The 2023 Preakness Stakes takes place Saturday night at 6:54 p.m. ET at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.
The field features seven horses after the favorite, First Mission, was scratched Friday and is headlined by No. 3 Mage, the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
While the Kentucky Derby, which featured a field of 18 horses, was rightly predicted to be a wide open contest, the Preakness seems to set up as a top-heavy race with a notable gap between the haves and have-nots.
Here are the morning-line odds for the 2023 Preakness Stakes:
2023 Preakness Stakes odds
|2||Chase the Chaos||50-1|
|5||Red Route One||10-1|
Best bet to win: No. 1 National Treasure (4-1)
There’s not as much casual money in the Preakness pools as there is in the Kentucky Derby, but you can feel pretty confident that a good portion of that cash will end up on Mage.
And, while this could change, it seems that early indications are that the folks that are going to try and beat Mage with a better price are going to roll with No. 7 Blazing Sevens.
That could put even more value on National Treasure, who may not get as much betting support because of his draw alongside the inside rail.
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Despite that draw, National Treasure has every chance of contending in this race.
Trained by Bob Baffert, National Treasure is likely the only horse in this field that has a legitimate chance to lead this race gate-to-wire.
Part of that is out of necessity because of his post-draw, but it’s also because there doesn’t project to be too much pace in this contest.
This race could set up perfectly for National Treasure and his price is absolutely worth playing.
Best long shot bet: No. 6 Perform (15-1)
Perform’s career got off to a rocky start with five straight losses, but he broke his maiden at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year and then followed that up with a spectacular closing performance in the Federico Tesio Stakes last month.
Perform showed something special down the stretch in that run and if that closing ability translates to the Preakness, he should be able to pass tired horses and hit the board — or perhaps pull the upset.
Horses to add to exotics: No. 6 Perform (15-1), No. 5 Red Route One (10-1)
Whether you’re just going to try and ride the magic with Mage or looking at one of the other favorites to work with, it makes sense to add some prices to your ticket to try and juice up the value.
I already jotted down why I like Perform’s chances of outrunning his odds in this race, but Red Route One is another interesting horse at double-digit odds.
Like Perform, it took some time for Red Route One to get his first stakes win, but he’s got plenty of experience in elite fields, including a pair of runner-up finishes in prep races for the Kentucky Derby.
Red Route One is a closer, so you’re using him for his ability to pass some tired horses and hit the board at a big price on Saturday.
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