May 13, 2013

Preakness: Bets just to cash a ticket

The 138th Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in the Triple Crown Series in American (US) thoroughbred racing, will be held coming Saturday - May 18th, 2013 - at Pimlico in Maryland.

You can get official information from the Preakness Website.

While I have not looked at the full card being offered on that day (a very nice card is being offered over the two days Friday and Saturday), but I thought I would share some thoughts on how to bet the Preakness with a returning Derby winner. 

Of course, it is very common that the Derby winner returns to compete in the Preakness. In the last 25-27 years, Grindstone seems to be the only who did not start at the Preakness after a Derby win.

Statistically, out of 26 starts of returning Derby winners, we have 10 of them going on to win the Preakness.  They also finished 2nd in 7 cases and 3rd in 3 starts. All in all, 20 out of 26 times they ran in the money. So a show bet seems to have a high probability of getting some money back. 
Now let us look at the general trend of the toteboard odds at Preakness.

The Derby winner has gone off as the favorite in 16 out of those 26 starts. In some (3-4) of those 16 starts, they have been odds-on favorites (less than even money), but that is not to say they won or finished on the board in those cases. Some examples of compelling favorites not finishing on the board have been Barbaro (rip),  Fusaichi Pegasus, Street Sense etc.

But, a lot of these Derby winners do run in the money and having said that, their win odds are not so great. But if you just want a thrill of cashing a ticket, then betting the Derby winner to PL/SH and a small bet at Win could be had for all of under ten dollars. $2 Win, $ 3 PL and $5 Show. 

That is about basic betting for now. During the week and after the post position draw on Wednesday, I will present a more detailed analysis of the 14 runners and also try to predict some bettable choices!

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