The Preakness Stakes forms the second leg of the Triple Crown in the United States and takes place just a few weeks after the Kentucky Derby. It is typically one of the hardest races to judge, as it pits horses that failed to earn enough qualifying points to enter the opening Triple Crown race against runners that will be suffering from fatigue after their exertions at Churchill Downs.
It constantly makes it a compelling betting race to wager on for that reason, and this year could be one of the most interesting in recent years.
So, who are some of the sleeper picks that we could see line-up at Pimlico? You can visit TwinSpires.com for the latest Preakness Stakes odds.
One of the horses that will immediately get interested from bettors is Early Voting for Chad Brown. Unlike some of the other horses that will line up in this field, this three-year-old actually had the points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
However, it was ultimately decided by connections that they would bypass the opening leg at Churchill Downs, and instead prioritize the race at Pimlico. He has already won in the graded company during his career, as he landed the G3 Withers over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct in February.
The three-year-old also ran an excellent race in defeat in the prestigious G2 Wood Memorial, but he could only finish second behind Mo Donegal. That form could look extremely strong should the winning horse on that occasion go on and win the Kentucky Derby. Brown will be looking for a second win in the race after picking up the victory in 2017 with Cloud Computing.
It has been nine years since D. Wayne Lukas won the Preakness Stakes, and he could enter a very exciting filly into the second leg of the Triple Crown this year. Swiss Skydiver became the sixth filly to win the race in 2020 for Kenneth McPeek, and Secret Oath could add her name to a famous list.
This three-year-old was pointed towards the Kentucky Derby at one stage, but a third in the G1 Arkansas Derby meant that the Kentucky Oaks was her end goal.
However, her ability over this distance run at Pimlico could make her a very exciting contender should connections fancy this route. She has dominated against the girls this year, winning the Martha Washington over a mile and the G3 Honeybee over 1 1/16 miles. Any chance of her lining up will likely hinge on her performance in the Oaks, where she has been handed the short straw install one.
One of the stories of the Triple Crown season could come in the form of Taiba for trainer Tim Yakteen. This three-year-old will make only his third career start in the Kentucky Derby, and victory in that race would immediately get fans talking that he could potentially achieve the Triple Crown.
Many have already drawn similarities between this three-year-old and 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify, and a tilt at both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes would look likely should he claim victory in the opening race at Churchill Downs.
He has done nothing wrong on track to this point and took considerable strides forward when winning the G1 Santa Anita Derby from Messier back in April. However, doubts remain surrounding his chances, as he will line up in a big field for the first time in his career, and trends also don’t suggest that horses that failed to run as a two-year-old are necessarily a good thing for the Kentucky Derby. The only way he lines up at Pimlico is if he wins at Churchill Downs.