Saturday Best Bets for the 2020 Preakness Stakes: Top Picks, Longshots for Exotics & More (Oct. 3)
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- Looking for a few longshot horses, top picks, and exotics to bet at the Preakness? We've got you covered.
- Our horse-racing experts deliver their best best and longshots for the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The 2020 Preakness Stakes takes place Saturday, with post time scheduled for 5:36 p.m. ET, and TwinSpires is putting together a special promotion for the show at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Our horse-racing experts — Jeremy Pond and Sean Zerillo — give their best bets and longshot plays for the Preakness, plus provide some interesting picks on the Pimlico undercard.
Let’s take a look:
Best Bets to Win
No. 3 Art Collector (5-2)
The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Ellis Park Derby winner enters the Preakness fresh and ready to roll. The 3-year-old bay colt picked up a minor foot injury and missed the Kentucky Derby, where he would have likely gone off as the second betting choice to runner-up Tiz The Law.
Art Collector, who is a perfect 4-for-4 this year, was fantastic in his lead-up to the annual “Run for the Roses,” so the horse’s connections are going to be pumped for this race.
Trainer Tom Drury Jr. has to be relishing the fact Art Collector is well rested off the eight-week layoff, which clearly gives him a fitness advantage in the 1-1/8 mile race.
The other thing that has me fired up about this live contender? His daddy, Bernardini, won the 2006 Preakness, so another win in the family bloodline would be magical.
With all that said, I truly think Art Collector is going to be wearing the blanket of Black-eyed Susans in the winner’s circle following Saturday’s race. Authentic was able to dictate everything from start to finish in the Derby but won’t have that luxury with Art Collector in the mix.
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will have Art Collector forwardly placed alongside Authentic, with my belief being the more rested contender will prevail as they head down the stretch.
No. 9 Authentic (9-5):
I was high on Authentic’s talent as a horse, but skeptical of his ability to get the extra furlong in the Kentucky Derby after flattening out at the end of the Haskell in July. Obviously, he answered the distance question in the Derby — holding off Tiz the Law and everyone else in the stretch — to become the first wire-to-wire Derby winner since 2002.
Authentic enters the Preakness on the strength of a lifetime-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure, followed by consecutive bullet workouts (1st of 37 and 1st of 38) on September 19th and 28th. He couldn’t be in better shape or competing at a more ideal distance. Having Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert in his corner doesn’t hurt either. He is going for a record eighth Preakness win, while looking to maintain an unbeaten record (5-0) at Pimlico with Derby winners.
The favorite should face more pace pressure up front in the Preakness, relative to his Derby run, but he is the clear choice over No. 3 Art Collector (5-2) at a similar price given the latter’s nagging foot issue, despite comparable speed figures (100, 103, 102 last three races).
No. 10 Pneumatic (20-1)
Meet the overlay of the entire Preakness field.
Bottom line, this horse might not have the résumé of some of the others in the field, but there’s no way he should go off at these kind of odds.
Trainer Steve Asmussen and the horse’s connections skipped the Derby, specifically pinpointing the 3-year-old son of champion sire Uncle Mo for the Preakness. Pneumatic, who finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes, enters the race off a solid win in the 1 1/16-mile TVG.com Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park and seems to run his best after that kind of lengthy hiatus.
If you’re into numbers, Pneumatic has a career-best 113 Equibase Speed Figure, which is more than good enough to compete with this group.
Expect jockey Joe Bravo to have Pneumatic stalking the pace — aka laying close to the leaders — before they make their move approaching the far turn.
Pneumatic is a must-use in your exacta/trifecta/superfecta wagers, but he could shock the field and pull off a stunning upset if works out a perfect trip.
No. 10 Pneumatic (20-1)
Asmussen has three entries, but my favorite 3-year-old in his barn remains Pneumatic, who recorded a 98 Beyer speed figure in his win in the Pegasus on August 15. This lightly raced colt is back to trending in the right direction after a solid — yet, unspectacular — fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (88 Beyer), when he was also my favorite longshot selection.
There should be a solid pace for Pneumatic to run behind, and if he is able to work out a midpack trip and avoid traffic, he could kick his way into the exacta, ahead of his more popular stablemate No. 8 Max Player, who is at 15-1 odds.
Best Undercard Bet
Race 10: Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (Grade 2)
No. 5 Bonny South (7-5): The morning-line favorite is coming into this 1 1/8-mile race on the dirt track off a second-place effort in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. That finish was nothing to be ashamed of, considering the fact she finished behind Preakness entry Swiss Skydiver.
Trainer Brad Cox has to be excited about his charge’s chances after she earned a race-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure in the Alabama, which is far better than the numbers her competition has achieved entering this race.
I am betting Bonny South across the board in my Win-Place-Show wagering, then boxing her in an exacta with No. 8 Hopeful Growth, No. 10 Landing Zone and No. 9 Miss Marissa as my top exotic wager.
Race 2: No. 3 She’sonthewarpath (7-2); and Race 5: No. 1 Ain’t No Elmers (7-2)
Cox has the top selections both in both Race 2 and Race 5 — the Gallorette (G-3) and Miss Preakness (G-3) — and I think both favorites are worth trying to beat.
In the Gallorette, the No. 1 Juliet Foxtrot (7-5) is on a six-race losing streak, while the She’sonthewartpath has won three of her five starts in 2020.
In the Miss Preakness, the No. 5 Mundaye Call (7-5) could engage and tire out in an early pace duel with the No. 3 Fly on Angel (8-1), leaving Ain’t No Elmers in a perfect stalking position to blow by both horses in the stretch.
She appears to have found her preferred racing style for trainer Bret Calhoun, who owns a 32% win rate ($3.67 ROI) in graded stakes.