites won the Preakness Stakes 13 times overall in this span (43.3%). Nine of those horses had won the Kentucky Derby. Given the proximity of the Preakness to the Derby and the frequency in which Derby winners run the race, the average favorite has gone off at a very pricey 1.47-1 during our sample span. Thus the low number when it comes to payouts. Only six times in the past 30 Preakness races has the favorite not finished in the money. 

Medina Spirit, who was the Kentucky Derby winner at the time, ran third in the 2021 Preakness. Medina Spirit was stripped of his Derby title in February months after testing positive for a banned substance after the Derby, and passing away in December after a workout in California. Mandaloun, who was declared the Derby winner after finishing second last May, did not run in the 2021 Preakness.

Rich Strike took advantage of a furious early pace in the Derby and sliced through an exhausted field to win by 3/4th of a length. The Preakness, at 1 3/16th mile, is the shortest of the three Triple Crown races. Rich Strike is not suited for a shorter race likely to be run at a more reasonable pace. Rich Strike is a go for the Belmont on June 11. That is the longest of the Triple Crown races, run over an unforgiving 1 ½-mile course at the famed Empire State racing venue in Elmont, New York. 

Post time for the Preakness Stakes Saturday is approximately 6:50 p.m. and the race will air on NBC.

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.