In a normal year the Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the US Triple Crown, following the Kentucky Derby and before the Belmont Stakes. However, in 2020 it is the final race of the series and takes place over 9.5 furlongs (1 mile 3/16) at Pimlico on Saturday (5.36pm ET).
Read on for USAbetting’s Preakness predictions and form guide for the leading contenders:
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Authentic is the current favorite at a shade bigger than even money. The market leader won the Kentucky Derby in September when the strong favorite, Tiz The Law, was runner-up, beaten by one and a quarter lengths. Tiz The Law won the Belmont Stakes in June but skips this race after the quest to win the Triple Crown was thwarted by Authentic in the Derby. Authentic has won four races from five starts this season, including the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in June when stablemate Thousand Words finished third. Authentic brings Triple Crown winning form to the race and will be difficult to beat but the odds with the major offshore U.S. racebooks look short.
Art Collector did not run in the Belmont Stakes or Kentucky Derby and is a late developing colt at the level. However, four wins from as many starts this season justifies an entry for the final Triple Crown race. The key prep race is the Blue Grass Stakes at Keenland in June. Art Collector was too good for the runner-up, filly Swiss Skydiver, carrying five pounds more weight. Art Collector has something to find with the favorite and could be found out at the business end of the race.
Swiss Skydiver is another contesting her first Triple Crown race because there was little evidence in the form or pedigree to suggest being competitive in the first two legs. Four wins and two second place finishes during the three-year-old season means this progressive filly warrants a place in the field for the Preakness Stakes. Swiss Skydiver is behind Art Collector on form and Authentic will be a tough nut to crack. However, the only female in the field will carry three pounds less than the colts so she looks a good bet to make the frame. The Grade 1 winner has been consistent all season but could come up just short against the boys.
Thousand Words was scratched from the Kentucky Derby after a fall near the paddock but had morning line odds of 15/1, which made the colt the fourth favorite ahead of the race. He was attracting significant late money before his mishap. A fourth place finish in the San Felipe Stakes behind the winner, Authentic, suggests Thousand Words is not quite good enough to win a Triple Crown race. Beating Honor AP in a relatively modest stakes race at Del Mar at the start of August does not stack up well for the Preakness. Honor AP finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, five lengths adrift of Authentic at the finishing line. The collateral form means Thousand Words looks unlikely to have the class and ability to win this race.
Mr Big News finished third in the Kentucky Derby, beaten three and a quarter lengths and two lengths by Authentic and Tiz the Law. The weights for the Preakness Stakes are the same so Mr Big News is unlikely to reverse the form with the favorite. The colt was unplaced behind Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver in the Blue Grass Stakes so does not have the form to beat the two runners behind Authentic in the betting. Mr Big News is no more than a long shot who has made the frame in a Triple Crown race but that run was not good enough for a potential winner of the Preakness Stakes.
Of the others, the next two horses in the betting, Max Player and NY Traffic, were well beaten in the Derby but Max Player was third in the Belmont Stakes. The other four runners have not run to a level that suggests a Triple Crown race is winnable.
Our Preview’s Preakness Stakes Predictions & Betting Picks Conclusion
Thousand Words and Mr Big News would need to improve to get in the mix. Art Collector has a form edge over Swiss Skydiver. So, despite reservations about the value in the odds, AUTHENTIC cannot be ignored. So, in summary, this is the advised pick for our Preakness predictions and preview: