By: Guaranteed Tip Sheet
With neither MAXIMUM SECURITY nor COUNTRY HOUSE running in the Preakness, it will be the first time since GRINDSTONE won the Kentucky Derby in 1996 that the Derby winner skipped the second leg of the Triple Crown. Twenty-three years ago, Hall-of-Fame jockey Pat Day rode LOUIS QUATORZE wire-to-wire into Pimlico’s winners’ circle to win the 1996 Preakness Stakes.
Another horse will have the opportunity to follow in LOUIS QUATORZE’s footsteps. The question is which horse? As of this writing, the only Kentucky Derby horse that is a for sure is Bob Baffert’s IMPROBABLE. ALWAYSMINING is the only other horse whose trainer says he is in the Preakness. Other than that, the remaining field is unknown.
Without a group of horses to analyze, we decided to look back at the last 23 Preakness Stakes races to see if we could find any winning angles. Once the official field is announced, you can use the charts and data below to help identify which horse(s) best match the profile.
Much of the pre-race focus is on the favorite; so that’s where we will start. The public’s choice has won 10 of the last 23 (43.5%) Preakness Stakes, including three of the last five, but only four of the last 10. On average, when the Preakness Stakes winner was the favorite, the payout was $6.02 or 2-1 odds.
From a math standpoint, getting 2-1 odds on something that wins at 43.5% is a license to print money. The line should be closer to 6/5, which pays at least $4.40, but less than $4.80. If you wagered $100 to win on every Preakness favorite for the last 23-years, you would have bet $2,300 and won $3,010 ($6.02 x $100/ $2 win bet x 10 winners) for a respectable profit of $710. That’s a positive return-on-investment (ROI) of 30.87%, probably better than your stockbroker’s typical recommendation.
Post-position is next on our list. Where a horse starts can have a major impact on where it finishes. You don’t want your Preakness pick to be inside; posts one, two, and three. Each of the first three posts made it home first just once since 1996. That’s only three of the last 23 winners or a combined 13%.
Meanwhile, as you can see on the graph below, 17 of the past 23 (73.9%) Preakness Stakes winners started the race in gates four through nine. The six has the most victories at five. It gets skinny from the 10 post and beyond, four of 23 (17.4%).
Laying $100 to win on the black and white cloth of the six horse would have been extremely profitable, dare we say a license to print money. The average $2 win bet on the six paid $15.28, the middle of possible 6-1 payouts. Meanwhile, an angle that wins at 21.7% (5 wins / 23 races) is closer to 7/2 odds.
A hundred bucks on each of the last 23 races is $2,300. The handful of number six winners paid $15.28. Now, take $15.28 times 50 ($100/ $2 win bets = 50 $2 win bets) and you get $764 per winner. With five winners, the total payout is $3,820 for a profit of $1,520 or a positive ROI of 66%, definitely better than the average pick from your stockbroker.
Running style versus the winning style bias is our next area of examination. Early speed, defined as running first, second or third in the opening quarter mile, has a slight edge. Horses racing in the top three at the 1/4 pole won 13 of last 23 (56.5%) Preakness Stakes. That works out to approximate odds of 4/5. Five of the last 23 (21.7%) Preakness champs won wire-to-wire or in between 3-1 and 4-1 odds.
From a betting perspective, if you can accurately pick the three horses that are most likely to run first, second or third in the opening quarter mile, it’s another license to print money. The average early speed winner paid $13.89 on a $2 win bet. That’s the high-end payout for 5-1 odds and way above 4/5 that 13 out of 23 winners should pay.
Here is the math using $100 to win on the three horses who you believe will run in the top three at the first call. With three horses in 23 races, that’s 69 wagers (3 x 23 = 69), 69 x $100 = $6,900 in bets. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the typical payout for the early speed winners is $13.89 on a $2 win bet. So, $13.89 times 50 ($100/ $2 win bet = 50 two-dollar bets) equals a total payout of $694.50 per winning speed horse. Take $694.50 and multiply it by 13 winning bets and you pocket a cool $9,028.50 for a net profit of $2,128.50 ($9,028 in winnings – $6,900 in bets). A positive ROI of 30.85% and nearly the same as betting the favorite.
Based on the numbers, it doesn’t really matter which horses run in the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Three simple win bet strategies have returned ROIs that would make your stockbroker jealous.
- take the favorite
- wager on the three fastest horses to the 1/4 pole
- and bet the six horse
Of course, we will analyze all the horses and make our picks once the 2019 Preakness field is set. But you can bet that we will take these three angles into consideration with our final selections. Get our GUARANTEED Preakness Tips and Wagering Guide from GuaranteedTipSheet.com.