2022 Preakness Stakes Race Preview, Top Picks and Longshots

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Epicenter runs on the track during training for the Kentucky Derby. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Much of the pizzazz of the Preakness Stakes has been removed with long-shot Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike deciding not to run at Pimlico, taking away the race’s main drawing card.

That’s not to say the race doesn’t matter, because always being the champion of the Preakness makes the horse, jockey, and trainer a part of history, but all those that follow the horses love to see the chase for the Triple Crown.

But that won’t be occurring and so we move on and have our choice of nine horses for this Saturday’s big race.

2022 Preakness Stakes

Saturday, May 21, 2022 – 06:45 PM EDT at Pimlico Race Course

Here are the horses in the running with their post position, jockey, and morning-line betting odds:

Post Horse Jockey ML
1 Simplification John Velazquez 6-1
2 Creative Minister Brian Hernandez Jr. 10-1
3 Fenwick Florent Geroux 50-1
4 Secret Oath Luis Saez 9-2
5 Early Voting Jose Ortiz 7-2
6 Happy Jack Tyler Gaffalione 30-1
7 Armagnac Irad Ortiz Jr. 12-1
8 Epicenter Joel Rosario 6-5
9 Skippylongstocking Junior Alvarado 20-1

2022 Preakness Stakes Top Win Candidates

Epicenter, Joel Rosario, 6-5

Epicenter was the favorite at the Kentucky Derby and was done in by too fast of an early pace and the ride of a lifetime for Rich Strike and his jockey. Horse racing oddsmakers are undeterred and have made him a strong favorite to finish off this race with a victory.

This colt won back-to-back races at the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby, and he has finished first or second in each of his last five starts. Given what seems like a rather light competition, Epicenter is the top win candidate and should be listed first on exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets.

Nevertheless, if horses won even half the time as seemingly overwhelming favorites, all horse bettors would have more cash to wager with.

Early Voting, Jose Ortiz, 7-2

Early Voting has the second-best odds and will be the freshest of the Top 4 favorites, having skipped the Derby. Trainer Chad Brown targeted his horse for this race, using Zandon, who was the second betting choice in Louisville, and who finished third. Early Voting was the runner-up at the Wood Memorial and will see if he can use the same formula of skipping the Derby and enter a horse like Cloud Computing in 2017, who won this race.

Secret Oath, Luis Saez, 9-2

Secret Oath is going to try its luck against the boys after winning the Kentucky Oaks on May 6, which is the premier early race for female three-year-olds. Secret Oath finished third when she ran against male horses as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby. Those who watched felt she made her move too soon in that race and was gassed at the finish.

The feeling here is the field is not overly challenging and the shorter distance will help and trainer D. Wayne Lukas knows a thing or two about this race at Pimlico. Lukas is a six-time winning trainer in the Preakness, which includes winners with fillies Rachel Alexandra (2007) and Swiss Skydiver (2020). Those are the only two female winners in the past 97 years.

Simplification, John Velazquez, 6-1

Simplification was hard-charging fourth at the Derby and will attract a lot of attention, being one of the few horses in this race that people got a good look at. History has not been on the side of horses that had finished like Simplification and ran in Pimlico afterward. However, assistant trainer Jesus Prada said his horse loves the surface at Pimlico and offered this. “I read (his jockey) John Velazquez hasn’t won the Preakness. He will win the Preakness with this horse,”

Creative Minister, Brian Hernandez Jr., 10-1

Though the Kentucky Derby proved anything is possible when it comes to thoroughbred racing, other than Creative Minister, no other long-shot seems a winning candidate.

Trainer Ken McPeek’s entry won an allowance on the Derby undercard and did so in a fast time. Creative Minister has hit track only three times yet has improved his Beyer Speed Figures each time. Is this horse a late bloomer ready to peak? This is the smallest field in four years for the Preakness.

2022 Preakness Stakes Betting Picks

We like many expect Epicenter to win and will match with Early Voting and Creative Minister for exacta wagers and include Simplification on trifecta bets.

Exacta Wagers:

  • Epicenter
  • Early Voting
  • Creative Minister

Trifecta Bets:

  • Simplification

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.