Handicappers that consider Preakness Stakes odds always face the supreme challenge of having to strive to not get caught up in the hype that follows the Kentucky Derby. It seems that everyone always loves the Derby winner in Preakness Stakes betting. What is sometimes forgotten is that the Derby winner doesn’t always win the Preakness.
Preakness Stakes odds usually make the Derby winning horse the favorite and the media piles on with endless hype about the Triple Crown which has a big effect. The fact that no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978 only adds fuel to the fire and hype machine of the media. As the Triple Crown becomes more elusive and seemingly less attainable each year the possibility of a horse turning the trick becomes more captivating. This immediately makes the Kentucky Derby winning horse the focal point of the Preakness Stakes and often also serves to drive down the overall board value of Derby winners.
With that in mind, a good place to start for handicapping success with Preakness Stakes betting is with the rest of the field. Again, that is where the value likely will be when compared to the Kentucky Derby winner. You can oftentimes find an excellent horse that may not be a Kentucky Derby winner but may also be a horse that is better suited for the shorter run at Pimlico and also not have the media driving down the board value.
It was not all that long ago that nearly all of the horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby would then follow that up with a run at the Preakness Stakes. That is becoming less common in this new era of big money and horses that are seemingly more fragile. Horse racing owners simply have far too much invested in today’s thoroughbreds to risk injury to the animals unless they are in perfect condition.
Along those same lines, horses that make the field in Preakness Stakes odds may not have even run in the Kentucky Derby. Last year’s winner of the Preakness Stakes odds, Rachel Alexandra, was held out of the Kentucky Derby. Owners will do this now because the money is so great and the traditions of the past simply are not respected or revered as the used to be. Most owners would rather skip the Kentucky Derby for a shot at the $1,000,000 purse of the Preakness Stakes with a fresh horse that is rested. This adds yet another handicapping element to consider on Preakness Day.