Over the next couple of weeks, horse racing enthusiasts around the world will be gearing up for one of the biggest events of the season, where the finest American thoroughbred racehorses will meet at Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland, to battle it out for the coveted title.
The 145th Preakness Stake is set to take place on 15th May, and although travelling to the event to view it in real time might be off the cards this year, if you’re an avid sports better with a penchant for the races, then this event is one you’ll want to keep your eye on virtually.
A Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs, this historic race dates all the way back to 1873, and the calibre of horses expected to take part this year is exceedingly high. The second jewel of the ‘Triple Crown’ – which followers of the American race scene will know is usually held two weeks after the famous Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the prestigious Belmont Stakes, the Preakness Stakes attracts thousands of racegoers to watch the on-track action every year.
And, while it remains to be seen just how many spectators will be allowed into the grounds this year due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, there’s no question that the competition will be as fierce as ever, with some of the world’s wealthiest owners and breeders – not to mention sports betters – set to take home a considerable fortune should their number come in first.
Here, we take a look at some of the hottest tips to win this year’s race – but if you just can’t wait to check out the odds before diving in, then head to tvg.com/promos/preakness-stakes/preakness-stakes-odds for the latest.
The main opponents
This year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, is hotly tipped to take the Preakness Stakes title for 2021, and if successful, he could then go on to win all three races of the Triple Crown. Despite not being pegged as a likely victor at the Derby, he went on to impress during the race – and all eyes are now firmly on him for the next two races ahead, with odds of 7-2 for the Preakness Stakes. Nonetheless, with the race taking place just two weeks after the gruelling Kentucky Derby, it’s going to be a tall order – and it is rare for a horse to win both.
Another of the favourites who could take the title at this year’s Preakness Stakes is the impressive Authentic, who last year scooped the Kentucky Derby crown. Taking a strong lead, he managed to break away from Tiz the Law, who was the top tip for that particular race, but was challenged by firm contender Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness Stakes 2020, eventually coming in second place.
Swiss Skydiver is a talented young female horse who has successfully placed first and second in six straight races, including one with a second-place finish next to Art Collector in the Blue Grass Stakes. With impressive physical strength and quickness, she’ll be entering her ninth race of the year without yet having missed a beat.
Others to watch include Mandaloun, Concert Tour and Caddo River – all of whom have been making impressive gains in recent races, and could be about to show us exactly what they’ve got at Preakness.
Midnight Bourbon is another one to watch. This Tiznow colt, who missed his chance of taking the title at the Kentucky Derby last week, is ridden well by jockey Mike Smith, but finished 8/4 lengths behind resilient winner, Medina Spirit. However, many believe that this was simply down to bad luck when coming out of the gate, so he could be about to surprise us at Preakness.
Pneumatic is a good quality bet, and has shown improvements in each of his first four races.
He has a slim chance of winning, but is a wildcard who, if successful, could result in some big wins in the betting stakes. Liveyourbeastlife had also shown progression since 2020 and is worth a flutter for risk takers.