141st Preakness Stakes runner guide, odds and free tips


Preakness Stakes
THE second jewel of the Triple Crown runs this Sunday at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, Maryland where Triple Crown dreams could continue with Nyquist all the rage after winning the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

The unbeaten star already has a huge following and it’s at a very short price to win, but every runner has a chance and we will look at the form and suggest where the value bets are.

11 runners will line up for the US$1.5 million prize and punters can now bet on the 2016 Preakness Stakes at Sportsbet.com.au which has framed a fair market for all punters.


Our guide kicks off with the $26 chance Cherry Wine which is one of the runners that bypassed the Kentucky Derby and there is some unpredictability about this three-year-old.

2016 Preakness Stakes runner guide and tips

No.1 – Cherry Wine

Odds: $26
Form: 54143
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Coney Lanerie

Trainer Dale Romans said it himself when he labelled his runner as “unpredictable” and that’s exactly what Cherry Wine brings to the table. The three-year-old colt comes into this having run third in the Group 1 Blue Grass Stakes behind Brody’s Cause and My Man Sam.

Its last win came three starts back, but the opposition wasn’t up to this level and it will need to improve to have a legitimate winning chance. Punters are getting a better price ($26) in Australia than the 20/1 being offered in the states, but it looks only a thin-end place chance at this stage.

No. 2 – Uncle Lino

Odds: $34
Form: 32431
Trainer: Gary Sherlock
Jockey: Fernando Perez

Uncle Lino has a few things going for it, despite the fact that bookmakers have it at $34. It has breeding on its side, being by Uncle Mo, and it’s also coming into this having won the California Chrome Stakes.

Its third in the Group 1 Santa Anita Derby behind race-rival Exaggerator is the better form guide and although it would have to turn that result around to have a chance, the recent win would have given it some confidence.

It has the ability to pile the pressure on Nyquist up front and it could become a threat if the pace is slow enough. Include in first four options.

No. 3 – Nyquist

Odds: $1.57 at Sportsbet.com.au
Form: 11111
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Where to start with this talented three-year-old? The son of Uncle Mo is undefeated in all eight career starts which included a stylish win in the Kentucky Derby last start.

The Doug O’Neill-trained colt has defeated the current second favourite Exaggerator on all four occasions that they have met and most punters think it can make that five.

Dropping back in distance is ideal as it likes to make its own running in front and it will give the chasers less time to wind up. We fear for its unbeaten record in third leg of the Triple Crown (Belmont Stakes) over more ground, but the Preakness Stakes looks ready made for it.

The $1.57 is short, but run it through your multi-bets to boost the payouts.

No. 4 – Awesome Speed

Odds: $41
Form: 11141
Trainer: Alan Goldberg
Jockey: Jevian Toledo

Awesome Speed comes into this race with four wins from five starts, but it has avoided all the major lead-up races to the Preakness Stakes, so weighing up its form is tough.

Its only defeat came in the Group 2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes which doesn’t bode well for this and its form looks better over more ground.

If there’s any late support for it then put a sneaky each-way bet on, but otherwise we can’t have it in our selections.

No. 5 – Exaggerator

Odds: $4
Form: 12312
Trainer: Keith Desormeaux
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Exaggerator will have to do something it has never done – get past Nyquist, but it received admiration after the way it chased Nyquist home in the Kentucky Derby.

The son of Curlin needs more distance to fully wind up and dropping back in distance will only dampen its chances. We have it as our best pick for the Belmont Stakes, but only our second pick for the Preakness.

It did win one of the best form guides leading up in the Group 1 Santa Anita Derby, but whether it can settle close enough to Nyquist in the run is the big question. There’s no doubting that it has stacks of ability, but the $4 is a touch short for this race, wait till the Belmont Stakes which trips many Triple Crown aspirants up.

No. 6 – Lani

Odds: $51
Form: 11519
Trainer: Mikio Matsunaga
Jockey: Yutaka Take

Japanese runners are respected for their toughness, but that came into question when Lani ran ninth in the Kentucky Derby.

The son of Tapit made the trip from Dubai after winning the Group 2 UAE Derby which is good form around the world, but it doesn’t prepare well for racing throughout the Triple Crown. The pace goes on from the outset and that doesn’t suit horses coming in from other countries.

In Tokyo it would likely run in the top three, but in Maryland it looks only a runners’ chance. The odds of $51 look spot on.

No. 7 – Collected

Odds: $11 at Crownbet.com.au
Form: 21411
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Collected has won its last two which included the Group 2 Lexington Stakes and it bypassed the Kentucky Derby in preparation for this. For a Bob Baffert-trained runner to miss the Derby, it must mean he had his eyes on only the Preakness and punters have caught onto this fact.

The $11 is short for a runner which hasn’t faced anything close to this company and the stable support is clearly on. Baffert is always confident and he’s not one of the best American trainers of all time for no reason.

Based on the support and its connections, include Collected into your trifecta and first-four bets.


No. 8 – Laoban

Odds: $51
Form: 72324
Trainer: Eric Guillot
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Laoban is another colt by Uncle Mo which comes into this race having never won. That is its biggest concern and it finished only fourth in the Group 1 Blue Grass Stakes where Cherry Wine finished third.

It also ran third behind Collected in the Group 3 Sham Stakes, but running in behind these fringe horses isn’t going to cut it and we would have framed Laoban at $101.

No. 9 – Abiding Star

Odds: $41
Form: 91111
Trainer: Ned Allar
Jockey: J.D Acosta

Its form looks great with four consecutive wins and all credit to it, but they have come in very weak fields. The fourth runner for Uncle Mo will be best-suited on a wet track so if the rain comes, consider it an outside each-way chance.

The three-year-old colt might be one of the horses that gets well-backed on the day by recreational punters, but in terms of it defeating the likes of Nyquist and Exaggerator, very unlikely.

No. 10 – Fellowship

Odds: $41
Form: 53334
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Fellowship is one of the most-experienced Preakness Stakes runner in history and that experience should count for something. The son of Awesome Of Course hasn’t won since March, 2015, which won’t give punters any confidence, but its form isn’t as bad as it looks.

It ran third behind Nyquist in the Group 1 Florida Derby two starts ago and although it has since run fourth in a weaker race, it needed the hit out for the Preakness.

$41 looks about right, but it is better than the other long-shot chances and it could sneak into the minor money at a good place price.

No. 11 – Stradivari

Odds: $10
Form: 411
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez

Stradivari has a good line of breeding with Medaglia d’Oro and it adds plenty of interest to the Preakness Stakes. The three-year-old ran fourth on debut, but has won both starts since and although it hasn’t faced any race-rivals, the wins did come nicely.

The betting suggests it will be a chance and trainer Todd Pletcher knows how to train the big winners. Winning the Preakness Stakes at its fourth start is a tough ask, but the $10 looks like good value and it’s our third pick.

Punters should be able to get around $2.50 for the place on race day this Sunday.

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