Preakness Stakes Breakdown

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The second leg of the "Triple Crown" is set and the field is ready for the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes!

Preakness Stakes ML Odds

2019 Breakdown
PP - Horse ML Odds Jockey (Preakness Record) Trainer (Preakness Record)
1 – War of Will 4/1 Tyler Gaffalione (Debut) Mark Casse (0-4)
Notes: Boy, has he been on some roller coaster ride this year. Before his debacle in the Louisiana Derby when his three-race win streak was snapped, there was a good chance he was going to be the Kentucky Derby favorite. But he came out of that hurt. And then he was fine. And then he was training great. And then he drew the rail. End of story, right? Wrong. Gaffalione did a spectacular job working out a clean trip from the draw and was ready to make his move to the lead in the Kentucky Derby. And then………Look, we all know what went down. There are two camps. The first thinks he was never going by Maximum Security and that HE caused the problems and then there all the rational people like me who believe he was greatly affected and could have actually won. Either way, he showed up in Louisville off the six-week break and that spoke volumes to me. I think he has a big chance to win this and he’ll be on all of my tickets.
2 – Bourbon War 12/1 Irad Ortiz, Jr. (0-1) Mark Hennig (0-2)
Notes: I’ve liked this horse since the day he broke his maiden at Aqueduct last fall. He ran well in the Remsen just 17 days later, was good in his allowance score at Gulfstream and even better when his rally fell a bit short in the Fountain of Youth. He had no chance in the Florida Derby when the winner waltzed on the front end. Now, he has a bit of a freshening, gets a course more conducive to his late running style and some added distance. His jock doesn’t hurt either, or the addition of blinkers, which will hopefully make him a little keen and focused.
3 – Warrior’s Charge 12/1 Javier Castellano (2-7) Brad Cox (Debut)
Notes: Finished third in his first three tries from off the pace before putting it all together two back when his connections changed tactics and put him on the front end. Still eligible for a second level allowance contest and his pedigree does not suggest the extra furlong this offers over his last two tallies will do him any favors. I’ll pass.
4 – Improbable 5/2 Mike Smith (2-17) Bob Baffert (7-19)
Notes: I’ve watched the replay of the Derby from start to finish about a dozen times and the incident on the far turn around 50 more times. When you get a chance, do each one time and just focus on this horse. You’ll see what I see. He didn’t do one step of running. “Evenly” should be the short comment in the chart. What a non-effort. Now, he’s the morning line favorite, comes in for America’s Trainer and gets “Money” Mike. He will take boatloads of money. Not a dollar of it will be mine, save in a couple of “All” slots in trifectas. I know it can be hard to resist the temptation of just defaulting to this horse when you handicap the race but try. You’ll thank me later.
5 - Owendale 10/1 Florent Geroux (0-3) Brad Cox (Debut)
Notes: I’ve taken my fair share of shots at Geroux but that was a hell of a ride he gave this horse to win the Lexington. He put him in the perfect spot, pulled the trigger in the short-stretch of the 8.5 furlongs at Keeneland at just the right time and was able to last late. I do, however, feel that he was also the beneficiary of some bad racing luck for his rivals, namely the runner-up Anothertwistafate. I’m not certain he was best last time and the chances of him getting all of the breaks again are against him. A peripheral player, at best, for me.
6 – Market King 30/1 Jon Court (0-1) D. Wayne Lukas (6-43)
Notes: A gate scratch in the Pat Day Mile on the Derby undercard, he wasn’t even cleared to race in this until earlier this week as he was on the vet’s list. No thanks.
7 – Alwaysmining 8/1 Daniel Centeno (Debut) Kelly Rubley (Debut)
Notes: We haven’t seen a Maryland-bred win this in over three decades and Rubley would be the first female trainer to ever win a Triple Crown event. Combine that with his “local horse” status and you have an amazing, feel-good story that could steer the attention away from the Derby That Won’t End. Unfortunately, they run these races on the track and not with Mr. Rogers in the Land of Make Believe. He’s not facing the toughest Preakness field ever assembled but they’re killers compared to what he’s beaten, albeit, soundly. Bottom line is, he wins, I lose.
8 - Signalman 30/1 Brian Hernandez, Jr. (0-1) Ken McPeek (0-3)
Notes: Morning lines are a very tricky thing to make and for the most part it is a thankless job. But this is just stupid. This horse won’t be 30-1 and he shouldn’t be 30-1. He’s run one “bad” race and that was off of a three-month break over a short stretch run race at Gulfstream, hardly the place for a horse with his running style. He’s run well and been in the trifecta in his other six starts. He’s gaining ground at the end of most of his races, he’s making his third start off of the break and he’ll have plenty of pace to run into. A definite player, he’ll be included in all of my exotic plays and maybe even on a backup pick four ticket.
9 – Bodexpress 20/1 John Velazquez (0-8) Gustavo Delgado (Debut)
Notes: He found a little trouble in the Derby incident and gets a Hall of Fame rider for this but I’m sticking by my mantra: Maidens do not belong in these races!
10 – Everfast 50/1 Joel Rosario (0-5) Dale Romans (1-6)
Notes: He’s run three races in which he’s been competitive and seven where he has been noting more than an also-ran. Was a very late edition to the party on Wednesday. Not sure why. I wouldn’t use him with counterfeit cash.
11 – Laughing Fox 20/1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. (0-1) Steve Asmussen (2-8)
Notes: He is as sneaky a longshot as can be in this heat. He lost all chance at the start of the Rebel and didn’t love the slop in the Arkansas Derby. He’s won his other three starts this year in come-from-behind fashion and has plenty of pedigree to suggest the added distance will suit him. The two-week turnaround is my lone concern but his price more than makes up for it. Including him in all exotic plays and on a backup pick four ticket.
12 – Anothertwistafate 6/1 Jose Ortiz (0-2) Blaine Wright (-)
Notes: Sorry, but I’ve never understood the infatuation by many with this horse. He’s winless on dirt as all three of his scores have come against far inferior competition on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields. He ran well in the Sunland Derby and got himself into a tough spot in the Lexington but I don’t think those efforts will get it done here. I also feel he has plateaued while others in here have some blue sky. I wouldn’t be surprised if his rider, one of the best around on the front end, reverts back to the gate-to-wire strategy used in all three of his wins, which would seemingly make his job that much tougher. I’m against him.
13 – Win Win Win 15/1 Julian Pimentel (0-2) Mike Trombetta (0-1)
Notes: Wise guy handicappers and fans love to bet the bigger price of an uncoupled entry. Well, he’s “other” local horse. Took some money and had a buzz around him going into the Derby but he didn’t run a step after a pretty clean trip. Maybe it was as simple as him not handling the slop or maybe he’s just not that good. I’m siding with the latter.

Anthony “the Big A” Stabile can be heard regularly on the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6:00 p.m. ETon Wednesday and 3-7:00 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday. Tune in on Sirius 219, XM 201 or streaming live at He also is a contributor on NYRA-TV as the co-host of Talking Horses and a backup racetrack announcer. Follow him on Twitter @TheBigAStabile