‘New Shooters’ Out To End Mage’s Triple Crown Bid At 2023 Preakness Stakes

Written By Fairway Jay on May 19, 2023
Preakness Stakes 2023 Preview

The 148th running of the Preakness Stakes will be the most watched and wagered horse racing event for Maryland sports bettors. The second-leg of the Triple Crown takes place on Saturday, May 20 and the 1 3/16 mile Preakness Stakes is Race 13 with post time at 7:01 p.m. ET from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Ahead of the Preakness and the 10 stakes races Saturday at Pimlico, fans can bet on horse racing Friday with six other stakes races including the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Of course the sports betting and action is just starting with fashion, cocktails and watch parties beyond just horse racing. If you can’t see the Preakness in person then pony-up to the party as we fill you in on what to watch and wager on for the 2023 Preakness Stakes.

Preakness Stakes odds

The post-position draw for the Preakness Stakes was held on Monday. Here are the results, along with the morning line odds:

Post PositionHorseTrainerJockeyPreakness Odds
1National TreasureBob BaffertJohn Velazquez3-1
2Chase the ChaosEd Moger Jr.Sheldon Russell30-1
3MageGustavo DelgadoJavier Castellano4-5
4CoffeeWithChrisJohn E. Salzman Jr.Jamie Rodriguez20-1
5Red Route OneSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario8-1
6PerformClaude McGuagheyFeargal Lynch12-1
7Blazing SevensChad BrownIrad Ortiz Jr.5-1
ScratchedFirst MissionBrad CoxLuis SaezSCR

Top contenders in the 2023 Preakness Stakes

This year’s Preakness drew eight runners and all are 3-year-old colts. Just one horse comes out of the Kentucky Derby, and it’s the Derby winner and Preakness favorite, Mage. The other horses are “new shooters”, or horses that did not race in the Kentucky Derby.

Mage was unraced as a 2-year-old and has blossomed and improved during his sophomore season. He’s finished second in the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby and then won the 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby at 15/1 odds getting a faster-than-expected pace. Mage unleashed a powerful drive down the lane to capture the Run for the Roses with the best speed figure of any horse he’ll face in the Preakness. The obvious favorite, but there is no value on Mage, as jockey Javier Castellano rides him for the third time looking for a little better break but using his closing style to win again.

National Treasure has already raced in four graded stakes, but is winless in those starts. He did finish in-the-money in three and was fourth last month in the 1 1/8 mile Santa Anita Derby. Hall of Fame jockey Velazquez rides again for trainer Bob Baffert, who shares the Preakness record with seven victories. National Treasure’s speed and energy reserve index ratings are favorable when compared with the numbers put up by Mage and First Mission, and he will offer greater value in the process. 

Blazing Sevens is trained by Chad Brown, whose horses won this race last year and in 2017. Blazing Sevens did win a Grade 1 race last October, but he’s winless in two starts as a 3-year-old this year with a best finish of a distant third in the weaker edition of the 1 1/8 mile Blue Grass Stakes last month.

Red Route One has already raced nine times, but has not won any of his six graded stakes starts. He’s a son of the great Gun Runner, and Red Route One did win a 1 1/8 mile minor stakes last month in a photo finish at Oaklawn Park after finishing sixth the previous race in the 1 1/8 mile Arkansas Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen watched top stretch rider and jockey Joel Rosario bring him home from off the pace with his best speed figure yet in winning the minor Bath House Stakes last month. He could move forward again as he’s done in his recent starts, but there is a critical mid-race speed figure that’s lacking to consider him the winner.

Perform is another longshot who took six races to break his maiden in March and then won a 1 1/8 mile minor stakes last month at Laurel Park with his best speed figure. Perform has the same sire as Mage — 2018 Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic, who also finished within one length of Triple Crown winner Justify in the Preakness.

Coffeewithchris is a Maryland-based horse that has raced 12 times and broke his maiden at Pimlico a year ago. His last six races were in minor stakes and he won twice with his last in February. Coffeewithchris finished nearly three lengths behind winner Perform last month in the Federico Tesio Stakes. Coffee the colt will need plenty of extra caffeine and juice as the Preakness pacesetter to hold off the top challengers.

Chase the Chaos is way overmatched.

First Mission was scratched at the advice of veterinarians early Friday morning.

All of that said, keep in mind that five of the last 12 winners of the Preakness closed with parimutuel odds of 10/1 or greater.

Photo by Julio Cortez / Associated Press
Fairway Jay Avatar
Written by
Fairway Jay

FairwayJay is a leading sports betting analyst, writer and reporter for the PlayUSA Network and other leading national brands. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, betting and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for two decades.

View all posts by Fairway Jay
Privacy Policy