Preakness Stakes Betting: War of Will Seeks Redemption

By now you have probably seen the replay of the Kentucky Derby (G1) more times than you care to count, and the connections of War of Will are hoping things go more smoothly in Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico. Here’s a look at the Preakness Stakes betting board for the weekend.

War of Will took the worst of it in the Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security veered over at the five-sixteenths, causing a chain reaction with War of Will getting interfered with and then starting some bumping that also affected Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy.

It looked as if jockey Tyler Gaffalione and War of Will might go down, but he righted his mount and appeared as if he was going to get back into the bit, but instead he weakened and backed up to finish eighth. He was placed seventh after the disqualification of Maximum Security.

War of Will was sent off at 16-1 in the Run for the Roses and came into the race off a dull ninth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds six weeks prior.

It is tough to win the Kentucky Derby off a six-week break, made even harder after War of Will did not get much out of his final prep race. The colt looked good winning the Risen Star (G2) and LeComte (G3) in his previous two starts.

With the top four that crossed the wire in the Kentucky Derby skipping the Preakness, War of Will has gone from being an outsider on the first Saturday of May to one of the major players in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. The colt is the second choice on the morning line at 4-1 on the Preakness Stakes betting board behind Improbable (5-2).

The colt seems certain to move forward off his Derby effort with a cleaner trip, which is no sure thing breaking from the rail post.

Preakness Stakes Betting: Improbable Rival for the Victory

His main rival is the Bob Baffert trained Improbable. Baffert is seeking his eighth Preakness win and third in five years. His previous two winners, American Pharoah and Justify, went on to win the Triple Crown.

Baffert started three in the Derby, but only Improbable wheels back on two weeks rest. The colt has not won in three starts this year after a perfect juvenile campaign where he won all three of his starts.

In the Derby the colt had to wait for some running room briefly losing a spot or two on the far turn and had a clear path in the stretch but could only make a mild bid to finish fifth (placed fourth), beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith getting aboard and Baffert calling the shots, the final price on Improbable could very well be on the short side on the Preakness Stakes betting lines.

One longshot to keep an eye on is Bourbon War, who did not make it into the Kentucky Derby. The colt was fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) in his last outing. He was unable to make up much ground in a race that lacked pace.

The effort was flattered with Maximum Security coming back to cross the wire first in the Kentucky Derby. The Mark Hennig trainee is worth a good look if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.

The Preakness Stakes is the 13th race with a post time of 6:48 ET. Pimlico has 14 races on an outstanding betting card, with first post at 10:30am ET.

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