2024 Preakness Stakes Betting Preview

After Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby by the narrowest of noses, trainer Kenny McPeek was noncommittal about running his victorious horse at the Preakness. He pointed to a previous attempt to have the horse do a two-week turnaround, and its poor result, as a reason for his hesitation.

But Mystik Dan is running at the Preakness. “All systems go,” said McPeek. “The horse is doing fantastic.”

And that is fantastic news for this Saturday’s second leg of the Triple Crown. The Preakness will be a better race with the Kentucky Derby winner in the field, and it sets up the showdown everyone wants to see – Mystik Dan vs. Muth, the horse trained by Bob Baffert that was not allowed to run in Louisville.

We have the odds, we have the post positions, and we still have a chance at a Triple Crown winner.

1. Mugatu (20-1)

In the small field of nine horses, Mugatu is tied for the longest odds. He’s never finished better than third, and was fifth at Blue Grass Stakes.

2. Uncle Heavy (20-1)

Uncle Heavy has won at Grade III, but the move up to the Preakness is a huge step up in competition. There’s little reason to think that Uncle Heavy can compete with the top horses in this field.

3. Catching Freedom (6-1)

Catching Freedom is the Louisiana Derby winner, and he finished fourth at the Kentucky Derby, just two lengths behind the winner. He made the run to fourth place from the 15th position, which makes him one to watch from the middle of the pack in such a small field.

Trainer Brad Cox won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in 2021, but has never won the Preakness.

4. Muth (8-5)

Muth was the final favorite in the Preakness futures pool, and the Arkansas Derby winner has nearly as many Grade I and Grade II wins as the rest of the Preakness field. No one wants this win more than trainer Bob Baffert, who is looking to prove that Muth should have been allowed to run at Churchill Downs. Muth is the favorite, and a win would give Baffert nine wins at the Preakness.

5. Mystik Dan (5-2)

When Mystik Dan ran head-to-head against Muth in the Arkansas Derby, he lost. As McPeek explained, “He did get turned sideways, and that cost him three or four lengths. The horse fought back, fortunately. I’m optimistic maybe we can give [Muth] another run.”

That run comes Saturday at Pimlico, as the Kentucky Derby winner is the second betting favorite, and posted right alongside the horse the oddsmakers think he will be chasing, Muth.

This is the rematch people wanted to see at Churchill Downs, but will now get two weeks later.

6. Seize the Grey (15-1)

Seize the Grey was a winner at Churchill Downs two weeks ago on the undercard for the Kentucky Derby, and he takes a step up from that Grade II win to the Grade I Preakness. He’s trained by D. Wayne Lukas, and has three total wins.

7. Just Steel (15-1)

Just Steel is another D. Wayne Lukas trained horse, and is coming off a disappointing 17th-place finish at the Kentucky Derby. Lukas said of his showing at the Derby that the pace was “too much, too soon,” which is why Just Steel faded so badly at the end.

Just Steel was also at the Arkansas Derby with Muth and Mystik Dan, and Just Steel finished second.

8. Tuscan Gold (8-1)

Tuscan Gold was a winner in just his second race, and in his third race, he was a third-place finisher at the Louisiana Derby. Trainer Chad Brown thought he had a real chance to win that race, and that he was the best horse in the field.

9. Imagination (6-1)

Imagination is the less talked-about horse trained by Baffert, but he was also ineligible for the Kentucky Derby because of the Baffert ban. He’s raced almost exclusively in California, finishing as the runner-up at the Santa Anita Derby. This is a horse that can definitely compete with the top contenders.

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