2022 Preakness Stakes Weekend Odds, Bets Bets: Our Top Picks & Exotic Wagers for Friday’s 6 Stakes Races, Including Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (May 20)

2022 Preakness Stakes Weekend Odds, Bets Bets: Our Top Picks & Exotic Wagers for Friday’s 6 Stakes Races, Including Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (May 20) article feature image

Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Champion Rombauer, who won the 2021 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

Almost two weeks removed from one of the biggest upsets in Kentucky Derby history, we head east for this weekend's exciting Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Longshot Rich Strike, who went off at 80-1 odds, became the second-longest shot to triumph in the annual "Run for the Roses" when he edged runner-up Epicenter and third-place finisher Zandon to earn the stunning victory in the May 7 race at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

The Preakness, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown, takes place Saturday, but first we have some other major order of business on the docket Friday at Pimlico with a loaded 14-race card highlighted by six stakes races.

The program culminates with the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, which will feature 13 of the top 3-year-old fillies running a 1 1/8 miles on the dirt track.

Action Network handicapper Mike Conti has broken down Friday's slate of competitive races, unveiling his top picks and exotic wagers on the first set of races in a busy two-day schedule.

As for the television schedule, the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is slated for a 5:44 p.m. ET post time and will air live on USA Network. That telecast from Pimlico runs from 5-6 p.m. ET for the featured event. Full coverage of the day's racing takes place from 12:30 p.m. to  5:30 p.m. ET on FS2.

That said, let's take a look at where he's landed with his favorite bets.

Our Top Picks for Friday's Card

*(Races 8-13)

Race 8 — Allair Du Pont Distaff Stakes

Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

Surface: Dirt

Post Time: 3:05 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 1 Exotic West (3-1) comes in off two consecutive wins at Aqueduct, both times topping her previous best Beyer Speed figures. She will be able to sit a nice, stalking trip against what appears to likely be a hot pace. Jockey Javier Castellano stays in the irons after her last win. He and trainer Gary Sciacca are have teamed up to win 36% of their time together.

Conti's BetsNo. 1 Exotic West (3-1)

Pick 3: 1 | 4,6 | 2,5,6

Race 9 — Hilltop Stakes

Distance: One Mile

Surface: Turf

Post Time: 3:36 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 6 Diamond Hands (6-1) broke her maiden last time out back in November. In a race without much pace, she appears to be one of, if not, the fastest horses in here. With her speed and the lack of pace, she might just be able to take this field gate to wire. She’s also getting Lasix for the first time.

Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering

No. 4 Pizza Bianca (4-5) has two wins and two seconds from four career starts. The only horse in the field to win a graded stakes race, she's primed to fire second off the layoff. That said, it’s known that this is just another prep event before Royal Ascot, so are we going to see her at her best or is this just an enhanced workout?

Conti's Bets: No. 6 Diamond Hands (6-1)

Pick 5 — 4,6 | 2,5,6 | 2,10,12 | 1 | 3,7,9,10

Pictured: A woman wears A hat adorned with black-eyed Susan flowers at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Photo credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images.

Race 10 — Miss Preakness Stakes

Distance: Six Furlongs

Surface: Dirt

Post Time: 4:07 p.m. ET

The Pick

No. 5 Saucy Lady T (5-1) hasn’t won since her maiden victory in April last year, but has run against some of the best 2-year-old fillies in the country since then. This will be her first start as a 3-year-old and if she’s able to take a step forward she stands a big chance. There’s more than enough pace for her to run into, so look for her to be flying late.

Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering

No. 6 Happy Soul (5-2) caught a wet track and stretched out in her last start. She gets backs to a distance she knows and likes. In addition, she’s a perfect 3 for 3 over a fast track. And with no rain in the forecast, it looks like she will get exactly that kind of situation. Happy Soul has proven she doesn’t need the lead, so she should sit a stalking trip.

No. 2 Under the Stars (8-5) is also cutting back to a distance she seemingly prefers. If you draw a line through her last race, which is easy to do because she stumbled at the start, she’s run the most consistent and fastest Beyer Speed figures in this field. She also gets jockey Flavien Prat back aboard.

Conti's Bets: Win — No. 5 Saucy Lady T (8-1)
Exacta: 5 | 2,6
Pick 3: 2,5,6 | 2,10,12 | 1

Race 11 — The Very One Stakes

Distance: Five Furlongs

Surface: Turf

Post Time: 4:38 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 10 Payntdembluesaway (3-1) has nine wins from 15 starts on the turf, with all nine at this distance. We will know at first call whether or not she’s the likely winner, as she’s been sitting either first or second in her last six victories. On top of that, she has some of the best, most consistent Beyer Speed figures.

Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering

No. 2 Honey Pants (5-2) is coming in off an impressive victory last time out at Gulfstream Park. She rode the rail, tipped out on the turn and won without being asked much throughout the stretch. If she’s able to take a step forward off that performance, she’s a serious contender.

No. 12 Adelaide Miss (10-1) has two starts over the Pimlico turf course, finishing second and first, respectively. While her outside post isn’t ideal, she has enough speed that it might not be a problem. Trainer Brittany Russell is 32% when going from routes to sprints, plus she and jockey Jevian Toledo are winning at a 45% clip during the meet.

Conti's BetsWin — No. 10 Payntdembluesaway (3-1)
Exacta — 10 over 2,12

Race 12 — Pimlico Special Stakes

Distance: 1 3/16 Miles

Surface: Dirt

Post Time: 5:10 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 1 Vindictive (2-1) is making the second start of his 4-year-old season. He won last time out off a four-month layoff and appears to be in top form. With some of the best Beyer Speed figures in this field to go along with his stalking style, he will be tough to beat.

Conti's Bets: No. 1 Vindictive (2-1)

Get to know the field of fillies set to compete this Friday in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes @PimlicoRC!

Stay with @TVG all week long for full team coverage!
Friday, Race 13, 5:44PM ET pic.twitter.com/EP0gttS3G9

— TVG (@TVG) May 18, 2022

Race 13 — Black-Eyes Susan Stakes

Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

Surface: Dirt

Post Time: 5:44 p.m. ET

Top Pick

No. 3 Miss Yearwood (20-1): Yes, you read that right. I like a 20-1 longshot to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Last time out, she won for fun, granted it was against maidens. However, she appears to be coming into her own as a 3-year-old standout.

She’s paired her Beyer Speed figures from her first two starts as a 3-year-old and she could be sitting a huge race. And there's enough pace in here that she should be picking up the pieces late at a big price.

Pictured: Jockey Julien Leparoux, who will ride Miss Yearwood in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Photo credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering

No. 7 Distinctlypossible (6-1) is another one coming in off a maiden win, where she beat #Miss Yearwood last time out. This will be Distinctlypossible’s second start off of the layoff. If she can improve from that winning effort, she stands a big chance. The daughter of Curlin was purchased for $670,000 and should have no issues getting the distance.

No. 10 Adare Manor (5-2) ran them off their feet on two separate occasions earlier this year at Santa Anita Park. The problem is, she didn’t face much in either of those spots. And while she only missed by a neck last time out, again it wasn’t the toughest field. That said, she is the class of the race and must be respected.

No. 9 Interstatedaydream (6-1) hasn’t missed the board in four career starts. Last time out, she faced Kentucky Oaks runner-up Nest, who was just too much for her that day. Other than the fact Nest was too good in that race, Interstatedaydream might not have liked the wet track that day, which shouldn’t be issue for this event.

Interstatedaydream has been training lights out heading into the race, so she is one you can't leave off your tickets.

Conti's Bets: Win — No. 3 Miss Yearwood (20-1)

Exacta Box — 3 | 7 | 9 | 10

2022 Black-Eyed Susan Odds

1Divine Huntress15-1
2Missy Greer20-1
3Miss Yearwood20-1
4Midnight Stroll15-1
6Luna Belle9-2
8Candy Light20-1
10Adare Manor5-2
11Radio Days12-1
13Morning Matcha20-1

2022 Preakness Odds

2Creative Minister10-1
4Secret Oath9-2
5Early Voting7-2
6Happy Jack30-1

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