Preakness Stakes Betting Guide
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, and it follows the Kentucky Derby in both popular excitement and betting volume. While no race is more prestigious than the Derby, the Preakness – held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland – comes very close.
For horses and bettors, The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans has given many an unlucky Triple Crown hopeful a black eye, but it’s also the race that determines whether or not there can be a potential Triple Crown winner to begin with. Thus, the intrigue for the race – and for legal Preakness Stakes betting – is always off the charts.
If you already bet the ponies, you’ll be interested to know that you can legally and safely wager on Preakness horses at online racebooks that operate outside of US jurisdiction. These sites let you lock in house-banked Preakness odds instead of going with the US model of pari-mutuel horse betting, which means better payouts for you. So if you want the best horse betting odds, you need the best legal horse betting sites!
Breaking News: The 2020 Preakness Stakes field and post positions have finally been announced, and the top online horse betting OTBs have early odds for you to bet on right now. You can see the updated Preakness odds and gate positions for each horse further down this page.
Is Online Horse Betting On The Preakness Stakes Legal?
Yes! In over 40 US states, bettors can wager at domestic interstate racebooks legally. However, this leaves a fifth of the country out to pasture when it comes to legal online horse betting, which is less than ideal, especially on a race as popular and important as the Preakness Stakes.
Fortunately, horseplayers from every state in the USA can use a legitimate international betting site that offers Preakness Stakes odds. These sites are safe to use, and there are no US federal gambling laws that prevent citizens and residents from placing real money horse bets online. The primary law governing US horse racing betting is the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 (IHRA), and it does not exclude offshore racebooks in any way.
Note: WA and CT have laws barring all online gambling, including horse racing betting. However, since these laws are unenforced, you can bet on the Preakness online at the above sites, though we recommend following all local laws and saddling up only at your own risk.
What Is The Preakness Stakes?
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, and after the Kentucky Derby, it’s the most bet-on horse race in the country. Usually, the Derby winner will be the favorite to win the Preakness, with both fans and bettors high on the hog – or high on their high horses! – because of the always-exciting potential for a new Triple Crown champion.
If the winner of the Kentucky Derby is considered a very strong horse, he or she will usually be favored by a wide margin to win the Preakness. And when that happens, the Belmont Stakes – aka The Test of the Champion – takes everything to a whole new level.
Historically, the Preakness is the second oldest of the Triple Crown races, with its inaugural run at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course held in the Spring of 1893. The dirt racetrack is 9.5 furlongs in length (1 3/16 miles), making it the shortest of the three Triple Crown races. Thus, if favors sprinters over marathoners. And while the purse for the Preakness is currently $1 million, that’s nothing compared to the gambling action that horse bettors lay down each year online.
There are several ways to legally bet on the Preakness Stakes horse race. If you live in a state with horse racing tracks, you can usually use their simulcast options to wager on the race. This is legal in most states thanks to the IHRA, but not all states have opted in.
In the majority of states, you can also wager at off-track betting outlets (OTBs) or online with a domestic operator.
However, as stated, some 20% of Americans can only legally bet on the Preakness – and other horse races from the US and around the world – at international racebooks operating online and outside of the reach of US laws.
Because this latter option is available to everyone – and because you usually get better odds that are locked in when you place your wagers – we recommend them over all domestic betting venues short of watching the Preakness and wagering on it live at the Pimlico Race Course itself.
Betting at official horse racing tracks is a fun way to wager on the Preakness, but it’s not the most convenient way. Even if your state has horse tracks, chances are you’ll have make tracks in a big way to get there to wager.
To bet at official racetracks, you place your wagers with a ticket window attendant, and then when all the betting is in, the track takes its cut before divvying up the remaining pot per the submitted tickets.
This is why bettors making pari-mutuel (i.e. pool-style) wagers won’t know the exact odds or payouts for their wagers until all betting is closed and the race is about to begin. If you have a track located conveniently nearby, it’s a fun experience, but if you’d have to hoof it long distance, we recommend OTBs and online international books.
Off-Track Betting Venues (OTBs)
OTBs are retail terminals, kiosks, or storefronts that are related to local racetracks and allow bettors to place wagers – and often view simulcast races – on television monitors. The Preakness Stakes is naturally one of the biggest movers and shakers for domestic US OTBs.
Effectively, off-track betting sites expand the scope and reach of tracks so more horseplayers can wager on the Preakness Stakes and other races. The disadvantages of OTBs are that they too remain few and far between for most bettors, and unlike betting at a track, you can’t handicap the horses for yourself.
The domestic online racebooks that take customers from 40+ US states are considered to be Internet-based OTBs, and some services even have downloadable iPhone horse betting apps and Android horse betting apps for the Preakness Stakes et al.
International Online Racebooks
International online racebooks – which are technically international OTBs – are the best option for Preakness Stakes betting. In fact, they’re the best option for all horse racing betting, as the best online racebooks feature daily races from hundreds of US tracks and other major tracks from all across the world.
If you’re a true fan of the ponies, watch the Triple Crown series like it’s the Super Bowl, and subscribe to BloodHorse magazine, you should probably be wagering at an overseas betting site. You’ll get races 24/7/365 from all around the world, with Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and harness horse races to choose from.
If you want to bet the ponies in the US, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Ireland, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and more, sign up at an offshore horse betting site today. With the 2020 Preakness Stakes just about to burst out of the gate, now is the perfect time to become a member.
Mobile Preakness Stakes Betting
You can participate in Preakness betting via mobile devices at overseas betting sites, but you won’t find horse betting apps in the App Store or on Google Play. Instead, the best Internet horse betting outlets all use web apps – That is, you can bet on the Preakness and other races via your mobile browser.
These mobile portals are accessible via any device, whether you have the smallest iPhone or the biggest iPad or Android. Even better, their dynamic, responsive designs mean you get a custom racebook presentation no matter what.
There are no downloads or updates to worry about, and you can place bets from anywhere in the USA since there are no geo-fencing restrictions. This means that the Preakness Stakes is truly a national phenomenon not just for fans of the Sport of Kings but for casual and serious horse bettors everywhere.
All you need to wager on the Preakness race – or any other horse meet – is a modern smartphone or tablet, an Internet connection, and a membership at one of the top horse betting sites listed here.
2020 Preakness Stakes Odds
Only 11 horses comprise this year's Preakness Stakes. The race has a traditional limit of 14 entrants, but it sometimes fields a smaller number of ponies than that. Because this year's event is the last in the Triple Crown series – and because no horse is eligible to win the prestigious trifecta this year – some owners have chosen to skip the race in order to prepare their Thoroughbreds for other contests on the calendar.
Now that the full Preakness roster has been announced, the best online sportsbooks and racebooks have futures odds on the 2020 iteration of the famous event, and you can see their early betting lines below. Note that by placing your wagers at legal online sportsbooks operating overseas, your odds will be locked in and are not subject to change by the time the race gets underway on Saturday, October 3, 2020.
For reference, horses that will be competing are listed in bold, while those that were originally on the 2020 Preakness futures boards but will not be racing in the event are included in italics. If you bet on any of those latter ponies, you can recoup your losses by ponying up on one of the final contestants.
2020 Preakness Stakes Field
The field for the 2020 Preakness Stakes has been set, and the post position lottery drawing was held on Monday, September 28. The following horses made the Preakness cut, and barring any late scratches between now and Saturday's Run for the Black-Eyed Susans, the following 11 horses all have a chance to win the prestigious event.
The Preakness horses are listed in the order of their gate positions.
- Mr. Big News
- Art Collector
- Swiss Skydiver
- Thousand Words
- Jesus' Team
- Ny Traffic
- Max Player
All 11 Preakness horses are top-level Thoroughbreds competing despite the lack of a 2020 Triple Crown possibility, in part due to the race’s natural prestige but also because the Breeders’ Cup Classic has announced that the Preakness winner will earn an automatic berth in that major race.
After the US Triple Crown races, the $7 million Breeders’ Cup is the most honored event in the industry. That makes this year’s Preakness even more special, despite all the barriers that the 2020 racing season has had to overcome with COVID-19 rescheduling issues.
How To Watch The 2020 Preakness Stakes
If you want to watch the 2020 Preakness Stakes, you still can! Normally, the race is held on the third Saturday in May, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed the Preakness to Saturday, October 3, 2020.
However, because Belmont winner Tiz the Law lost the 2020 Kentucky Derby, there will be no Triple Crown champion this year. That will certainly impact the total betting handle on the 145th Preakness Stakes, but there’s always strong excitement and TV ratings for the event. Just make sure you get your Preakness bets in before the race gets underway!
Preakness Stakes FAQs
The 2020 Preakness Stakes will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2020.
If you’re wondering where the Preakness is held, it’s being contested, like always, at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD. The Preakness has been run at this track since its inception in 1873.
In terms of track length, the Preakness Stakes is contested over 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16 miles), making it the shortest of the Triple Crown races.
However, for the restructured 2020 Triple Crown series, the Belmont – usually the longest of the races at 12 furlongs (1.5 miles) – was actually shorter than the Preakness at just 9 furlongs (1 1/8 miles).
For reference, the Kentucky Derby is 10 furlongs (1 1/4 miles).
The Preakness Stakes, as the shortest race in the famed American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing series, is usually over in about two minutes. Typically, the winning Preakness horse will have a time of around 1:56 to 1:58.
The final Preakness field has now been announced, with the following 11 horses listed by their Preakness gate positions:
- Mr. Big News
- Art Collector
- Swiss Skydiver
- Thousand Words
- Jesus' Team
- Ny Traffic
- Max Player
If we were one of those TV sitcom characters that bet on horses merely because of how cool or relevant their names are, we’d put all our money on Pneumatic. Seriously, how awesome a name is that? Plus, he won the 2020 Pegasus Stakes, so that’s something…
If we knew that, we wouldn’t tell you, because pari-mutuel betting pools pay out better when there are fewer winners!
All kidding aside, nobody knows. 2020 Belmont Stakes winner and Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz the Law lost the latter lace in underwhelming fashion (and is not racing in the 2020 Preakness), making the Derby winner – Authentic – the new Preakness favorite.
The Preakness Stakes will be aired on NBC, and you will also be able to watch it on NBCSports.com and via the NBC Sports App for iPhone, Android, Apple TV, YouTube TV, and other platforms.
The 2020 Preakness Stakes is scheduled to be run at approximately 6:45 PM EST.
Secretariat, the greatest racehorse of all time and the 1973 Triple Crown winner, owns the current track record at the Preakness and, in fact, at all three Triple Crown races.
Secretriat’s Preakness time of 1:53.00 is still the time to beat, though a few world-class horses have approached that time over the years since (i.e. Curlin in 2007 and Louis Quatorze in 1996, both posting times of 1:53.40).
While Secretariat’s record may fall one day, no horse racing purist hopes it ever will.
Secretariat won the Preakness by 2 1/2 lengths, beating out Sham, another hall of fame racehorse, in the process. Sham’s track time of 1:53.60 is tied for the fifth fastest in history, and it was second only to Secretariat’s record at the time of the 1973 Preakness Stakes.
The 2020 Preakness Stakes purse is estimated to be roughly $1.5 million. Of that, the winning horse earns about $900,000, which is how much War of Will – the 2019 Preakness winner – took home last year.
The jockey that wins the Preakness Stakes will typically earn around 10% of the purse for the race itself.
If the winning horse earns $900,000, the jockey would take home $90,000, paying roughly 30% of that to his or her club and valets.
War of Will’s jockey took home about $63,000 for his win in 2019, before taxes.