The general excitement of Preakness Stakes handicapping revolves around the Kentucky Derby winner who is almost, always, automatically one of the favored horses. In 2014, California Chrome won the second leg of the Triple Crown as a 3/5 favorite. However, the derby victor is not always the best bet. The year prior, Orb was a 1/1 favorite but gave way to a surprising loss as Oxbow won as a 15/1 longshot, with Itsmyluckday coming 2nd as a 10/1 outside shot.

The heavy public action generated by the Kentucky Derby winner creates a market shift at the Preakness. An undeniable gravity attracts so much action to the next Triple Crown hopeful that other horses in the race begin to become much interesting bets. 

Since horse race wagering allows bettors to build tickets on horses to place and show as well, there is an instant value gained here for those not simply betting on the outright winner. Building bets around strong horses who did not win the derby has become an inside advantage in Preakness Stakes handicapping.

One of the Preakness Stakes bets seen regularly is made on a horse who had high expectations at the Kentucky Derby, but did not place well. The best, and most recent, example of this was Shackleford who was a derby favorite in 2011, but finished well out of the winner’s circle. He then thundered past the finish line at Pimlico to win as a 12/1 longshot two weeks later. 

Casual horse bettors will also be much more inclined to bet on horses that have run in the Kentucky Derby as well, since they are more known commodities. But depending on the trainer or ownership team, the Preakness Stakes can sometimes be the target race for horses who do not make the trip to Churchill Downs.

That’s where the beauty of horse betting comes in. Betting on a winner is difficult enough as it is, but you can always build a box parlay or make larger (and safer) plays on horses simply to show which is one of the best Preakness Stakes handicapping tips out there. This race has had a horse with 10/1 odds or higher finish in the top-3 for four of the past five years. 

The Preakness lends itself to so many different strategies based on tangible measurables that it has grown in to one of the best events to bet on in the racing world. Sometimes the derby winner is truly transcendent, but when they aren’t there is a massive amount of value in Preakness Stakes handicapping on the field. 

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