Epicenter Looms Strong Over Preakness Stakes

The American Triple Crown series continues on Saturday, May 21 with the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes. Nine of the best three-year-olds in the country will line up to go 1 3/16 miles on the Plmlico dirt for a rich $1.65 million purse. It is one of the most important and exciting betting races of the year.

Though Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is bypassing the race, second-place finisher Epicenter and fourth-place finisher Simplification join the fray. Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath will face males in the Preakness as well. With these proven stakes horses, as well as talented new faces like Early Voting and Creative Minister, the Preakness will be unforgettable!

Epicenter to Win the 2022 Preakness Stakes
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Where to Bet the Preakness

Before you start handicapping the Preakness, you should make your plans for where to bet on the Preakness Stakes online. You have many options, but we are here to help you make a confident and profitable decision easily. Our expert sportsbook reviews can help you find a site that is well trusted, easy to use, and ready to give you the best odds for every horse in the Preakness.

Many sportsbooks are also offering excellent incentives for playing the Preakness Stakes. These include sign-up and deposit bonuses, referral incentives, and horse racing rebates. This is the perfect time to find the sportsbook that offers the best incentives for the bets you want to make and make your betting experience more profitable than ever.

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Preakness Stakes Horses and Odds

This is the official field for the 2022 Preakness Stakes, including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. Simplification (Antonio Sano/John Velazquez) – 6/1
  2. Creative Minister (Ken McPeek/Brian Hernandez, Jr.) – 10/1
  3. Fenwick (Kevin McKathan/Florent Geroux) – 50/1
  4. Secret Oath (D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Saez) – 6/1
  5. Early Voting (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) – 7/2
  6. Happy Jack (Doug O’Neill/Tyler Gaffalione) – 30/1
  7. Armagnac (Tim Yakteen/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) – 12/1
  8. Epicenter (Steve Asmussen/Joel Rosario) – 6/5
  9. Skippylongstocking (Saffie Joseph, Jr./Junior Alvarado) – 20/1

These are the odds on the leading 2022 Preakness Stakes contenders at the best online sportsbooks:

BovadaBetOnlineBetUS
Epicenter-125+100+120
Secret Oath+450+550+450
Early Voting+450+550+350
Simplification+750+1000+600
Creative Minister+1000+1200+1000
Armagnac+1400+2500+1200

Free Preakness Picks

Keep in mind that the Preakness Stakes has a better win rate for favorites than any of the other Triple Crown races, with the betting favorite winning about half the time. Even so, that means longer shots can run well, and you can still cash a good exotic ticket with longer prices under a hot favorite.

Read on to learn about the top 2022 Preakness contenders, and figure out who has the best chances to make an impact in the second jewel of the Triple Crown!

Preakness Stakes Handicapping

Epicenter is going to be the favorite in the Preakness, and that status is well-deserved. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby despite sitting significantly closer to a fiery pace than the winner. He is versatile enough to race well at different tracks and in many different race shapes, and he has already won at the Preakness difference. Expect him to sit just off the pace, make a run, and be very hard to beat.

Epicenter to Win the 2022 Preakness Stakes
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Secret Oath comes in from a strong race in the Kentucky Oaks. Though she was defeated against males two starts back, she ran a credible third without getting the best trip. There should be a contested pace for her to rally into given the presence of Early Voting, Armagnac, and Fenwick, and this consistent filly will be finishing strongly under sharp rider Luis Saez.

Simplification has been one of the most consistent horses on the Triple Crown trail. He won the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream, ran well in all of the other Florida preps as well, and proved with a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby that he is not just a Gulfstream horse. He is pace-versatile as well, and his experience in Florida should help him handle the heat.

Preakness Stakes Longshots

Creative Minister is the most interesting new face in the 2022 Preakness Stakes. Though it is his first stakes start, he is lightly enough raced to improve. He has enough stamina in his pedigree to be interesting at the mile and three-sixteenths distance, and he should be able to run on well late into a contested pace.

His connections think enough of him to supplement him for $150,000, and he might just be improving at the right time for trainer Ken McPeek, who already has won the Preakness with Swiss Skydiver in 2020.

Skippylongstocking also intrigues for the deepest exotics. Though it would be a surprise to see him win, he should benefit from the contested pace in front of him. Furthermore, as a Florida-based runner, his experience training and running in hot and humid weather should help him given the muggy forecast on Preakness day.

Preakness Free Picks

Here are your free Preakness expert picks for 2022:

  • $20 win: #8 Epicenter
  • $1 exacta key: #8 Epicenter with #1 Simplification, #4 Secret Oath
  • $1 trifecta key: #8 Epicenter with #1 Simplification, #2 Creative Minister, #4 Secret Oath
  • 20 cent superfecta key: #8 Epicenter with #1 Simplification, #2 Creative Minister, #4 Secret Oath, #9 Skippylongstocking
Epicenter to Win the 2022 Preakness Stakes
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Tonya Holms

Tonya has been working in the horse racing industry for nearly two decades, moving up from groom to horse owner, to marketing and media. She learned the tricks of handicapping while working in horse racing broadcasting both in the United States and Canada. In her spare time, she loves to read and take care of the farm animals: sheep, goats, ducks, and chickens.