Preakness sets record handle

May 22, 2018 3:00 AM

Despite dismal weather, wagering on the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday was a record $61.97 million.

The handle total, which included all of the horizontal bets in the race, was up $600,000 over the previous record for the Preakness, set in 2016, and up 2.9 percent over 2017. This year, eight horses ran in the Preakness, including the one-two finishers in the Kentucky Derby, Justify and Good Magic. Ten horses competed in the run for the Black-Eyed Susans last year.

The Preakness betting record was set despite the soaked conditions and the lack of large, competitive fields. The average field size was 6.6 horses, down 2.3 horses from last year’s card, yet total handle was $93.66 million, third-best all time for a Preakness card, reports the Daily Racing Form.

Bob Baffert-trainee Justify won the race at 2-5 with Mike Smith in the irons and the trio is set to try and complete a Triple Crown effort Saturday, June 9 at Belmont Park in New York.