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By: Kevin Martin
Of the three Triple Crown races, the Preakness Stakes has been, in recent years, the most formful, meaning favorites run well and have dominated the winner’s circle. Since 2000, seven post-time favorites have won the Preakness. There is no doubt that this year’s post-time favorite will be Kentucky Derby winner Orb. He drew the number one post position at Wednesday’s Preakness draw which is not ideal but he had the same post in winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes earlier this year. In his four starts in 2013, Orb has shown that race circumstances don’t matter, he just wins.
Anything over even money on Orb, the most likely winner of the 2013 Preakness, is a good bet. Big Brown won the 2008 Preakness at 1 to 5, the shortest priced Preakness favorite this century. It’s not out of the question that Orb could sink below even money come post-time. However, the presence of Mylute, with jockey Rosie Nepravnik aboard, and Departing, the talented colt who skipped the Derby, gives some hope that Orb backers will get at least 6-5 come post-time. So I will invest $80 of my bankroll on Orb to win.
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The place where I am hoping to find some value is in the exacta. Will Take Charge ran well but had a troubled trip off nearly a two month layoff in the Kentucky Derby. While it’s doubtful that any colt was going to beat Orb on Derby day, Will Take Charge would have done better than his eighth place finish with a cleaner trip. He will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith who will give him a chance to run when they hit the stretch. He will likely go off at odds exceeding 10 to 1 and could be forgotten in the exoctics where Mylute and Departing are expected to get the majority of the play. I will play a straight exacta with Orb over Will Take Charge for $20.
While I won’t get a significant return on a win bet should Orb win, the $20 exacta play, should it hit, would mean at least a 3 to 1 return on my $100 investment.
The $100 Bet
$80 to win on the 1 (Orb)
$20 straight exacta 1 with 7 (Orb over Will Take Charge)
For a Preakness Stakes preview, click here. Good luck and enjoy this year’s Preakness!
Of course, its more fun to make your own picks, you can learn do that at Hello Race Fans. You can also see a rundown of all the starters with their annual Preakness Cheat Sheet.
Kevin Martin is the founder of the thoroughbred racing history site Colin’s Ghost and a contributing editor at Hello Race Fans