Stakes Profile: Preakness
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
The Preakness is a 9.5 furlong race for 3-year-olds at Pimlico. First run in 1873, it’s currently the middle race in the Triple Crown series. While the Preakness has produced a number of dramatic showdowns, what kind of betting race is it?
Below is a snapshot of what has produced Preakness winners since 1991 including odds, bettors’ choice, field size, running styles, prior race location, prior race finish position, number of days since the last race as well as Brisnet Speed Figures.
The charts and graphs are interactive. Hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.
Preakness Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018
Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.
Average $1 Odds: $4.60
Median $1 Odds: $2.95
Average $1 Odds: $5.70
Median $1 Odds: $2.60
Average $2 Win: $10.60
Median $2 Win: $7.90
Average $2 Win: $11.50
Median $2 Win: $7.20
Preakness Winners Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018
Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Hansel was 4th choice in a 8 horse field. Hover-over or touch the bars for more information
Average Choice of Winner: 2.46
Average Field Size: 10.79
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.33
Average Choice of Winner: 2.82
Average Field Size: 10.73
Average Favorite Finish Position: 3.10
Winning Preakness Running Styles 1991-2018
To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.
For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that in the 2007 winner Curlin was 13 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.
Stalkers/pressers have had the slight edge over closers since 1991 with both running styles performing well. In the last 10 years stalkers/pressers have won 50% of the time with speed outperforming the full time period to win 40% of the time.
Position at the 1/2 mile mark…
Speed: In the lead
Presser/Stalker: Between .1 and 3 lengths off leader
Off the pace: Between 3 and 6 lengths off the leader
Deep closer: More than 6 lengths off the leader
Below is a closer look at winning running styles by decade.
Preakness Winners Last Track Raced & Days Since 1991-2018
Preakness winners have overwhelmingly come from Churchill Downs. Rachel Alexandra (2009) made her prior start in the Kentucky Oaks but all others came from the Kentucky Derby. Three winners made their prior start at Aqueduct.
Average Days Since Last Race: 16.04
Median Days Since Last Race: 14
Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2018
Just under half (46.4%) of Preakness winners won their prior race and 71.4% of the winners finished in the money, or no worse than third, last out.
Preakness Brisnet Ratings 1991-2018
The chart below represents the last three Brisnet Speed Ratings earned by the Preakness winner, and includes the winning figure for the Preakness. In instances where a starter did not have three consecutive Brisnet Speed Ratings leading into the Preakness, the line starts with most recent.
Winning Brisnet Speed: 107
Brisnet Speed Prior Race: 102
Brisnet Speed 2 Back: 103
Brisnet Speed 3 Back: 99
Winners that came in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating performed slightly better in the last 10 years winning 50% of the time compared to 40% for regressed ratings. One notable trend is that 70% of Preakness winners came in on a Brisnet Speed Rating improvement two races back. For example, 2017 winner Cloud Computing came into the Preakness on a regressed speed rating from his prior start in the Wood Memorial, but he came into the Wood on a improved speed rating.
The Preakness has generally been a formful race where favorites have outperformed the generally accepted win rate of 35% to win 46.4% of the time. The average winning odds since 1991 are 4.6-1 with a median of 2.95-1 and an average $10.60 payout for a $2 win ticket. Since 2010 those averages have improved slightly while the medians dropped.
The winner on average has been the 2nd choice (2.46) since 1991 and has ticked up slightly since 2010 to a 2.82. The favorite has an average finish position of 2nd (2.33) since 1991, but since 2010 has dropped to 3rd (3.1).
Stalkers/Pressers have performed best since 1991 winning 35.7% of the time with closers not far behind at 32.1%. In the last 10 runnings stalkers/pressers have retained their edge winning 50% of the time while speed has improved to win 40% of the time.
Winners have overwhelming come from the Kentucky Derby since 1991. Field size has been above the 2017 average of 7.7 starters with an average of 10.79 starters since 1991 and 10.73 starters since 2010.
Just over half of the Preakness winners came in on a regressed Brisnet Speed Rating from their prior race since 1991 but in the last ten runnings 50% have come in on an improved speed rating.