2010 Preakness Stakes Betting Trends
by Trevor Whenham - 5/12/2010
One of the best ways to get ready to handicap a Triple Crown race like the Preakness Stakes is to look back at what has happened in the past. History has a way of repeating itself in these races, so by looking at the Preakness Stakes trends that have emerged in the past we can have a good sense of which horses we need to pay more attention to, and which ones are just traps looking to suck our money out of our wallets. Here's a look at five Preakness trends:
Derby winner - It's never easy deciding if the Derby winner is going to be good enough to head to the Belmont as a potential Triple Crown winner.
There's a stat you'll hear a lot in the coming days that will suggest that Super Saver is a very good bet in the Preakness - seven of the last 13 Derby winners have also won the Preakness. That's both true and powerful, but when you look at it more closely it loses some of it's magic.
First, just one of the last five Derby winners - Big Brown two years ago - also won the Preakness. Barbaro is a special case in 2006 because he tragically broke down early in the Preakness. The other three horses that won the Derby but not the Preakness were all beaten by horses that went on to have significantly better careers than they did - Afleet Alex, Curlin, and Rachel Alexandra.
The current streak of Derby winner success is a reasonably new thing as well - just three of the 17 Derby winners from 1980 to 1996 went on to win the Preakness. That means that in the last 30 editions of the Preakness there have been 10 winners who also won the Derby - about the winning rate you would expect from favorites in any race.
In other words, you should just evaluate the Derby winner - Super Saver in this case - by his merits alone. One thing you'll probably want to do,though, is include him in your exotics regardless of what you think of him - 11 of the last 13 Derby winners have finished third or better in the Preakness, and one of the two who didn't didn't finish the race.
Non-Derby runners - Typically about half of the horses that run in the Preakness did not previously run in the Derby. This year seven of 12 will be new. That means that you have to determine how horses that haven't previously faced the Derby competition are going to do when they meet them.
It can be tempting to back one of these fresh horses - they are fresh while the Derby entrants are coming off the most grueling possible race, and are running back in two weeks which is something they will likely never do again.
There's just one problem - for the most part if a three year old is good enough to win the Preakness then he would have been good enough to at least contend in the Derby, so he would have run in the Derby.
There isn't an owner in the world who would rather win the Preakness than the Derby, so a horse that is debuting in the Preakness often isn't a world-class contender.
It's far more common to see an invader that gets far too much credit from the public than it is to see one that lives up to the hype or is ignored. There are exceptions, of course. Three of the last 10 Derby winners - Rachel Alexandra, Bernardini, and Red Bullet - didn't first run in the Derby. Each of those horses had given us reasons to believe that they were exceptional horses, though.
Overall, only seven of the last 38 Preakness winners skipped the Derby. If you don't have a very strong reason to believe that a fresh runner is particularly good then you're probably better off saving the money on the win bet.
Front runners - Pimlico is not a place that is kind to front runners. In fact, speed kills at this track. Only five horses in the last 50 years have taken the lead out of the gate and held it to the finish. That's a situation that is going to be particularly relevant this year because there is a lack of obvious speed, so it's quite possible that Super Saver will be on the lead early on.
You don't want to be on the lead at the start, and you really don't want to get there too soon. Only once in the last 13 years have we seen the leader at a half mile win the race. That was last year with Rachel Alexandra.
Favorites - You are rarely rewarded by looking for a huge payoff in the Preakness. Favorites typically win about a third of all races. At the Preakness, though, the favorite has won more than half the time. The public is at their sharpest in this race.
On the flip side, there have been just 10 cases in the entire 135 year history of the race that a winner has paid 11/1 or higher.
Post positions - Generally, the post position a horse draws in the Preakness isn't as significant as it is in the Derby. Rachel Alexandra won from the outside post, Curlin was inside in the fourth gate, and Big Brown was right in the middle in the seven hole, so the last three races alone have shown that the post isn't the most important thing.
There's just one thing that stands out as an interesting trend recently, though - the three inside gates haven't won in the last 15 years. Those posts won six of the previous 12 races, though, so this is a recent trend.
Check out Doc’s Sports homepage for the most updated Preakness Stakes post positions and field lineup, along with daily exclusive content, each day leading up to the second leg of the Triple Crown. We also offer our expert Preakness Stakes Picks for just $20! Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 for more information.
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