American Pharoah Will Be Heavy Favorite on Preakness Odds

The Bob Baffert trained American Pharoah is used to playing the role of the betting favorite and will again in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.

The early Kentucky Derby favorite since last fall, the colt did not disappoint in the Run for the Roses, posting a one length hard fought victory over Firing Line, returning his backers $7.80 for a $2 wager.

Now it is off to Baltimore for a rematch with Derby runner up Firing Line and third place finisher Dortmund in the Preakness, with American Pharoah seeking to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive.

The colt will be a short price, likely around even money when the gates spring open. Preakness favorites have fared quite well in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

In fact, the Hall of Famer Baffert has sent three Kentucky Derby winners to Baltimore and they all won the Preakness –Silver Charm in 1997, Real Quiet in 1998 and War Emblem in 2002. In addition, Baffert won the Preakness with Point Given in 2001 and Lookin At Lucky in 2010.

The biggest price among his five Preakness winners was Silver Charm, who returned $8.20 for the victory.

While the average price of the Derby winner over the past three decades is $28, the average winning payoff during that same time in the Preakness is just under $11.

That bodes well for American Pharoah, who will come into the Preakness riding a five race winning streak. The colt has not lost since running fifth in his debut race last August at Del Mar.

History favors American Pharoah winning the Preakness and having a tougher time in New York in the Belmont Stakes, but the colt will face a stiff challenge at Pimlico.

Firing Line ran a game second, battling for the early lead and hanging in until the deep stretch when the winner finally got the best of him late. The colt has shown he is up for a fight, hooking up with Dortmund in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) and Robert B. Lewis (G3), but coming up a head short in both of those races.

Dortmund suffered his first career defeat in the Kentucky Derby after starting his career with six consecutive wins.

The shorter distance of the Preakness may play in his favor. The colt was game in the stretch until the final 100 yards where he weakened to finish three lengths behind the winner.

The top three will garner most of the attention at the betting windows. Among the new shooters that did not run in the Kentucky Derby, Lexington Stakes (G3) winner Divining Rod and Pat Day Mile (G3) winner Competitive Edge are the top two contenders.

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