2019 Preakness Stakes betting primer


After one of the most controversial Kentucky Derbys in history, Saturday’s Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore shapes up as an opportunity to gain clarity in what is currently a very jumbled 3-year-old division.

Neither Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Country House nor first-place finisher Maximum Security (disqualified and placed 17th) will contest the $1.5-million, 1 3/16-mile Preakness, but four other horses from the Derby will be present, along with a few horses that missed qualifying for the Derby and a local contender in Alwaysmining who enters the race on a six-race winning streak.

Read more on the Preakness Stakes at America’s Best Racing

The 144th Preakness Stakes anchors a stakes-rich racecard on Saturday and will culminate seven total hours of coverage at Pimlico from NBC Sports spanning Saturday as well as Friday, May 17, which features the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

NBCSN will air the Black-Eyed Susan on May 17 from 3-5 p.m. ET. Saturday’s Preakness Stakes coverage begins at 2 p.m. on NBCSN and switches to NBC at 5 p.m. The Preakness post time is set for 6:50 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.

Read on for information about all 13 of the Preakness Stakes starters.

1. War of Will (4-1)

Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: Gary Barber

Career record: 9 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $501,569

Earnings per start: $55,730

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: War Front – Visions of Clarity, by Sadler’s Wells

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Despite the absence of both the Kentucky Derby winner (Country House) and first-place finisher (Maximum Security) in Saturday’s Preakness, the race still carries a high degree of expectation and excitement. That’s partially due to its historical prestige and to its handicapping allure, of course, but also because of War of Will’s presence in the race. Racing fans will be tuning in by the droves to see if this hard-luck colt can rebound from enduring the worst of the controversial multi-horse incident that resulted in Maximum Security’s disqualification in the Kentucky Derby. War of Will had raced just behind pacesetter Maximum Security through the first six furlongs of the Derby, saving ground in fourth place, and then had to check hard after rushing to claim a spot that opened up alongside Maximum Security through the far turn when that foe drifted out several paths. War of Will recovered to remain in contention into early stretch, but then tired to cross the finish line eighth in the Derby (moved up to seventh). The Kentucky Derby followed a toss-out performance in the Twinspires Louisiana Derby, where he lost his stride early behind a pack of horses and never recovered. Prior to that, the son of War Front had won three straight route races, two of them in Derby prep stakes races at Fair Grounds. He appeared to have recovered that earlier form in the Kentucky Derby before all hell broke loose. If that is indeed the case, he’ll be a formidable win contender in the Preakness, at a slightly shorter distance which should suit him. Look for War of Will to fashion a similar pace-pressing trip to the one he ran in the Kentucky Derby, with hopes of better racing luck this time.

Preakness history: This will be rising star jockey Tyler Gaffalione’s first Preakness appearance. Mark Casse has had four prior horses in the Preakness, and nearly won the 2017 edition with Classic Empire, who lost to Cloud Computing by a head.

2. Bourbon War (12-1)

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Trainer: Mark Hennig

Owners: Bourbon Lane Stable and Lake Star Stable

Career record: 5 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $202,100

Earnings per start: $40,420

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 110

Pedigree: Tapit – My Conquestadory, by Artie Schiller

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This well-bred Tapit colt did not earn enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby but has shown throughout his young career that he belongs in races with the best of his age group, and he looms as a worthy upset candidate in the Preakness. After winning one of two races last year at age two, he won his first 2019 start impressively at Gulfstream Park and in his next start finished a fast-closing second to eventual Kentucky Derby runner-up Code of Honor in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream. Bourbon War then finished fourth the Xpressbet Florida Derby behind Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Maximum Security, where a soft early pace compromised his come-from-behind running style. He should get swifter fractions to close into in the Preakness, although it must be said that most of the recent editions of this race have favored horses who are forwardly placed. Regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., the reigning Eclipse Award-winning jockey, keeps the mount, and trainer Mark Hennig said after the colt’s May 9 workout at Pimlico that he expected Bourbon War to race a little closer to the pace than in in his prior races and that his charge would wear blinkers in the Preakness.

Preakness history: Irad Ortiz Jr. finished fifth aboard Lone Sailor last year in his debut Preakness start. Trainer Mark Hennig is starting a horse in the Preakness for the third time, and the first time since 2004. He finished third with Eddington that year.

3. Warrior’s Charge (12-1)

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Brad Cox

Owners: Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables

Career record: 5 starts – 2 wins – 0 seconds – 3 thirds

Career earnings: $138,110

Earnings per start: $27,622

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 108

Pedigree: Munnings – Battling Brook, by Broken Vow

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: The connections of Warrior’s Charge paid a $150,000 supplemental fee to enter their horse in the Preakness, where he will join stablemate Owendale from Brad Cox’s barn. He finished third in his first three races dating back to last November but broke through at Oaklawn Park in a 1 1/16-mile race on March 16, leading from gate to wire in a six-length win. The Munnings colt then backed that performance up with another front-running win at the same distance and track on April 13, scoring by 6 ½ lengths and boosting his Equibase Speed Figure from 103 to a career-best 108. He has been training well at Churchill Downs since those back-to-back scores and if he can continue the upward trajectory, Warrior’s Charge will add intrigue to the Preakness as the main pace threat to Alwaysmining. His sire, Munnings, was a sprinter and his dam’s (mother’s) side of the family through three generations consists of primarily sprinters and milers, but this colt has already shown the ability to carry his speed a route of ground. He faces a class hike in Saturday’s Preakness, but picking up the services of a Hall of Fame jockey in Javier Castellano is a major plus.

Preakness history: Castellano, a four-time Eclipse Award-winning rider, has won the Preakness twice from seven starters: Bernardini (2006) and Cloud Computing (2017). Cox, one of the rising young trainers in the game, will be making his first Preakness appearance.

4. Improbable (5-2)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owners: WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and Starlight Racing

Career record: 6 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $769,520

Earnings per start: $128,253

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 109

Pedigree: City Zip – Rare Event, by A.P. Indy

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This colt should vie for favoritism in the Preakness along with War of Will and Alwaysmining based on his back class, although he is still winless as a 3-year-old. Improbable took late money in the Kentucky Derby to leave the starting gate as the post-time favorite at 4-1 odds, and he crossed the finish line fifth in an even performance where he sat between two and five lengths behind pacesetter Maximum Security during the race but never made any forceful rally to challenge for the lead. He was moved up to fourth after Maximum Security’s disqualification, but that still represents his worst career finish, and follows two runner-up efforts in the first division of the Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, where he could not match strides in the stretch with Long Range Toddy and Omaha Beach, respectively. There’s no doubting this colt’s talent, however, and he’s easily the most consistent starter in the Preakness based on speed figures, having posted five triple-digit figures in a row dating back to last fall. The cutback in distance to 1 3/16 miles in the Preakness should benefit Improbable, and getting Hall of Famer Mike Smith to ride for the first time is another plus. Look for Smith to keep Improbable very close to projected pacesetters Alwaysmining and Warrior’s Charge through the backstretch. Smith’s renowned decision-making skills will be put to the test in determining just when to push the button on Improbable and make a bid for the lead, as the colt has had trouble finishing off his races this year after a stellar juvenile campaign.

Preakness history: Smith will be riding in his 17th Preakness and will be seeking his second consecutive win and third overall after taking last year’s race aboard eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. He also won the 1993 Preakness on Prairie Bayou, and has finished second in the race twice and third four times. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert is tied with R. W. Walden with seven all-time Preakness wins. His came with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010), and Triple Crown winners American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2017). WinStar Farm, China Horse Club, and Starlight Racing also co-owned Justify along with Head of Plains Partners.

5. Owendale (10-1)

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Brad Cox

Owner: Rupp Racing

Career record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $187,225

Earnings per start: $23,403

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 106

Pedigree: Into Mischief – Aspen Light, by Bernardini

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: The first of two Brad Cox trainees in the Preakness along with Warrior’s Charge, Owendale arrives in Baltimore on the heels of a breakthrough performance in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April, where he rallied coming out of the far turn and drew away from a good field at 12.70-1 odds, besting Preakness foe Anothertwistafate by 1 ¾ lengths. That eye-opening win erased a dismal eighth-place finish in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford in February and makes this son of Into Mischief one of the more intriguing Preakness contenders. He has posted two routine works at Churchill Downs, followed by a bullet five-furlong workout in :59.20 on May 11, since the Lexington Stakes and should be in top shape to prove that his career-best effort at Keeneland wasn’t a fluke. Florent Geroux, who rode Owendale for the first time in the Lexington, retains the mount, and he should have the colt positioned somewhere behind the front tier but ahead of the deep closers going into the far turn at Pimlico.

Preakness history: This will be the third straight Preakness for Geroux, Brad Cox’s first-call rider. Cox, one of the rising young trainers in the game, will be making his first Preakness appearance with this colt and Warrior’s Charge.

6. Market King (30-1)

Jockey: Jon Court

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Owners: Robert Baker and William Mack

Career record: 8 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $148,007

Earnings per start: $18,501

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Pedigree: Into Mischief – Divine Presence, by A.P. Indy

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: A major turnaround will be required for this colt to contend in the Preakness Stakes. After outrunning his 48.30-1 odds to finish third in the second division of the Rebel Stakes in March at Oaklawn Park, Market King finished 11th of 14 in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, contending for six furlongs but fading in the stretch to end up 37 ¼ lengths behind winner Vekoma. He had shown improvement earlier in his 3-year-old season at Oaklawn, winning his maiden in February (in his fifth attempt) and then running a good third in an allowance race before checking in third again in the Rebel behind Omaha Beach and Game Winner, defeated by 8 ¼ lengths. This son of Into Mischief has been training well at Churchill Downs over the past several weeks and should be a pace factor if he can recover his early 2019 form, but he hasn’t shown the talent level to compete with the best of his class so far in his career and will be a deserved longshot in the Preakness. Market King sold for the highest price at auction among all Preakness contenders, purchased by his owners for $550,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale in 2017.

Preakness history: Robert Baker and William Mack sent Dublin to the Preakness in 2010 and Sporting Chance last year; the horses finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Both were trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has won the Preakness six times from 43 starters heading into this year, most recently with Oxbow in 2013. His other winners: Codex (1980), Tank’s Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), and Charismatic (1999). Lukas-trained Bravazo, his other entry in last year’s Preakness, came closer than any other horse to toppling Justify in the Triple Crown races, finishing a half-length behind the champion.

7. Alwaysmining (8-1)

Jockey: Daniel Centeno

Trainer: Kelly Rubley

Owner: Runnymede Racing

Career record: 12 starts – 7 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $386,192

Earnings per start: $32,183

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 109

Pedigree: Stay Thirsty – What Will Be, by Anees

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This talented, fast gelding enters the Preakness as the local hero who’s primed to push aside some of the more well-known contenders and snatch the Woodlawn Vase and a share of the national spotlight. After making his first three career starts in Kentucky, Maryland-bred Alwaysmining returned to his home base of Laurel Park and promptly won a 5 ½-furlong sprint last June, but he really didn’t get into gear until the fall, when he returned to the dirt after an unsuccessful turf start and won a one-mile allowance by 10 lengths. Since then, he’s taken five consecutive stakes races at Laurel by a combined 26 ½ lengths, most of them in gate-to-wire fashion. His last two races have been the best of his career, as he won the about 1 1/16-mile Private Terms Stakes by 6 ¾ lengths and then romped in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio Stakes, the local Preakness prep, by 11 ½ lengths. In the Federico Tesio, regular jockey Daniel Centeno actually kept Alwaysmining just off of the early leaders instead of moving up as usual to set the pace, which adds another dimension to this gelding’s arsenal for the Preakness. He’s never won away from Laurel Park and will be making a class leap on Saturday, but he’s already defeated Win Win Win by 1 ½ lengths (in a seven-furlong Laurel stakes last December) and his Equibase Speed Figures place him among the top rank of Preakness contenders. The presence of horses such as Warrior’s Charge, Anothertwistafate, and Improbable should ensure that Alwaysmining has company on the front end, but this razor-sharp runner is the one they’ll have to catch in the Preakness, and a logical win candidate. No Maryland-bred has won the Preakness since Deputed Testamony in 1983.

Preakness history: This will be the first Preakness appearance for all of Alwaysmining’s connections.

8. Signalman (30-1)

Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.

Trainer: Ken McPeek

Owners: Tommie Lewis, Steve Crabtree, Dean Demaree, David Bernsen, Jim Chambers, and Magdalena Racing

Career record: 7 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $552,900

Earnings per start: $78,999

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 100

Pedigree: General Quarters – Trip South, by Trippi

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Signalman just missed the qualifying points cutoff for the Kentucky Derby after Win Win Win rallied late to nip him by a nose for the runner-up spot in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, and now this hard-trying lunch-pail type runner with a modest pedigree heads to Baltimore after posting some solid workouts at Churchill Downs in recent weeks for trainer Ken McPeek. He already has a graded stakes win in a two-turn race on his résumé, that coming last fall in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, and aside from his seventh-place finish in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes two starts back (his 3-year-old debut), he’s always answered the bell even if his ceiling appears to be lower than several other Preakness contenders. Signalman’s a grinding closer and will need a solid early pace to set up his run along with some racing luck, but he’s a worthy candidate for trifecta and superfecta tickets and could sneak into the Preakness exacta if everything falls into place.

Preakness history: Brian Hernandez Jr. has ridden Signalman for his most recent five starts – all in stakes – and will be making his second Preakness start after finishing sixth in 2013. Ken McPeek has one third-place finish (Senior Investment in 2017) among his four prior Preakness starters.

9. Bodexpress (20-1)

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Gustavo Delgado

Owners: Top Racing, Global Thoroughbred, and GDS Racing Stable

Career record: 6 starts – 0 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $208,700

Earnings per start: $34,783

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Pedigree: Bodemeister – Pied a Terre, by City Zip

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Although he finished 13th (moved up from 14th) in the Kentucky Derby, this maiden outran his 71-1 odds in the run for the roses. Sent off as the longest shot in the 19-horse field, Bodexpress hung with pacesetter Maximum Security and pressing Long Range Toddy through the first six furlongs of the Derby before the controversial incident occurred roughly at the five-sixteenths pole through the far turn, when Maximum Security moved out several paths and impeded the progress of three horses. Bodexpress was one of those impeded, and he swiftly retreated from third after being taken up by his jockey to finish well out of contention. He had moved into the Derby starting gate following Omaha Beach’s scratch as the first also-eligible entrant and gained that alternate entry by virtue of his runner-up effort to Maximum Security in the Xpressbet Florida Derby. Bodexpress still has a lot of maturing to do, but this colt has shown enticing talent in his most recent three starts. He may very well be the longest shot in the field again when the Preakness starting gate springs open, but he should be a pace factor at the very least and could hang around long enough to make things interesting in early stretch.

Preakness history: Hall of Famer John Velazquez has had eight prior mounts in the Preakness, and finished second in 2011 aboard Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and in 2013 on Itsmyluckyday. This will be the first Preakness for trainer Gustavo Delgado and Bodexpress’ ownership group.

10. Everfast (50-1)

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Dale Romans

Owner: Calumet Farm

Career record: 10 starts – 1 win – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $134,805

Earnings per start: $13,481

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 102

Pedigree: Take Charge Indy – Awesome Surprise, by Awesome Again

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Coming into the Preakness off of three disappointing starts, this colt is certain to be one of the longest shots in the field when the gates open – maybe the longest. Everfast took his career debut last summer at Ellis Park but in nine starts since has only come close to the winner’s circle two more times, finishing third in his fourth start in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs in November and then second to Harvey Wallbanger at odds of 128.70-1 in the 1 1/16-mile Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in February. Since then, he has finished eighth in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes, ninth in the Xpressbet Florida Derby, and fifth in the Pat Day Mile Stakes Presented by LG and E and KU, beaten by a combined total of 43 ¾ lengths. While he picks up one of the best closing jockeys in the business in Joel Rosario, Everfast would have to not just replicate, but improve upon, his unexpected showing in the Holy Bull Stakes and then have several other Preakness horses fail to show up in order to have any chance at winning on Saturday – a very unlikely scenario to say the least. He should be near the back of the field through the first mile and could pass a few straggling horses in the stretch to improve position, but anything more than that would be a major surprise.

Preakness history: Joel Rosario will be making his sixth Preakness appearance; he finished second two years in a row on Ride On Curlin (2014) and Tale of Verve (2015) and third in 2012 aboard Creative Cause. Dale Romans is also back for the sixth time in the Preakness. He won the 2011 edition with Shackleford and finished second twice with First Dude (2010) and Cherry Wine (2016). Calumet Farm, one of the most storied names in horse racing, has been a fixture at the Preakness Stakes through the years. Under the ownership of the Wright family, Calumet tallied seven Preakness wins, with two of those horses, Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948), winning the Triple Crown. The final Calumet Farm horse to run in the Preakness was Hall of Famer Alydar, second to Triple Crown winner Affirmed in 1978. Calumet returned to the Preakness this decade under Brad Kelley’s ownership and has been well represented in the second jewel of the Triple Crown, with Oxbow’s win in 2013 and Bravazo’s runner-up finish to Justify last year.Bet Everfast in the Preakness Stakes.

11. Laughing Fox (20-1)

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owners: Alex and JoAnn Lieblong

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $338,518

Earnings per start: $48,360

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 99

Pedigree: Union Rags – Saskawea, by Stormy Atlantic

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This colt gained automatic entry to the Preakness by winning the inaugural running of the Oaklawn Invitational Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile race at the Hot Springs, Ark., track that went off a few minutes after the Kentucky Derby on May 4. He had raced in two of Oaklawn Park’s major Derby preps prior to the Oaklawn Invitational, finishing a disappointing seventh in the second division of the Rebel Stakes in March and then a decent fourth in the Arkansas Derby on April 16. In the Oaklawn Invitational, he rallied from eighth early on to post a hard-fought neck win and realize the potential he’d first shown when winning two route races earlier in Oaklawn’s spring 2019 meet. He will need to improve even more to hit the board in a competitive Preakness Stakes, but this colt has strong connections and a pedigree that’s suitable for 1 3/16 miles. Laughing Fox will be one of the longer shots in the Preakness, but he shouldn’t be left off of trifecta and superfecta tickets and has the look of a colt on the improve who’ll win a graded stakes race – or maybe even several of them – down the road.

Preakness history: Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. made his Preakness debut a successful one last year, rallying late with Tenfold to finish three-quarters of a length behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in third, and just a neck behind Bravazo in second. Tenfold was Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen’s ninth starter in the Preakness and his second third-place finisher. He has won the classic twice, with two of the best racehorses of this century: Curlin in 2007 and superstar filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

12. Anothertwistafate (6-1)

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: Blaine Wright

Owner: Peter Redekop

Career record: 6 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $303,505

Earnings per start: $50,584

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 103

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Imprecation, by First Defence

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This California-based contender nearly qualified for the Kentucky Derby after posting two consecutive runner-up efforts in graded stakes races offering Derby points in March and April. Anothertwistafate was the second also-eligible for the Derby, but his connections decided to skip the May 4 classic and target the Triple Crown’s second jewel, and this talented son of Scat Daddy should be one of the top betting choices come Saturday. He emerged at Golden Gate Fields over the winter with three consecutive dominant, pacesetting wins on the synthetic Tapeta Footings main track, and was sent to New Mexico for the March 24 Sunland Park Derby to see if he could handle a dirt track after racing poorly on that surface in his career debut last year. Anothertwistafate nearly won the Sunland Derby, finishing second by a neck to Cutting Humor, and then ran well on dirt again when second to Owendale in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 13, where he encountered some early trouble and was boxed in during the far turn. He projects to be one of the horses competing for the early lead in the Preakness Stakes, and his new jockey, Jose Ortiz, is a very good judge of pace. This colt joins Alwaysmining as the “new shooters” with the best chance of toppling Kentucky Derby horses such as Improbable and War of Will in what is shaping up as a wide-open Preakness Stakes.

Preakness history: This will be the first Preakness starter for California trainer Blaine Wright. Jose Ortiz will be making his third consecutive Preakness start; he finished fourth aboard Good Magic last year.

13. Win Win Win (15-1)

Jockey: Julian Pimentel

Trainer: Michael Trombetta

Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $367,300

Earnings per start: $52,471

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 113

Pedigree: Hat Trick – Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones

Color: Dark bay or brown

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: This stakes winner put forth the first disappointing effort in his career in the Kentucky Derby, racing far back early and moving past several tired horses to finish a non-threatening 10th (moved up to ninth after Maximum Security was disqualified). Prior to that, he had finished no worse than third and had shown versatility by winning races from a pace-pressing position and also by coming from farther back. He qualified for the Kentucky Derby with a third in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby and then a late second in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, where he recovered from being bumped at the start and then steadied entering the far turn. If he can rebound from his poor Derby, Win Win Win has an outsider’s chance to have his connections and backers at the betting windows shouting his name and adding a fourth “Win!” when the Preakness field hits the homestretch. Look for jockey Julian Pimentel to position Win Win Win a bit closer to the early leaders than in his three prior route races, but this contender still should be in the second division of runners through the first three-quarters of a mile.

Preakness history: Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation brings Win Win Win to the Preakness as its second starter after High Fly finished 10th in 2005. Trainer Michael Trombetta will also make his second appearance; his Sweetnorthernsaint finished second to Bernardini in 2006. Win Win Win is Julian Pimentel’s third Preakness mount.

Watch the 2019 Preakness Stakes only on NBC and NBCSN. Coverage on NBCSN begins Friday, May 17 at 3 p.m. ET with the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and continues on Saturday May 18 at 2 p.m. before moving to NBC at 5 p.m. Post time is set for approximately 6:50 p.m. See the full broadcast schedule here.

Canucks vs Golden Knights picks and predictions for Game 1


Perhaps no team has been more fun to follow during the NHL playoffs than the Vancouver Canucks, and hockey bettors can still get the Canucks at +1,300 to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. Vancouver is coming off a thrilling series win against the defending champion St. Louis Blues, but now a much more difficult challenge awaits. The Vegas Golden Knights are +350 favorites to win it all, and they’ve certainly looked the part while dropping only one playoff contest.

Game 1 of this series gets underway Sunday, so we’re here to bring you our NHL picks and predictions in this Western Conference semifinal showdown.

Vancouver Canucks vs Vegas Golden Knights betting preview

Starting Goalies

Canucks: Jacob Markstrom – playoffs – 7-3, 2.44 GAA, .929 SV% (season – 23-16, 2.75 GAA, .918 SV%)

Golden Knights: Robin Lehner – playoffs – 5-1, 2.44 GAA, .904 SV% (season – 19-10, 2.89, .920 SV%)

If this game was actually played in Las Vegas, then Markstrom could easily spend a few hours performing with Cirque du Soleil. The 30-year-old dazzled against Blues with an eye-opening array of acrobatic saves and an impressive 7-3 record. He’ll need to provide more of the same against a dangerous Vegas squad.

The Knights will likely roll with Robin Lehner, who has taken over the spot as Vegas’s starter in the crease—and rightfully so. Still, the Knights have the luxury of having Marc-Andre Fleury as their “backup.” The five-time All-Star matched an NHL record this season with his 14th consecutive playoff appearance.


Vancouver: Tyler Myers D (out), Tyler Toffoli RW (out), Micheal Ferland LW (out), Josh Leivo LW (out)

Vegas: Tomas Nosek LW (out)

Betting Trend to Know

Canucks are 0-6 in their last six Sunday games. Find the latest NHL betting trends for Canucks vs. Golden Knights.


The Canucks have been a force with the extra man during the postseason, converting 26.2% of their power plays. While the Knights are known for their offensive firepower, it’s their stingy defense that allows them to suffocate opponents—as evidenced by an 86.4% penalty kill during their playoff run. Vancouver is the only team in the league to never beat Vegas in regulation, going 0-11 all time. That’s something I just can’t ignore.

PREDICTION: Vegas ML (-175)


Each team is filled with loads of offensive talent. Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and J.T. Miller have combined for 11 goals thus far. Elias Pettersson has racked up 13 points, tied with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the playoff lead.

The Knights can match Vancouver’s scorers, but they’re more balanced—Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch and Mark Stone have each lit the lamp four times during the postseason. The difference is on defense, where Vancouver has allowed the most high-danger chances of all remaining playoff teams.

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)


Though I like Vegas to win, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks kept it close and continued their offensive success. I’ll take a flyer on Vancouver scoring at least three goals.

PREDICTION: Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)

Canucks vs Golden Knights Betting Card

  • Vegas ML (-175)
  • Over 5.5 (-110)
  • Canucks total goals Over 2.5 (-100)
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Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook