Nyquist Going to be Tough to Beat in Preakness Stakes

For those who doubted that Nyquist could handle 1 ¼ miles they got their answer last Saturday as the colt remained undefeated by winning the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby (G1), and he is going to prove tough to beat in the 141st running of the Preakness Stakes (G1).

The Doug O’Neill trainee is now perfect in eight career starts and has earned $4,954,200 in his career. The colt is the heavy favorite in Preakness Stakes betting at Bovada at 5-7.

The Preakness is shorter than the Derby, contested at 1 3/16 miles, and favorites have fared quite nicely in recent years.

American Pharaoh and California Chrome came off Derby wins and were both sent off at less than even money and did not disappoint. Rachel Alexandra in 2009 and Big Brown in 2008 also got the job done as the betting favorite.

I’ll Have Another (2012) and Lookin At Lucky (2010) were victorious as the second choices.

We did have a couple of longshots in recent years, Oxbow going off at 15-1 in 2013 and Shackleford sent off at 12-1 in 2011.

Overall the Preakness Stakes is run truer to form than any of the Triple Crown races. Over the past 27 editions, the winner was sent off at 7-2 or less 20 times.

That bodes well for Nyquist, who earned a career top Beyer Speed Figure of 103 for his Kentucky Derby win, beating Exaggerator by 1 ¼ lengths.

His running style suits Pimlico perfectly, as most of the recent winners of the race have sat just off the pace and then gotten the jump on the late runners.

Exaggerator is back to attempt to turn the tables and is at a betting line of 9-2 in Preakness Stakes odds at Bovada.

He won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his final prep with a 103 Beyer and earned a 101 for his runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby.

It’s possible we could see others that finished behind Nyquist in the Derby come back in two weeks. Ninth place finisher Lani is confirmed and will be a longshot, sitting at 33-1.

Third place finisher Gun Runner, fifth place Suddenbreakingnews, and seventh place finisher Brody’s Cause are still possible.

Contenders that did not run in the Kentucky Debry have not fared well in the Preakness in recent years. Among those looking to buck that trend will be Stradivari and Collected.

Stradivari is the lowest price among the new shooters at 12-1 at Bovada. The Todd Pletcher trainee trounced first level allowance foes by 14 ½ lengths with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure at Keeneland off a 4 ½ month break in his last outing.

Collected was a good looking winner of the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in his last start on April 16. The Bob Baffert trainee is currently at odds of 20-1 in early Preakness betting.

Handicapper Michael Dempsey provides his full card analysis for Preakness Stakes Day at turfnsport.com. US Racebook readers can use the coupon code “sport” for 20% off reports!