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2018 Preakness Stakes Preview: Justify Aims For The Triple Crown

2018 Preakness Stakes Preview: Justify Aims For The Triple Crown

Whereas the Kentucky Derby field of 20 horses still yielded nice payouts, the eight-horse field in the Preakness Stakes doesn’t offer a similar risk-reward scenario. Handicappers that went with the favorite in the Derby, Justify at 5-2 odds, profited a respectable $5.80 for every $2 wagered. Other punters, ones who paired Justify with Good Magic (Breeders Cup Juvenile two-year-old champion), took home $67.60 on a $2.00 Exacta wager.

Do You Believe In Magic?

With the morning line at 1-2, the deserving favorite Justify isn’t an attractive wager. Those anticipating a repeat outcome of the Derby with an Exacta wager may be looking at return in the $10 range. If Good Magic can turn the table on Justify, however, the payout will be significantly higher.

If handicappers are looking to fade Justify as the winner, there’s one other factor to keep in mind besides his romp in the Derby. His trainer, Bob Baffert, sports a 4-0 record after bringing his Derby winner to the Preakness Stakes, with American Pharaoh being his lone Triple Crown winner.

Moreover, Good Magic finished second in the Kentucky Derby, but can ill-afford to let Justify get too far out in front, since the Preakness is 1/16th mile shorter than the Derby. Therefore, Good Magic will have less distance with which to mount a closing stretch rush.

A Look At Quip And Bravazo

For handicappers looking for either better win-odds, or a pony to pair with Justify, there are two candidates.

Quip, who skipped the Kentucky Derby because his trainer called the Preakness Stakes the Triple Crown race that "fits him best," is 12-1 in the morning line. This winner of the Tampa Bay Derby in March was second in his last trip, which was the Arkansas Derby. The well-rested colt also likes to run close to the front, making him likely to finish in the money.

Bravazo finished a credible sixth in the Kentucky Derby, despite racing four or five wide the entire race. He’s 20-1 in the morning line. Bravazo is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has guided six Preakness winners out of his 14 of Triple Crown victories. Another potential advantage is this horse's post position, which is just outside of Justify. If Justify has to work hard to get to the top, Bravazo could stalk him and have something left to overtake the favorite in the stretch.

The Next Crown

Although the race isn’t super intriguing from the wagering perspective, that doesn’t mean it can't be exciting. With American Pharaoh breaking the 37-year-old Triple Crown drought in 2015, horse racing fans were disappointed in 2016 and 2017 as both Derby winners came up shy in the Preakness.

The question still remains whether or not the horse racing industry will return to the glory days of the 1970s, with three Triple Crown winners in six years, or if we're entering on another drought.

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Posted-In: Justify Kentucky Derby PreaknessPreviews Sports Opinion Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga


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