2023 Preakness Stakes Odds, Field & Prediction

All roads lead to Pimlico on Saturday when the Maryland circuit hosts the G1 Preakness, the second glittering jewel in the Triple Crown. The headline contender is Kentucky Derby winner Mage, whose impressive success at Churchill Downs has made him a solid favorite to maintain his upward trend against progressive G3 winner First Mission and the redemption-seeking Blazing Sevens and National Treasure. 2023 Preakness Stakes odds courtesy of Jazzsports.ag

Preakness Stakes Odds

2023 Preakness Stakes

G1, $1,500,000, 1m 3/16 dirt, 3yo, 7.01pm ET

The racing world awaits. All eyes will be focused on the Kentucky Derby winner Mage as he bids to stay on the path to greatness at Pimlico on Saturday, lining up as a warm favorite for the showpiece Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.

Without the Derby hero in attendance, it would be a moderate contest, but Mage (+140) brings the class and the anticipation, and the possibility of something truly special. Unraced as a juvenile, he has taken big steps forward race on race since winning on debut at Gulfstream Park in late January, and with just four starts to his name, it’s extremely likely there is a further upgrade to come.

He was sent straight into Graded stakes after that debut and ran a promising fourth in the G2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream – Blazing Sevens (+550) a mile down the track, eighth of nine – before moving right up in the G1 Florida Derby at the same track when only champion juvenile colt Forte got the better of him, and that after a struggle.

His inexperience was viewed as an Achilles heel in the G1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, but Mage performed like a seasoned pro, cutting through the field from back to front and running down the gallant Two Phil’s in late stretch to grab the glory by a length. He was a 15-1 shot but there was no hint of fluke, just a wildly progressive colt getting the job done on merit.

Mage is the only horse to come on from the Derby and has no questions to answer in regard to class or stamina. The two-week turnaround is clearly more of a concern, although he has been training to widespread satisfaction, and because he surfed the wave of a fierce Derby pace before coming through late, the shortage of obvious speed here could play against him. Of course, he could very easily be good enough to overcome both these potential pitfalls.

His main danger is the even more inexperienced First Mission (+250), who has made similarly swift progress up the ladder and is ready to dip his toe into the big league. He won his maiden at the second attempt at the Fair Grounds and then took a hike in class in his stride, running out a game half-length winner of the G3 Lexington at Keeneland over a mile-sixteenth after getting a perfect trip up the fence.

First Mission stalked a steady set of twelves before making his move and clearly doesn’t need a fast pace to attack. He should appreciate the extra yardage and is an upgrading colt with the right connections for this type of prestige event.

Another with strong paper credentials is the aforementioned Blazing Sevens, whose trainer Chad Brown has taken a horse off the Derby trail and brought him back to win the Preakness twice in the last six years – Cloud Computing in 2017 and Early Voting last year.

However, both those horses had a fresher, more progressive profile than Blazing Sevens, who ran third in the mile-eighth G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland behind Derby flops Tapit Trice and Verifying, beaten a conclusive six lengths, and has been unable to replicate his fine juvenile form (won the G1 Champagne, fourth G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile). He could yet rebound but it’s his trainer’s record that speaks loudest about him, and that’s an alarm bell.

Treasure could be sharp pace angle

Bob Baffert has won the Preakness a joint-record seven times and goes for the eight with National Treasure (+350), who is short enough odds for a horse who hasn’t won a stakes, although he hit the board in two G1s last year including when third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, a length and a half ahead of Blazing Sevens.

He has disappointed in two starts in 2023, most recently when fourth in the G1 Santa Anita Derby over a mile-eighth, and there’s no doubt that his persistent inability to get the job done at stakes level is a big negative.

However, National Treasure figures to be a speed influence from his inside post and could get his own way on the lead, with the only other pace angle being one of the long shots. With blinkers back on for the first time this year, he’s a major player.

The habitual late-closer Red Route One (+800) is zero-for-six in Graded stakes since his maiden win and it’s more than likely that he’ll come up short again. He probably deserves another chance, after nailing a mile-eighth stakes at Oaklawn Park by a head with a buzzer-beating rally on first-time Lasix (no meds today), but he’s hard to like especially as he is prone to getting well behind in his races.

The supplemented Perform (+1500) has been a slow burner, winning a maiden on his sixth start and then making his stakes breakthrough over a mile-eighth at Laurel Park thanks to a last-gasp, last-stride steal, with the pace-setting Coffeewithchris (+2000) fading back to fifth.

Both Perform’s wins have been with Lasix and he’s off the meds today with a big class gap to bridge, while Coffeewithchris has won two stakes at Laurel in a busy career but stamina is a big concern, and there’s no way he stays in front against this calibre of opposition. Chase The Chaos (+5000), a stakes-winner over a mile-eighth on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields two starts ago, is out of his depth.

2023 Preakness Stakes Odds & Prediction

By no means the strongest Preakness on record, so it’s hard to get away from the quality of Kentucky Derby winner MAGE, who is likely to move up again against rivals who – with the exception of First Mission – are fully exposed

HorseOdds by Jazzsports
National Treasure+350
Chase The Chaos+5000
Mage+140
Coffeewithchris+2000
Red Route One+800
Perform+1500
Blazing Sevens+550
First Mission+250

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