2022 Preakness Stakes Pace Scenario: Expert Analysis and Predictions
The Preakness Stakes will be live on NBC, with coverage beginning at 4 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 21. We now know what gate each horse will be racing out of. Their running style and pace play a big factor into helping us predict how the race could turn out. Many bettors enjoy looking at stamina and speed to win the race -- the obvious. With that in mind, a pace-setting horse may be nice, but they can fade down the stretch, with a great example seen with Kentucky Derby participant Summer is Tomorrow, who led ½ of the race and ended up finishing last. So, it may be better to target horses that can hang back early and have good enough closing burst to win the race, just like 80-1 underdog Rich Strike did at the Kentucky Derby on May 7.
No. 1 Simplification (6-1 odds): Simplification’s running style is being a stalker. Rich Strike and Zandon both won’t be a part of this race. Therefore, will the only horse Simplification have to stalk be Epicenter? Will that give him more room to operate and catch full strides down the final stretch? Possibly, and is why many bettors believe Simplification has good trifecta/superfecta possibilities.
No. 2 Creative Minister (10-1 odds): Another stalker/closer, Creative Minister hopes to keep up with the mix to repeat what he did at Churchill Downs on May 7, where he settled into a nice stalking position and took over easily in the midstretch en route to a 2 ¾-length victory. Creative Minister also has the top Equibase Speed Figure in the race at: 108.
No. 3 Fenwick (50-1): Fenwick is our first pacesetter we are looking at. Being the biggest underdog in the race, the only way it seems Fenwick can win the race would be to burst out into an early lead and control the front end. Not likely, but it’s what needs to happen if Fenwick stands a chance.
No. 4 Secret Oath (9-2 odds): Another stalker style horse, Secret Oath will go toe to toe with favourite Epicenter with a Equibase speed of 105. Stamina is not a problem for Secret Oath, and being in gate 4 gives her a solid advantage. This is a very versatile horse that can adjust based on the pace and how the race shapes coming out of the gate.
No. 5 Early Voting (7-2 odds): Early Voting is a pacesetter/press the pace run style horse. Being a horse that skipped the Kentucky Derby, he will be looking to take the lead vs Epicenter and Simplification and set a fast, intense pace. Most races Early Voting has won, he has led for the entire time.
No. 6 Happy Jack (30-1): Happy Jack is a closer. He lost by 19 lengths in the Run for the Roses. Therefore, even if the pace is better suited for him in this race, I don’t think his run style will matter. He’ll be too far behind to make a closing splash.
No. 7 Armagnac (12-1 odds): Another pacesetter/press the pace style horse, Armagnac figures to attempt to lead early with top jockey Irad Ortiz Jr aboard. Early Voting and Epicenter should be right behind him, however, and both have a distinct class advantage over Armagnac.
No. 8 Epicenter (6-5 odds): I think it’s safe to say Epicenter can run whatever style he wants. The most talented horse in the group, he will be close to the lead from the start, if not, in the lead the whole race.
No. 9 Skippylongstocking (20-1 odds): Skippy is a long shot at the Preakness. And he is a stalker. He does have a top Equibase speed of 100. If he can stay with the crowed along the last turn, anything can happen for this dreamer.
With a variety of running styles, this race shapes up to be a fun one. The pace will defiantly be set by some of the underdogs/long shots. However, will they have enough stamina to hold off the favorites? We shall find out soon this Saturday!
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