The Preakness Stakes is one of the most exciting races on the calendar, forming the second leg of the famed Triple Crown of horse racing.
For 3-year-old thoroughbreds, this race will host a stellar field which usually contains the winner of the Kentucky Derby .
This year will be the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes, with a maximum of 14 horses making up the field for the race on Saturday May 15, 2021.
This article is divided into the following sections, where you’ll gain an insight into all things betting on the Preakness Stakes, including odds on this years race.
Best horse racing site for the 2021 Preakness Stakes
For the best and safest betting experience when wagering on the 2021 Preakness Stakes, it’s a good idea to stick with regulated horse racing apps and sites. Signing up for a site that has a good reputation within the industry is always a safe bet and is ultimately a smarter move than gambling with an offshore outfit.
Here is the recommended horse race betting site that ticks each of these boxes.
Preakness odds & post positions for 2021
Here are the odds for this year’s Preakness Stakes, provided by TVG.
|Post Position||Horse||Morning Line Odds||Jockey|
|3||Medina Spirit||9/5||John Velazquez|
|4||Crowded Trade||10/1||Javier Castellano|
|5||Midnight Bourbon||5/1||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|7||France Go de Ina||20/1||Joel Rosario|
|8||Unbridled Honor||15/1||Luis Saez|
|9||Risk Taking||15/1||Jose Ortiz|
|10||Concert Tour||5/2||Mike Smith|
Where to bet on the Preakness Stakes
There are a variety of options available for those who want to place a bet on the Preakness Stakes.
The best method of all is to head to Pimlico Race Course and watch the race. As many as 100,000 people attend the race on an annual basis, so if you’re one of the lucky ones, head to a teller and place your bet.
There are many off-track betting (OTB) shops available in many states across the US. Visit Google to find an OTB near you.
Several racetracks in the US offer simulcast wagering for the Preakness Stakes, so head down to your nearest track and enjoy the action with fellow race fans.
Perhaps the most popular way to enjoy the action is to bet on regulated sites online such as the three listed above. Regulated racing sites are perfectly legal and offer a safe and secure route to betting.
Where to bet on the Preakness Stakes
#1 TVG – Get up to a $300 Risk Free Bet!
If you want a gambling site with a focus exclusively on horse racing, TVG might be your ideal destination. TVG features horse racing from across the US and around the world, too.
The site has a tight focus on live video streaming, so just place a bet and watch the race unfold. It’s the perfect place to bet and watch the Preakness Stakes.
Watch TVG is an additional streaming service available on Apple TV (fourth generation and newer), Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick, and Roku. This service is free for wagering customers, so place your bet on the Preakness Stakes and enjoy this extra feature.
How to bet on the Preakness Stakes
The three most popular bets on the Preakness Stakes are the classic win, place and show.
The win bet is the most straightforward of all, where you’ll be paid out if your selection hits the winning post first.
A place bet sees your wager win if your selection finishes first or second in the race.
The show bet is a winner if your selection finishes anywhere in the first, second or third place.
Other popular bets on the Preakness Stakes include:
Pick the first two finishers in the race in the correct order.
Pick the first, second and third in the correct order; a tougher ask than the exacta, but with even higher rewards.
Pick the first, second, third and fourth in the correct order. Get it right, and you could be looking at a mega win.
Here are the payouts for a $2 stake on the 2020 Preakness Stakes.
|First: Swiss Skydiver||$25.40||$8.40||$5.80|
|Third: Jesus' Team||$12.20|
|$2 Exacta||50-cent Trifecta||$1 Superfecta|
Preakness Stakes odds and betting strategy
The gambling strategy for the Preakness Stakes has some interesting challenges. Firstly, the makeup of the field isn’t truly known until after the running of the Kentucky Derby.
And the running of that race, it will have huge implications on the betting odds for the Preakness. In fact, the winner of the Kentucky Derby is the only horse guaranteed to gain a place in the race and will most likely be the favorite.
In 2018, for example, Justify won the Kentucky Derby and was instantly installed as the hot favorite to win the Preakness Stakes. At odds of 2-to-5, deemed one of the lowest odds runners in the history of the race, and duly won by half a length from Bravazo.
This doesn’t mean that the Kentucky Derby should take over all of your betting strategies for the Preakness Stakes. Some of the field will have run in the Kentucky Derby, but the majority won’t have. Also, some might have had more than two weeks off compared with the Derby runners.
Last year, Swiss Skydiver was the surprising winner, outpacing post-time favorite Authentic when all was said and done. For perspective, Authentic checked in with 3-2 odds out of the gate, while the Swiss Skydiver was priced at 11-1.
Past winners of the Preakness Stakes
The first Preakness Stakes race took place in 1873, two years before the first-ever Kentucky Derby, but six years later than the inaugural Belmont Stakes. The winner of that race in 1873 was the appropriately named Survivor, ridden by George Barbee and trained by A. Davis Pryor.
Of all of the winners of the Preakness Stakes, the 13 horses who won both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, too, and therefore completed the Triple Crown, are the most renowned.
Secretariat, the winner in 1973, won each of the three races in record times, making him perhaps the most famous winner of all, with a feature film about his accomplishments hitting the big screen in 2010.
The full list of Triple Crown winners are as follows:
- Sir Barton (1919)
- Gallant Fox (1930)
- Omaha (1935)
- War Admiral (1937)
- Whirlaway (1941)
- Count Fleet (1943)
- Assault (1946)
- Citation (1948)
- Secretariat (1973)
- Seattle Slew (1977)
- Affirmed (1978)
- American Pharaoh (2015)
- Justify (2018)
A total of 36 horses have won the Preakness Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby, but 23 of those horses failed to convert the final win.
California Chrome, in 2014, is the last horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, before failing to win the Triple Crown (California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes after running the race with an injury to his heel and a scrape on his tendon).
Swiss Skydiver became the sixth filly to win the Preakness in 2020. The first filly to ever win the Preakness Stakes was Flocarline in 1903, while the last prior to last year was Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Other fillies to win are Whimsical (1906), Rhine Maiden (1915) and Nellie Morse (1924).
List of all Preakness winners – 1873 – 2020
|2020||Swiss Skydiver||Robby Albarado||1:53:28|
|2019||War of Will||Tyler Gaffalione||1:54:34|
|2018||Justify||Mike E. Smith||1:55:93|
|2017||Cloud Computing||Javier Castellano||1:55:98|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||1:58:46|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||1:54.84|
|2012||I'll Have Another||Mario Gutierrez||1:55.94|
|2010||Lookin at Lucky||Martin Garcia||1:55.47|
|2009||Rachel Alexandra||Calvin Borel||1:55.08|
|2008||Big Brown||Kent Desormeaux||1:54.80|
|2007||Curlin||Robby Albarado||1:53 2/5|
|2005||Afleet Alex||Jeremy Rose||1:55.04|
|2004||Smarty Jones||Stewart Elliott||1:55.59|
|2003||Funny Cide||Jose Santos||1:55.61|
|2002||War Emblem||Victor Espinoza||1:56 2/5|
|2001||Point Given||Gary Stevens||1:55 2/5|
|2000||Red Bullet||Jerry Bailey||1:56|
|1999||Charismatic||Chris Antley||1:55 1/5|
|1998||Real Quiet||Kent Desormeaux||1:54 4/5|
|1997||Silver Charm||Gary Stevens||1:54 2/5|
|1996||Louis Quatorze||Pat Day||1:53 2/5|
|1995||Timber Country||Pat Day||1:54 2/5|
|1994||Tabasco Cat||Pat Day||1:56 2/5|
|1993||Prairie Bayou||Mike Smith||1:56 3/5|
|1992||Pine Bluff||Chris McCarron||1:55 3/5|
|1990||Summer Squall||Pat Day||1:53 3/5|
|1989||Sunday Silence||Pat Valenzuela||1:53 4/5|
|1988||Risen Star||Eddie Delahoussaye||1:56 1/5|
|1987||Alysheba||Chris McCarron||1:55 4/5|
|1986||Snow Chief||Alex Solis||1:54 4/5|
|1984||Gate Dancer||Angel Cordero Jr.||1:53 3/5|
|1983||Deputed Testamony||Donald Miller Jr.||1:55 2/5|
|1981||Pleasant Colony||Jorge Velasquez||1:54 3/5|
|1980||Codex||Angel Cordero Jr.||1:54 1/5|
|1979||Spectacular Bid||Ron Franklin||1:54 1/5|
|1978||Affirmed||Steve Cauthen||1:54 2/5|
|1977||Seattle Slew||Jean Cruguet||1:54 2/5|
|1975||Master Derby||Darrel McHargue||1:56 2/5|
|1974||Little Current||Miguel Rivera||1:54 3/5|
|1972||Bee Bee Bee||Eldon Nelson||1:55 3/5|
|1971||Canonero II||Gustavo Avila||1:54|
|1970||Personality||Eddie Belmonte||1:56 1/5|
|1969||Majestic Prince||Bill Hartack||1:55 3/5|
|1968||Forward Pass||Ismael Valenzuela||1:56.4/5|
|1967||Damascus||Bill Shoemaker||1:55 1/5|
|1966||Kauai King||Don Brumfield||1:55 2/5|
|1965||Tom Rolfe||Ron Turcotte||1:56 1/5|
|1964||Northern Dancer||Bill Hartack||1:56 4/5|
|1963||Candy Spots||Bill Shoemaker||1:56 1/5|
|1962||Greek Money||John Rotz||1:56 1/5|
|1961||Carry Back||John Sellers||1:57 3/5|
|1960||Bally Ache||Bobby Ussery||1:57 3/5|
|1959||Royal Orbit||William Harmatz||1:57|
|1958||Tim Tam||Ismael Valenzuela||1:57 1/5|
|1957||Bold Ruler||Eddie Arcaro||1:56 1/5|
|1956||Fabius||Bill Hartack||1:58 2/5|
|1955||Nashua||Eddie Arcaro||1:54 3/5|
|1954||Hasty Road||Johnny Adams||1:57.40|
|1953||Native Dancer||Eric Guerin||1:57 4/5|
|1952||Blue Man||Conn McCreary||1:57 2/5|
|1951||Bold||Eddie Arcaro||1:56 2/5|
|1950||Hill Prince||Eddie Arcaro||1:59 1/5|
|1948||Citation||Eddie Arcaro||2:02 2/5|
|1946||Assault||Warren Mehrtens||2:01 2/5|
|1945||Polynesian||W. D. Wright||1:58 4/5|
|1944||Pensive||Conn McCreary||1:59 1/5|
|1943||Count Fleet||Johnny Longden||1:57 2/5|
|1941||Whirlaway||Eddie Arcaro||1:58 4/5|
|1940||Bimelech||F. A. Smith||1:58 3/5|
|1939||Challedon||George Seabo||1:59 4/5|
|1938||Dauber||Maurice Peters||1:59 4/5|
|1937||War Admiral||Charley Kurtsinger||1:58 2/5|
|1936||Bold Venture||George Woolf||1:59|
|1935||Omaha||Willie Saunders||1:58 2/5|
|1934||High Quest||Robert Jones||1:58 1/5|
|1933||Head Play||Charley Kurtsinger||2:02|
|1932||Burgoo King||Eugene James||1:59 4/5|
|1930||Gallant Fox||Earl Sande||2:00 3/5|
|1929||Dr. Freeland||Louis Schaefer||2:01 3/5|
|1928||Victorian||Sonny Workman||2:00 1/5|
|1927||Bostonian||Whitey Abel||2:01 3/5|
|1926||Display||John Maiben||1:59 4/5|
|1924||Nellie Morse||John Merimee||1:57 1/5|
|1923||Vigil||Benny Marinelli||1:53 3/5|
|1922||Pillory||L. Morris||1:51 3/5|
|1921||Broomspun||Frank Coltiletti||1:54 1/5|
|1919||Sir Barton||Johnny Loftus||1:53|
|1918||Jack Hare Jr.||Charles Peak||1:53 2/5|
|1918||War Cloud||Johnny Loftus||1:53 3/5|
|1917||Kalitan||E. Haynes||1:54 2/5|
|1916||Damrosch||Linus McAtee||1:54 4/5|
|1915||Rhine Maiden||Douglas Hoffman||1:58|
|1914||Holiday||Andy Schuttinger||1:53 4/5|
|1913||Buskin||James Butwell||1:53 2/5|
|1912||Colonel Holloway||Clarence Turner||1:56 3/5|
|1910||Layminster||Roy Estep||1:40 3/5|
|1909||Effendi||Willie Doyle||1:39 4/5|
|1908||Royal Tourist||Eddie Dugan||1:46 2/5|
|1907||Don Enrique||G. Mountain||1:45 2/5|
|1905||Cairngorm||W. Davis||1:45 4/5|
|1904||Bryn Mawr||E. Hildebrand||1:44 1/5|
|1903||Flocarline||W. Gannon||1:44 4/5|
|1902||Old England||L. Jackson||1:45 4/5|
|1901||The Parader||F. Landry||1:47 1/5|
|1900||Hindus||H. Spencer||1:48 2/5|
|1899||Half Time||R. Clawson||1:47|
|1898||Sly Fox||Willie Simms||1:49 3/4|
|1897||Paul Kauvar||T. Thorpe||1:51 1/4|
|1895||Belmar||Fred Taral||1:50 1/2|
|1894||Assignee||Fred Taral||1:49 1/4|
|1890||Montague||W. Martin||2:36 3/4|
|1889||Buddhist||George B. Anderson||2:17 1/2|
|1887||Dunboyne (horse)||William Donohue||2:39 1/2|
|1886||The Bard||S. Fisher||2:45|
|1884||Knight of Ellerslie||S. Fisher||2:39 1/2|
|1883||Jacobus||George Barbee||2:42 1/2|
|1882||Vanguard||T. Costello||2:44 1/2|
|1881||Saunterer||T. Costello||2:40 1/2|
|1880||Grenada||Lloyd Hughes||2:40 1/2|
|1879||Harold||Lloyd Hughes||2:40 1/2|
|1878||Duke of Magenta||C. Holloway||2:41 3/4|
|1877||Cloverbrook||C. Holloway||2:45 1/2|
|1875||Tom Ochiltree||Lloyd Hughes||2:43 1/2|
|1874||Culpepper||William Donohue||2:56 1/2|
Qualification for the Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes has an upper limit of 14 runners.
Entry into this race requires the owners to nominate their horses for competing in all the Triple Crown races by the closing date in late January. The cost of initial entry into the race is $15,000, and owners will have to pay a further $15,000 if their horse makes the starting gate. If an owner decides to enter a horse that hasn’t been nominated for the Triple Crown series, he or she can by paying a supplemental nomination fee of $150,000.
At this stage, if there are more than 14 runners entered for the Preakness Stakes, and the following criteria apply:
- The first seven spots are allocated to those top-prize money earners in graded-stakes races (this will include the winner of the Kentucky Derby).
- Four spots are awarded to the top lifetime earners in nonrestricted races.
- The final three spots are awarded to lifetime prize money, irrespective of whether they are open or restricted races.
- Any horse who finished in the Top 5 of the Kentucky Derby will be guaranteed an entry should the connections choose to accept it.
History of the Preakness Stakes
On Oct. 25, 1970, Pimlico Race Course opened. That day, the winner of the Dinner Party Stakes was Preakness, from the Preakness Stud, in Preakness, New Jersey.
The Preakness Stakes was named in honor of this initial winner, whose name is said to have come from the Native American name for the area “Pra-qua-les” meaning Quail Woods.
The first running of the Preakness Stakes was May 27, 1873, when a field of seven runners lined up at the start. Survivor won this initial race by an impressive 10 lengths, thereby claiming the winning purse of $2,050.
Early editions of this race were more than 1.5 miles before moving to 1.25 miles in 1889. The distances were chopped and changed many times in the next 36 years of the race, with today’s distance of 1 3/16 miles finally being settled on for the 1925 running and all races since.
In 1890, the Preakness Stakes moved to Morris Park Race Course in the Bronx. This race had handicap conditions (were better quality horses carried more weight) and the 3-year-old age restriction was lifted. Handicap editions of the race also took place through 1910-14.
There was no race between 1891 and 1893 before it returned at Gravesend Race Track at Coney Island between 1894 and 1908. The Preakness Stakes returned to its rightful home, Pimlico, in 1909.
There are several traditions built up around the race. Before the start of the race, the Baltimore Colts’ marching band would lead a rendition of Maryland, My Maryland from the infield, a duty that now falls to the US Naval Academy Glee Club.
After the winner has been declared, a painter climbs a ladder to add the winning number and colors to a horse and jockey statue atop a weather vane on the infield.
The Preakness Stakes has also been called the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans due to the blanket of yellow flowers resembling Maryland‘s state flower is placed across the withers of the winning horse.
Some claim that the Preakness Stakes is the “people’s race” due to the festivities on the infield of the track. The track had a bring-your-own-booze policy until 2009, although this was canceled in 2009 after a few individuals took their intoxication levels a little too far.
In 2010, the InfieldFest was introduced, an all-day concert built around the race. Crowds at the Preakness Stakes regularly top 100,000 with the attendance in 2018 of 134,000 and a record crowd of 140,000 in 2017.
Classic moments in the Preakness Stakes
Secretariat won the race in 1973 in record time.
He was facing great rival Sham, and the tight first turn at Pimlico is considered no place to make a move. Secretariat, however, changed the script, charging from last to first in the space of 300 yards and eventually won the race by three lengths.
In one of the most controversial finishes in the history of the race, Codex ran out the winner in 1980.
Around the final turn, Codex bumped the Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk to the outside. After much discussion, the Maryland Jockey Club decreed that Codex should still be awarded the race.
Afleet Alex was clearly the leading horse in 2005 but got beaten in the Kentucky Derby by 50/1 outsider Giacomo.
Heading to the Preakness Stakes, it was time to make amends. However, heading around the turn, both horse and jockey stumbled and nearly exited the race. Fortunately, the horse remained on its feet and flew down the finishing straight, winning by five lengths. Afleet Alex duly went on to become the winner of the Belmont Stakes and complete two-thirds of the Triple Crown.
Justify headed into the Preakness Stakes as a hot favorite, having already landed the Kentucky Derby.
However, he didn’t have it all his way at a foggy Pimlico. Having led early on, Justify got into a real tussle with rival Good Magic throughout the race, before hanging on down the final stretch from the chasing pack.
More racing events
|Kentucky Derby||Preakness Stakes||Belmont Stakes|
|Triple Crown||Haskell Invitational||Arlington Millions|
|Travers Stakes||Stars and Stripes Stakes||Dubai World Cup|
|Saudi Cup||Kentucky Oaks|
Preakness Stakes FAQ
When is the Preakness Stakes?
The Preakness Stakes is traditionally run on the third Saturday of May.
This year, the race will be held Saturday, May 15. The Preakness Stakes traditionally runs exactly two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and either two or three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.
How many horses run in the race?
Unlike the Kentucky Derby, which has settled on a set number of 20, the number of runners in the Preakness Stakes can vary.
There is an upper limit of 14 runners (for safety reasons), but you can find much fewer entries than that. For example, in 2018, just eight runners headed to the starting gate, while 2017 saw 10 runners compete. These fewer number of runners ensure that the field is high on quality.
How much does the winner of the Preakness Stakes receive?
For 2020, the purse size was set at $1 million with $600,000 allocated for first place. The remainder of the purse is distributed to the next four winners. The total size of the pool has previously reached well over $1 million.
When is the post time of the Preakness Stakes?
The Preakness Stakes will race at 5:45 p.m. EST. TV viewers can watch the action on NBC from 4:30 p.m. EST to catch the preceding races and the build-up to the historic race.
How much are Preakness Stakes tickets?
If you want to enjoy the race-day experience at the track, there are the following tiers of tickets:
- Premium: These range between $200 and $720, and include premium dining experiences and the best vantage points on the track.
- Grandstand: These range between $135 and $385, all are near the finish line of the race.
- Clubhouse: Tickets range between $75 and $220, and offer outdoor seating, HD TV, and access to InfieldFest, the all-day music festival.
- Concourse: These range between $120 and $160, and offer great views of the homestretch of the race.
- Facility admission: For $40, you can enjoy being part of the atmosphere with TV monitors to watch the races, and food and beverage concessions.
- InFieldFest pass: Prices range between $79 and $199 for this all-day music festival, which takes place in and around the Preakness Stakes.
Who was the fastest horse to win the Preakness Stakes?
The fastest winner in the history of the race was the brilliant Secretariat in 1973. The race lasted exactly 1:53.
Several horses have ducked below the 1:54 mark since, with the latest to do so being Curlin in 2007.
The fastest filly to ever win the race was Rachel Alexandra in 2009, winning in a time of 1:55.08.
Which jockeys/trainers have the most wins?
Eddie Arcaro is the most successful jockey in the history of the race, having won it a total of six times. His first win came in 1941, and his final victory was 16 years later in 1957. In his illustrious career, Arcaro would also win the Kentucky Derby five times and the Belmont Stakes six times.
Up until recent years, R. Wyndham Walden was known as the most successful trainer in the history of the race with seven wins between 1875 and 1888.
However, when Justify won in 2018, Bob Baffert equaled this number. Baffert is almost sure to have a runner or two in 2019, so he could look to move ahead on the all-time list.