Preakness Stakes Betting Guide

The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown series of races, along with the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. The race takes place on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Racecourse. The Grade 1 event attracts horse racing fans from all around the world, and it is one of the top horse races for betting. 

The Preakness Stakes hosts many of the sport’s best runners each year, with the post draw occurring on the Wednesday before the racing weekend. Wagering opens up two days later when the Friday program kicks off. 

The Preakness Stakes set a new record in 2016 when it brought in $94,127,434 in all-sources wagering. 

2021 Preakness Stakes Prediction

We are still far out from the 2021 Preakness Stakes, and it is hard to know who will be among the field before the running of the Kentucky Derby. However, the top names on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby are strong potential candidates for the Preakness Stakes.

Here is a look at some of the top Triple Crown racing contenders this year:



Notable Performances

Hot Rod Charlie

Leandro Mora

G2 Louisiana Derby (1st)

G3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (3rd)

G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (2nd)

Like the King

Wesley Ward

G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks (1st)

Known Agenda

Todd Pletcher

G1 Florida Derby (1st)

G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes (5th)

G2 Remsen Stakes (1st)

Greatest Honour

Claude R. McGaughey III

G1 Florida Derby (3rd)

G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes (1st)

G3 Holy Bull Stakes (1st)

Midnight Bourbon 

Steve Asmussen

G2 Louisiana Derby (2nd)

G2 Risen Star Stakes (3rd)

G3 Lecomte Stakes (1st)

G1 Champagne Stakes (3rd)


Brad Cox

G2 Louisiana Derby (6th)

G2 Risen Star Stakes (1st)

G3 Lecomte Stakes (3rd)

Concert Tour

Bob Baffert

G2 Rebel Stakes (1st)

G2 San Vicente Stakes (1st)

Essential Quality 

Brad Cox

G3 Southwest Stakes (1st)

G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (1st)

G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (1st)

Soup and Sandwich 

Brad Cox

G3 Southwest Stakes (1st)

G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (1st)

G1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (1st)


Todd Pletcher

G3 Jeff Ruby Steaks (2nd)

Preakness Stakes Event Details

The Preakness Stakes covers a distance of 9 1/2 furlongs or 1 3/16 miles on a dirt track. It is the second leg of the Triple Crown series, taking place two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.

The field for the Preakness Stakes almost always contains the winner of the Kentucky Derby and a few others that started in it.

The first-ever Preakness Stakes offered a purse of $1,000, and it didn’t see a big increase until 1919, at which point it offered $25,000. In 1946, it reached $100,000 before hitting $150,000 in 1959. 

It continued to increase between 1979 and 1989 before eventually reaching $1 million. In 2014, it was increased again to $1,500,000.

Some of the most recent Preakness Stakes winners include: 

  • Swiss Skydiver (2020)

  • War of Will (2019)

  • Justify (2018)

  • Cloud Computing (2017)

  • Exaggerator (2016)

  • American Pharoah (2015)

  • California Chrome (2014)

  • Oxbow (2013)

  • I’ll Have Another (2012)

  • Shackleford (2011)

The speed record for the race was set by legendary runner Secretariat in the 1973 edition. The Triple Crown winner initially registered a running time of 1:55, but other clockers timed it at 1:53 2/5, making it a new stakes record. 

Because of the discrepancy, a hearing was held, and a video replay demonstrated that Secretariat crossed the wire faster than Canonero II, who was the current record holder. The Maryland Jockey Club then decided to go with the time of 1:54 2/5 after splitting the difference, but in 2012, a final meeting ruled to change it back to 1:53, making Secretariat the current record holder.

How to Bet on the 2021 Preakness Stakes

The first step to betting on the 2021 Preakness Stakes is to choose one of the top online wagering platforms. There are many out there, but some of the most popular options for Triple Crown race betting include TwinSpires, TVG, and BetAmerica, with the first being the official betting partner of the Kentucky Derby. Each platform offers detailed analysis, various wagering options, and live streaming.

Wagering for the Preakness Stakes opens up with the Friday program. Early odds for the big race are available during this time, but you can only place a bet over the weekend.

The Preakness Stakes follows a more traditional path compared to the Kentucky Derby, as the latter offers the Kentucky Derby Futures Wager and other contests. 

The weekend of racing kicks off with Black-Eyed Susan Day on Friday, and it closes out with Preakness Day on Saturday. The Preakness Stakes is traditionally tagged as Race 13 on a 14-race card.