The three favourites according to the Preakness Stakes 2019 odds are:
- Improbable +150
- War of Will +250
- Alwaysmining +650
Just over a week out from the Preakness and the starting field continues to take shape, most recently with the news that speedy Warrior’s Charge will likely be joining the field in the starting gate next Saturday.
While lots has been written about the favorites and runners coming out of the Kentucky Derby with Improbable (+150) and War of Will (+250) the race favorites in the latest odds for the Preakness Stakes, less is known about many of the new shooters just joining the Triple Crown series for the Preakness.
Here’s a look at some the lesser-lights and long shots expected in the field, with Preakness Stakes odds on future bets provided by Bovada’s racebook. Keep in mind that final entries for the race won’t be official until Wednesday, May 15.
Preakness Stakes 2019 Long Shots
- Laughing Fox (+1600): Gets in the Preakness by winning the Oaklawn Park Invitational Stakes.
- Warrior’s Charge (+1400): Followed up his maiden win with a six-length romp at the allowance level.
- Bodexpress (+1400): Pressed the early pace in the Kentucky Derby before fading to 13th.
- Signalman (+1200): Finished 22nd in Derby qualifying, missing the race by two spots.
Preakness Stakes Betting Value
Laughing Fox has developed into a closing horse, having dropped back and tried to make one big run in each of his last four races. He’s had some success with a pair of wins, and his speed figures have improved over that time. Although he was well back, he was in good company when running fourth in the (G1) Arkansas Derby behind pre-Derby favorite Omaha Beach, Improbable, Derby winner Country House and ahead of eventual Derby runners Long Range Toddy and Gray Attempt.
The addition of Warrior’s Charge adds a significant wrinkle to the Preakness pace scenario. He’s trained by Brad Cox, who will also have Owendale (+800) in the race. This is important because like Laughing Fox, Owendale is a closer, and generally closers need the early part of the race to be fast, with the idea being the lead horses will tire and allow closers to close. Warrior’s Charge is a speed horse who will go to the front and force others – like War Of Will, Bodexpress, Alwaysmining (+650) and perhaps Improbable – to also go fast early, giving Owendale a chance to pass them late.
As much as Warrior’s Charge may help the closers, he makes things tougher for Bodexpress. Up until now he might have been the early pacesetter in the race, but now he’ll have company and his connections are going to have to decide if they want to challenge for the lead or try to rate just off the pace. It’s not clear that Bodexpress can win at 1 3/16 miles, and the faster he has to go early the less likely that is.
Unlike these others, Signalman is neither a closer or a speedy up-front type, and for him the race could easily go one of two ways. The only race of his seven when he didn’t get in the money was the (G2) Fountain Of Youth, which featured a fast opening first quarter, half-mile and six furlongs. So a blazing pace here might leave him in the dust. On the other hand, he does have enough speed to keep himself in a good mid-pack position throughout the race, and if the front-runners falter in the stretch he could be the one getting the first jump.
Handicapping the Preakness Stakes
From a handicapping point of view, all of this makes for an interesting puzzle. Clearly trainer Cox looked at the the probable field and determined the race needed more speed to help out his contender Owendale. So does this mean Cox has a lot of confidence Owendale can now win, or is he just hoping the right pace scenario develops?
If the other front-runners in the race decide to let Warrior’s Charge have the lead believing they’ll be able to reel him in anyway, Cox’s plan falls apart. So the question then is if Warrior’s Charge is really good enough to steal the race if he opens a lead? As impressive as his last win looks on paper, it’s worth noting the horse he beat in his last race, Hidden Ruler, finished dead last in the Oaklawn Invitational, more than 20 lengths behind Laughing Fox.
Preakness Stakes Betting Odds
If you’re looking for good betting value on a 2019 Preakness Stakes long shot, check out the online racebooks listed below and get your bets in early.
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