by Eddie Olczyk
May 17, 2018
Analysis: With a pair of strong favorites in JUSTIFY and GOOD MAGIC, it won’t be easy to hit big on this year’s Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Derby 1-2 finishers were incredibly impressive in Louisville and it’s hard to envision one of the ‘new shooters’ springing an upset. Worried about a wet track? I’m not. JUSTIFY and GOOD MAGIC passed that test in the wettest Kentucky Derby in history, alleviating any concerns that they need perfect conditions to run their best. For those of us betting the Preakness, my best advice is to jump into the mutli-race bets like the $2 Million Guaranteed Late Pick 4 or the $1 Million Guaranteed Late Pick 5. Just wait and see the condition of the turf course and whether those races stay on the lawn.
Main Contenders: JUSTIFY and GOOD MAGIC, obviously. JUSTIFY was able to work out a perfect trip in the Kentucky Derby thanks to his raw talent and ability. He didn’t need luck – he made his own. Mike Smith knew exactly how much horse he had and executed to perfection. I expect he’ll be 1/5 odds in the Preakness, given the Bob Baffert factor, his unbeaten record and his impressive Kentucky Derby. GOOD MAGIC was my bet in the Derby and he ran great. Jose Ortiz doesn’t get enough credit for a perfect ride that day. As a bettor, that’s all you can ask for. Ortiz made all of the right calls and had GOOD MAGIC in perfect position to challenge JUSTIFY down the lane. He just wasn’t quite good enough.
Value Plays:I don’t really have a ‘Place’ horse here because it’s all about JUSTIFY and GOOD MAGIC. Like I said earlier, to find value you’ll need to look to the Exacta, Trifecta, Pick 4, Pick 5 or Pick 6. If you like JUSTIFY as I do, you’ll need to find a way to turn 1/5 odds into 3/1 or 6/1. I don’t see a bomb that could deliver a big Trifecta payout beneath JUSTIFY. QUIP is my third horse, but he’ll be a clear third choice and there isn’t a ton of value there either. Maybe BRAVAZO? He made a nice move in the Derby. It wasn’t a menacing move and he was never a threat to win, but it was the type of move that could get him into the Top 3 or 4 in Baltimore.
$100 Wagering Strategy
Eddie's Preakness Stakes Picks