Tenfold and 3 Preakness Stakes Sleepers to Watch
With the Kentucky Derby in the rearview mirror, it’s time to set our sights ahead on the upcoming Preakness Stakes. The 143rd running of the Preakness is set to go down at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday, May 19.
As is often the case, all eyes at the Preakness will be on the thoroughbred that won the Kentucky Derby just a couple of weeks ago. This year’s entrant, the Bob Baffert-trained Justify, won the Derby rather easily by 2 ½ lengths at Churchill Downs. Barring some sort of unfortunate injury in the run-up to the Preakness, Justify will almost surely enter the race as a heavy favorite.
The draw for the Preakness has not yet taken place as of this writing, but we can still look forward and try to peg what will go down at Pimlico. While most of the money will understandably come in on Justify to make it 2 straight wins, the field tends to thwart the Derby winner in this event more often than not. Heading into the 2018 edition of the race, just 23 horses that won the Derby have gone on to win the Preakness. That’s about 16 percent.
Here are the top sites we recommend for betting on the 2018 Preakness Stakes:
While the oddsmakers will favor Justify among his competitors this year, there’s a strong chance another horse winds up thwarting his bid for the Triple Crown. Here are a few sleepers to watch heading into the 2018 Preakness Stakes.
Diamond King (30-1)
With only 8 probable horses set to compete at Pimlico, the field for the Preakness is considerably more condensed than the 20-horse field we saw in Louisville 2 weeks ago. The thoroughbred with the lowest odds to win the Derby was priced at 99-1, but with such a small field we likely won’t have that kind of mega longshot at the Preakness. As of this writing, Diamond King, Lone Sailor and Sporting Chance each have the worst odds at 30-1.
Diamond King failed to finish a race at Churchill Downs last November, which led to trainer John C. Servis electing to hold him out of the 2018 Derby. The horse should be fresh, having run his most recent race at Laurel Park in Maryland back on April 21, where he finished in first place.
The aforementioned win earned Diamond King an automatic entry into the Preakness. His ownership group, Cash is King LLC, previously won the Preakness in 2005 with Afleet Alice. Servis has earned a victory at the event, as well, with Smarty Jones back in 2004. Diamond King has 4 wins in 6 starts to his name, though he doesn’t project to run as fast as some of the horses we saw at the Derby.
Diamond King will also be ridden by , won won the Preakness last year with Cloud Computing. As was the case in the Derby, weather could prove to be a factor at Pimlico. The Baltimore area is expecting rainy and stormy weather just about all week long, with a potential rain chance currently set at 50 percent for race time.
Tough conditions could actually help Diamond King, who doesn’t have the high-end speed we’ve seen from some of his other competitors in the field.
Bravazo is one of the few horses that ran in the Derby that is also taking part in the Preakness. He wasn’t considered to be among the favorites – as evidenced by his 70-1 pre-race odds – but he put on a strong showing and surged to a respectable 6th-place finish at Churchill Downs. The pace of the Derby was quick, and Bravazo was one of a number of horses to come on late once the fast initial pace slowed as the race wore on.
With such little competition, it’s easy to foresee a horse like Bravazo challenging Justify and the other favorites for the duration of the Preakness.
After a practice run this week, Bravazo’s trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, said, “He did it real nicely. He just ran 8 days ago so we really didn’t need to do much with him.” Bravazo reportedly breezed the span of 4 furlongs in :50.60 with eighth-mile splits of :13, :25.40 and 38 before covering 5 furlongs in 1:04.80.
Lukas, like Baffert, has a decorated history at this event. A win for the trainer would tie the all-time record for wins at the Preakness by a trainer, with 7. Both Lukas and Baffert are currently on 6 Preakness triumphs.
Tenfold doesn’t have a lengthy track record, which makes him a bit of an unknown heading into the preakness. His team decided against racing him at the Kentucky Derby, so he’ll make his Triple Crown debut here at the Preakness. Tenfold came in fifth in the recent Arkansas Derby, but he did win his first 2 starts at Oaklawn late last year before being upgraded to Grade I competition.
Tenfold will also be working with a familiar jockey in Ricardo Santana Jr., who has ridden the horse regularly in recent events. Santana has ridden Tenfold in each of his 2 prior wins.
The thoroughbred is clearly talented, if unproven. Over the weekend, Tenfold ran 1 ½ miles at Churchill Downs in the same time it took Justify to complete the course. While his result at the Arkansas Derby left plenty to be desired, there’s reason to believe he can compete here. Like Justify, he was also unraced as a 2-year-old. Finishing fifth at but he was still just a half-length out of second for the tightly-packed finish.
Considering how much money at the Preakness floods to the Kentucky Derby winner, an unfamiliar name like Tenfold will typically fly under the radar. Don’t be surprised if we see Tenfold’s odds get even longer with more and more money coming in on Justify, which just adds to the profit potential here.