Stakes Profile: Preakness
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

The Preakness is 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.

All data is via Equibase with the exception of Brisnet ratings.

Note for mobile users: Charts and graphs are best viewed on bigger devices, but viewing them in landscape/horizontally will slightly improve your viewing experience.

Preakness Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018

Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.

1991-2018
Average $1 Odds: $4.60
Median $1 Odds: $2.95

2010-2018
Average $1 Odds: $5.70
Median $1 Odds: $2.60

1991-2018
Average $2 Win: $10.60
Median $2 Win: $7.90

2010-2018
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

1991-2018
Average Choice of Winner: 2.46
Average Field Size: 10.79
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.33

2010-2018
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.

Winning Preakness Running Styles 1991-1999
Winning Preakness Running Styles 2000-2009
Winning Preakness Running Styles 2010-2018

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.

Days Since Last Race 1991-2018
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

Below is a look at Brisnet speed ratings of Preakness winners. Learn how the figures are calculated and keep up with weekly ratings for stakes races.

Winners Last Three Brisnet Speed 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.

Coming into the Preakness 1991-2018
Brisnet speed ratings - Preakness
Brisnet Speed Averages 1991-2018
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.

Winners Last Three Brisnet Speed Ratings 2009-2018

Summary

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.

Bettor’s Choice
Favorites and 2nd choice have performed well
Last Raced At
Churchill Downs
Brisnet Speed Ratings
Improved speed rating two back
Running Style
Stalkers or closers

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