Dave Golokhov for Bookies.com

By Dave Golokhov | | 2 mins

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Improbable New Preakness Favorite After Major Odds Shakeup

Improbable New Preakness Favorite After Major Odds Shakeup
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There has been a big shakeup in the lineup for the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes. Country House, the Kentucky Derby winner, has pulled out, which has left Improbable (3/2) as the early favorite for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Country House is just one of many big names that have decided to skip the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans on Saturday, May 18. Let’s take a closer look at what’s transpired as fans of horse racing betting gear up for Pimlico.

Country House and Code Of Honor Out

It’s usually a sure thing that the Kentucky Derby winner will run in the Preakness but that’s not the case this year. Country House, the 65/1 longshot-winner of the Kentucky Derby and preliminary favorite for the Preakness, is out.

Trainer Bill Mott was noncommittal about what to do with his Kentucky Derby winner and when a slight cough emerged on Tuesday, he pulled the horse. It’s a very fast turnaround for this horse and he stated that if there’s anything unusual in the recovery, he would pull the horse.

As for Code of Honor, who was the second-place finisher at the Kentucky Derby, he’s also decided to skip the Pimlico Classic. That’s left the early odds to look as follows, via Betfair:

  • Improbable 3/2
  • War of Will 5/2
  • Alwaysminin 13/2
  • Anothertwistafate 10/1
  • Mr. Money 10/1
  • Owendale 10/1
  • Signalman 16/1
  • Laughing Fox 20/1

Maximum Security Passes

It’s been a stunning couple of days for Maximum Security. He’s gone from being the Kentucky Derby winner and a legitimate threat for the Triple Crown, to being disqualified at the Run for the Roses and not even sent to the Preakness.

In short, owner Gary West felt that since there was no Triple Crown on the line, there was no reason to race the horse on just two weeks’ rest. What’s next for him after a rest is a run in the Belmont Stakes on June 8, according to trainer Jason Servis. After that, he’ll likely be pointed to the Haskell Invitational in July at Monmouth Park.

It’s a big loss for the sport as now both Maximum Security and Country House – the two main storylines from the Kentucky Derby – aren’t going to be in Baltimore for the Preakness on May 18.

Omaha Beach Looks Beyond Preakness

Many people forget that it was Omaha Beach that was supposed to be the favorite at the Kentucky Derby. He was up until a midweek breathing condition led to him being scratched from the race.

If you thought you’d see him in the other two Triple Crown races, think again. He won’t run in either race, although we could see him back in action in the summer.

Record $165M Bet On Kentucky Derby

A record $165.5 million was bet on the Kentucky Derby – including a record $4.1 million from Japan – and not many people went home happy. Maximum Security, the pre-race favorite and popular choice to win, did in fact finish first but was later disqualified. It would have made the seventh straight Run for the Roses where the favorite won but instead, it was 65/1 longshot Country Home that earned the win.

Country Home now becomes the second-biggest long shot to every win the Kentucky Derby as Donerail (91/1) is the only Derby winner to pay out more.