Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Preakness Stakes

The pivotal middle leg of the Triple Crown is just weeks away, with the Preakness Stakes taking place at Pimlico Racecourse on Saturday, May 18.

It is expected to be a high-quality edition of the race this year, with the winner of the Kentucky Derby likely to take their shot at potentially making history by tacking the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

But, with just weeks to go before the 149th edition of the race, what could the Preakness 2024 live odds and key information surrounding the race tell us when it comes to what we should expect this year?

Kentucky Derby Winner Likely To Be Among Hopefuls

The opening leg of the Triple Crown series will take place at Churchill Downs on May 4. Still, connections of the potential victor in the Kentucky Derby will almost certainly fancy their chances of doubling up in the series. Overall, there have been 13 winners of the Triple Crown throughout history, with Justify becoming the latest name to that live after his success in 2018.

However, there have been 30 horses that have won two of the three legs of the Triple Crown. No horse has won both of the opening legs of the Triple Crown since Justify, while California Chrome is the most recent winner of each of the opening two races that fell short in the Belmont Stakes. In fact, six winners of the Kentucky Derby have followed up with a victory in the Preakness Stakes before falling short in the Belmont Stakes since 2002.

Mage was the winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2023, but he couldn’t follow up in the Preakness Stakes after finishing just over two lengths behind National Treasure. However, connections will continue to dream that following a Derby win, they could become the next Triple Crown winner.

New-Look Triple Crown

The Triple Crown will have a slightly different feel from next year, as the Belmont Stakes will be run at Saratoga. The final leg of the series will also be run over a slightly shorter distance while Belmont Park constructs a new racing surface and grandstand.

There will also be changes to the feel of the Triple Crown in 2026 when the Preakness Stakes will be run at Laurel Park. This is down to Pimlico’s upgraded renovations. However, it does mean that the natural home to the Preakness will host the historic 150th edition of the race in 2024 before the fresh-looking Pimlico resumes hosting the prestigious middle leg in 2027.

High-Quality Field Likely

The decision to continue the ban on Bob Baffert runners at Churchill Downs means that the highest-quality leg of the Triple Crown may be run at Pimlico this year. The track hasn’t followed the approach made by Churchill Downs, with Baffert able to enter horses into the middle leg of the Triple Crown. That ensured that Baffert was able to claim victory in the race last year, as National Treasure stormed to victory.

The Hall of Famer is likely to have a strong hand for the Preakness Stakes again this year, and they will likely be worth considering given that they will be less fatigued than runners lined up in the Kentucky Derby. Muth could be considered to be the most talented three-year-old in the United States at present, and he has looked better than ever across his two starts for Baffert this year. He will likely come into the Preakness after landing the G1 Arkansas Derby by a two-length margin from Just Steel.

Baffert also targeted the Preakness Stakes with Imagination. The three-year-old was narrowly beaten in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on his previous effort when falling short against Stronghold. However, after landing the G2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, he looked very progressive before that effort. Baffert will have a strong hand in this year’s Preakness, and it could be hard to overlook his clear claims based on his Triple Crown record.

Final Edition Before Historic 2025 Edition

The Preakness Stakes will be staged for the 149th time this year, meaning that huge celebrations will already be on the agenda for the 150th edition in 2025. Pimlico has hosted the race on the third Saturday in May since 1973, and the annual Preakness weekend sees stars worldwide collide on track. In addition to hosting the second race on the Triple Crown schedule, there is also a race for fillies on Friday in the form of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

Next year’s edition will be a memorable renewal of the race, but the focus will first be on the 2024 installment. A talented field will likely go to post this year, and therefore, it will be a thrilling contest at Pimlico.

Saundra J. Blake

At 32, my life's far from a success story. Instead, it's filled with crumbs and chaos. Yet, I believe it'll get better. Life's like the weather, sometimes stormy, sometimes clear. This blog chronicles it all.

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