With the race set for Saturday in Baltimore, Improbable leads the way as a +225 favorite on the 2019 Preakness Stakes odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Bob Baffert-trained colt has struggled since making his graded stakes race debut with a victory at the Los Alamitos Futurity, coming up short in three straight races ahead of the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
With jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, Improbable finished a disappointing fourth as a +500 wager at the Kentucky Derby after coming in second in both the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby.
However, Improbable should benefit from a change in jockey and a favorable draw. Baffert has enlisted veteran Mike E. Smith as Improbable’s rider for Saturday’s race, starting from the four-gate, which has produced 13 Preakness Stakes winners since 1909.
Smith also has enjoyed previous success at Pimlico, most notably a year ago when he rode Justify to victory on his way to a Triple Crown win. The 53-year-old also found the winner’s circle at the 1993 Preakness Stakes aboard Prairie Bayou, and has nine career American Classics wins to his credit.
Improbable is trailed on the Preakness Stakes odds by War of Will, who sits second at +350, well ahead of Alwaysmining at +600, Anothertwistafate at +700, and Bourbon War at +800.
War of Will will have a lot to prove after his impressive run at the Kentucky Derby was disrupted by the foul that led to the disqualification of Maximum Security. Trained by Mark Casse, the three-year-old colt was forced to settle for a seventh-place finish at the Run for the Roses as a +1800 wager, marking his second straight disappointing outing after finishing a distant ninth at the Louisiana Derby.
However, War of Will enjoyed a fortunate Preakness Stakes draw and will start in his preferred position on the rail, which has produced 11 winners with Triple Crown champion American Pharoah most recently running to victory from the one-gate four years ago.
Starting from the seven-gate, which proved beneficial to Justify a year ago, Alwaysmining will be looking to tally a sixth straight victory Saturday evening. With jockey Daniel Centeno aboard, Alwaysmining earned the win at the Federico Tesio last time out, with the 1-1/8 mile race marking the longest run of his 10-event career.
Owendale sits at +1000 on the horse racing odds for the Preakness Stakes, ahead of Warrior’s Charge and Win Win Win at +1200, while Bodexpress hopes to improve on a 13th-place Kentucky Derby finish as a +2000 bet this weekend.