Here is a look at Saturday’s race and Preakness predictions.
Preakness Stakes Odds
Cherry Wine 20-1
Uncle Lino 20-1
Awesome Speed 30-1
Abiding Star 30-1
Nyquist Heavily Favored
The Kentucky Derby winner will go off as the odds-on favorite with very few likely challengers. The biggest test for Nyquist could be the weather as rain is in the forecast for Saturday. Trainer Doug O’Neill said that he is not concerned about rain. "I don't think it'll affect him in a negative way," O'Neill said. "You got to be sure-footed to do what he's done at all the different tracks. We got a wet track there at Gulfstream. That didn't seem to affect him in a negative way, so I don't see it as a negative. Rain or shine, as long as he's doing well, we've got a real good chance."
Exaggerator is second in the betting but he has already had four tries against Nyquist and lost every time. Stradavari is a new shooter for trainer Todd Fletcher but Fletcher has never won the Preakness. Collected is another of the new horses for trainer Bob Baffert who has won the Preakness six times.
More Speed in Preakness
The Kentucky Derby didn’t have any real early speed so Nyquist pretty much had his own way. That won’t be the case in the Preakness as a number of horses will look to go to the lead. Uncle Lino, Laoban and Abiding Star need the lead to win and Stradivari, Collected and Awesome Speed like to run up front as well.
Nyquist should win this race as there really are not any great horses going against him. The problem with taking Nyquist is that he is not a super horse but his odds suggest he is. The weather is definitely a wildcard and an off-track could give Nyquist trouble. That would be good news for a horse like Cherry Wine who won last year on a sloppy track. The off-track could also help Exaggerator although the horse is probably overvalued at odds of 3-1. Stradivari should be in the mix but only if he takes to the expected muddy track.
I will take a shot at Diamond sportsbook with Stradivari and Cherry Wine and for a trifecta box I will go with Nyquist, Exaggerator, Stradivari and Cherry Wine.