The first leg of the Triple Crown is over, and American Pharoah proved that he was worth all the praise and pre-race hype, by winning the 141st Kentucky Derby. Now all eyes will be on him again, as he is once again the favorite according to the Preakness Stakes odds, but we will have to wait to find out in two weeks, at the 2015 Preakness Stakes.
The Preakness Stakes is the second race in the Triple Crown, it occurs two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The Preakness is also known as the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, and it is the second most popular horse racing event in the United States.
The Preakness was first run in 1873, and was named after the horse that won the Dinner Party Stakes on the day that Pimlico racetrack opened. It is also the youngest of all Triple Crown races, behind the Belmont and the Kentucky Derby. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, which is limited to three year old male horses, fillies are allowed to race at the Preakness Stakes, and five have gone on to win the race, with Rachel Alexandra being the most recent in 2009. Last Year, California Chrome won the race, and was considered a strong favorite to end the Triple Crown drought, but he finished fourth at the Belmont Stakes, joining the list of horses that came close but couldn’t win the final leg.
Unlike the Derby, which usually fields 20 horses, only 14 horses are allowed to run in the Preakness. Just like the Kentucky Derby, be careful when you bet on the Preakness stakes, because the odds on favorites to win don’t always do very well. Of the last 28 odds on favorites, 12 of them lost the Preakness, which means that American Pharoah isn’t guaranteed to win this race, despite how well he ran at the Derby. On the other hand, a lot of people pointed to the fact that favorites hadn’t done well at the Derby over the years, but he managed to win there, making it the third straight year that an odds on favorite won the race.
As far as Preakness Stakes betting goes, the race is still a few weeks away, so expect the lines to change as the race draws closer. However, some of the contenders are very familiar, because of their performance in Kentucky over the weekend. Here is a look at some of the contenders, if you plan on some Preakness Stakes betting.
The Kentucky Derby champion was briefly doubted at the Derby, due to inexperience, but he silenced his critics with a very solid performance at Churchill Downs, coming from behind to get the victory. Now he will be trying to prove once again why he was considered an overwhelming favorite heading into the Triple Crown races.
Victor Espinoza, who won his third Kentucky Derby and second in a row, will be trying to make it two for two when he rides American Pharoah at the Preakness. He also won the Preakness last year with California Chrome, so another win this year will make him the only jockey to win the Derby and Preakness in two consecutive years, and give him is third overall victory at the Preakness Stakes.
He was the horse that everyone felt had a good chance of defeating American Pharoah at the Kentucky Derby, and for much of the race, he looked very capable. Down the stretch, he started to tire a little bit, which gave Firing Line and American Pharoah an opportunity to take the lead, which Pharoah ended up holding on to with a strong finish at the end. Trainer Bob Baffert has already said he will be competing at the Preakness, which will give him a chance to ruin American Pharoah’s chances of winning the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Dortmund’s jockey, Martin Garcia, who won the Preakness in 2010 with Looking at Lucky, will be trying to win his second Preakness Stakes race with Dortmund, who suffered his first career loss at the Derby on Saturday.
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens showed us why he is considered one of the best in the business on Saturday, by riding Firing Line, who had a 12-1 chance of winning the race, to a second place finish. The impressive showing by firing line now makes him one of the favorites to win the Preakness. Firing Line’s trainer Simon Callaghan, believes that the shorter distance at the Preakness suits his running style more, giving him a better chance to win this race tan he did at Churchill Downs.
Divining Rod won the Lexington Stakes in April, and could have run at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, but his owner decided against entering him in the Derby, opting to rest him for the Preakness instead. By not running in the Derby, he is sort of a mystery, and could end up winning the race, because the track fits his style.
Preakness Stakes Predictions and Odds
Since the Preakness is still over a week away, and all the participants aren’t known, the odds on the chances these horses have of winning the race is not known, but we will update you as soon as they come out.
At the moment, American Pharoah is considered the favorite, because it has been confirmed that he will race at the Preakness, and he is coming off a big win at the Kentucky Derby, which is usually an indicator of who is favored at the Preakness stakes.
If American Pharoah should win this race, he will become the second consecutive horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, which will drum up even more attention for the Belmont Stakes than it usually gets in years when there is no chance of a horse going for the Triple Crown. If he does win the Preakness Stakes, I would expect him to have a really good chance of winning it, as long as he stays healthy. American Pharoah is a very powerful horse that usually jumps out to the lead, but as we saw at the Derby on Saturday, he doesn’t mind coming from behind, and he finished the race strong without tiring out. The only obstacles he will face at the Belmont are going to be the length of the track and the fresher horses who didn’t run in all three races.
Preakness Stakes Picks: American Pharoah was the most impressive horse on the track on Saturday, and I’m picking him to add a win at the Preakness Stakes to his achievements.
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