Preakness Stakes: Contenders and Predictions

The 2023 Preakness Stakes will be Race 13 on May 20th at Pimlico. Post time is set for 6:01 PM CT. This Grade I race is one and 3/16 miles and has a purse of $1,500,000. There are eight horses in the field this year. Last year’s winner was Early Voting.

Let’s take a look at the field.

Mage is the favorite after his massive Kentucky Derby win two weeks ago. His speed figure progression has been consistent. If you look at the speed figure graph further down you’ll see that progression. The Derby speed figure was the best in this field by far, but it was also the best for Mage by far.

First Mission should be Mage’s biggest competitor. He should be closer to the front than Mage and is arguably a better finisher than Mage. He also has the benefit of training up to this race. His last race was 35 days ago so he may be better rested than Mage going on just 14 days rest.

Red Route One will likely be at the back of the field, but he’ll have good closing speed. I don’t think he’ll be able to catch Mage and First Mission. It may be tough for him to catch National Treasure too, but he should be running late.

National Treasure should be out near the front. If the track plays fast he may be able to hang on, but there’s a pretty good chance he gets run down on the stretch.

Blazing Sevens is trained by Bob Baffert. He finished 3rd in the Blue Grass Stakes in his last to Kentucky Derby runners Tapit Trice and Verifying and ahead of Sun Thunder. He had a bad race in the Fountain of Youth Stakes two back, which hurts him on the rankings, but his best speed figures suggest he can contend. I don’t think he’ll be able to hang in there with the top horses, but he is better than the rest.

Perform is an interesting horse that may hit the board. His numbers aren’t the best, but the angle with him is that he’ll like the two turns and the added distance. If playing exotics, look to include him.

Chase the Chaos and Coffeewithchris don’t have much of a shot in my opinion. Coffeewithchris is the Maryland-bred and he’ll want to be on the front. He’s ran consistent speeds over the last few, but not high enough for this field. Chase the Chaos just doesn’t have competitive numbers for this field.

I’ve ran the Preakness Stakes 1,000 times in simulations. Below are the results of those races.

Quick Wrap and Betting Strategies

Most Likely to Win: 3 Mage

My Bet: 3-8 Exacta Box, 3-6/8-6/8

Superfecta: 3/8-3/8-1/6-1/5/6

Long Shot: 6 Perform (15-1)

Mage should be the favorite and will likely be a heavy favorite, but the worry with the Derby winner is how the horse responds on just two weeks rest. First Mission is the best contender to Mage and is worth a bet if you’re looking to stay away from Mage. Perform is a longer shot to include in exotics while Red Route One should be running late too. National Treasure also deserves exotics consideration as a horse that should be near the lead.

Leave a Reply