Preakness Stakes Horses 2023: Post Position Draw, Field Overview, First Mission Scratched

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The Preakness Stakes represents the second leg of the American Triple Crown and is held each year at the historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The race is contested over 1 3/16-miles, slightly shorter than the 10-furlong distance of the Kentucky Derby, and is held two weeks after Run for the Roses.

The 148th Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday, May 20. Mage joined 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify as the only unraced 2-year-olds to win the Kentucky Derby since Apollo in 1882. Mage leads a field of seven now set to run in the Preakness and is the only horse to have run in the Derby entered in Saturday’s race.

The 2023 Preakness Stakes field received a major shake up on Friday morning when it was announced that First Mission, who was considered the biggest threat to Mage, was being scratched due to a left hind issue. First Mission had been deemed the 5-to-2 second choice on the morning line and was drawn in the outside post No. 8.

In this Preakness Stakes betting guide, we offer an overview of the top contenders and the entire field after Monday’s post-position draw.

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2023 Preakness Stakes Field: Post Positions, Odds, Jockeys, Trainers

Here is the list of the Preakness Stakes contenders set to start, including their post positions, jockeys, trainers, and morning-line odds. The morning line was revised on Friday following the scratch of First Mission. Click on a horse’s odds to visit FanDuel Racing and place your $20 No Sweat Preakness bet.

🐎 Post PositionTrainerJockeyMorning Line Odds (Revised - original ML in parentheses)
1. National Treasure Bob BaffertJohn Velazquez3-1 (4-1)
2. Chase the Chaos Ed Moger, Jr. Sheldon Russell30-1 (50-1)
3. MageGustavo DelgadoJavier Castellano4-5 (8-5)
4. CoffeewithchrisJohn Salzman, Jr. Jaime Rodriguez20-1 (20-1)
5. Red Route One Steve AsmussenJoel Rosario8-1 (10-1)
6. Perform Shug McGaughey Feargal Lynch12-1 (15-1)
7. Blazing Sevens Chad BrownIrad Ortiz, Jr. 5-1 (6-1)
SCRATCHED 8. First Mission Brad CoxLuis SaezSCRATCHED

Who is the Preakness Stakes Favorite?

Following his victory in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, Mage was deemed the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the 2023 Preakness Stakes – though his odds were later revised to 4-to-5 with the scratch of First Mission. The son of Good Magic joined Triple Crown winner Justify and 2008 Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown as the only horses to capture the Derby off only three lifetime starts since the filly Regret in 1915.

In the Kentucky Derby, Mage collared Two Phil’s in midstretch and went on to win the 149th running of the classic by one length.

“Just because of the fact that he has only four starts, and usually (horses) tend to get better with races, especially after the third, fourth, I think he has good momentum,” said Gustavo Delgado Jr., son of and assistant to his father, trainer Gustavo Delgado. “That gives us confidence.”

Delgado has only started one horse in the Preakness. In 2019, Delgado ran Bodexpress in the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown where he unseated jockey John Velazquez leaving the gate.

Mage was purchased in Maryland for $290,000 out of the at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training sale held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium a couple of days after last year’s Preakness.

Get to Know the Field for the 2023 Preakness Stakes

Two weeks after Kentucky Derby in just his fourth career start, Mage will try and secure the second leg of the Triple Crown when he headlines a field of 7  in the Preakness Stakes. Mage is the only horse who ran in this year’s Kentucky Derby who is wheeling back in two weeks to start in the Preakness.

First Mission, winner of the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes in his most recent start, was considered the top threat to Mage but the son of Street Sense was scratched from the Preakness field on Friday morning after his connections consulted with the 1/ST veterinary team. First Mission’s defection reduces the field to seven, the shortest Preakness field since 1986.

Below, we analyze why each Preakness Stakes entrant can win and why each has questions that need to be answered if they hope to capture the Woodlawn Vase on May 20.

PP. 1 National Treasure (Bay colt)

  • Sire: Quality Road
  • Dam: Treasure, by Medaglia d’Oro
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Owners: SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, et al.
  • Jockey:  John Velazquez
  • Record and earnings: 5-1-1-2, $345,000
  • Morning Line Odds: 3-to-1
  • Last Race: Fourth in Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby
  • Why You Should Bet Him: National Treasure hasn’t been worse than fourth in his career and his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won the Preakness a record-tying seven times with his most recent victory coming in 2018 with eventual Triple Crown winner Justify.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: Baffert has never won the Preakness with a horse who didn’t start in the Kentucky Derby and National Treasure’s only career victory came when he broke his maiden at Del Mar last September.
  • What They’re Saying: “This is a horse we’ve always been high on. He lost some training time ahead of the Santa Anita Derby, but he’s been working well since. The Preakness distance shouldn’t be a problem.” – Trainer Bob Baffert
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PP. 2 Chase the Chaos (Bay gelding)

  • Sire: Astern (AUS)
  • Dam: Live The Moment, by Uncle Mo
  • Trainer: Ed Moger, Jr.
  • Owners: Adam Ference and Bill Dory
  • Jockey: Sheldon Russell
  • Record and earnings: 8-3-2-1, $123,950
  • Morning Line Odds: 30-to-1
  • Last Race: Eighth in the California Derby.
  • Why You Should Bet Him: After finishing in the top three in the first five starts of his career, including a pair of wins, Chase the Chaos earned a fees-paid berth into the Preakness Stakes with a victory in the El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 11 at Golden Gate Fields. He then ran seventh in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) on dirt on March 4 and was found to have an exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: Was no threat when finishing eighth of nine as the favorite in the California Derby against a class of horses which pale compared to what he will face in the Preakness.
  • What They’re Saying: “He’s a picture of health. He looks great. I know he didn’t run very good the last couple of times, but I still really like the horse. I really think he could have a shot. He’s a talented horse. Real strong.” – Trainer Ed Moger, Jr.

PP. 3 Mage (Chestnut colt)

  • Sire: Good Magic
  • Dam: Puca, by Big Brown
  • Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
  • Owners: OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, et al.
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Record and earnings: 4-2-1-0, $2,107,200
  • Morning Line Odds: 4-to-5
  • Last Race: Won Kentucky Derby by one length.
  • Why You Should Bet Him: The potential he showed when he ran second to champion Forte in the Florida Derby (G1) in just his third career start proved no aberration as he surged down the stretch to capture the Run for the Roses. It takes some measure of talent to join the ranks of Justify (2018), Big Brown (2008), and Regret (1915) as the only horses to win the Kentucky Derby off only three lifetime starts. And the contenders Mage is set to face in the Preakness don’t collectively boast resumes that make one think the son of Violence is in for a stiffer test than what he faced on the first Saturday in May.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: How he recovers after running the race of his life two weeks ago is the main question.
  • What They’re Saying: “(Exercise rider J.J. Delgado) said he hasn’t lost any luster from his pre-Kentucky Derby training. He feels a lot of horse under him. The horse is just thriving right now. J.J. – who we trust so much because he’s the F1 practice driver; he’s in the cockpit – feels the horse is just full of himself. He hasn’t missed any meals. He hasn’t missed any shredded carrots or mints. Everything you could ask for he’s given us all the green lights.” – co-owner Ramiro Restrepo

PP. 4 Coffeewithchris (Day bay gelding)

  • Sire: Ride On Curlin
  • Dam: Andiemac, by Outflanker
  • Trainer: John Salzman, Jr.
  • Owners: John Salzman, Jr., Fred Wasserloos, Anthony Geruso
  • Jockey: Jaime Rodriguez
  • Record and earnings: 12-3-3-2, $225,600
  • Morning Line Odds: 20-to-1
  • Last Race: Fifth in the Federico Tesio Stakes.
  • Why You Should Bet Him: He owns a win at Pimilco when he was elevated to victory via disqualification in his maiden triumph last May.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: Given that Coffeewithchris couldn’t hit the board in the Tesio, one would have to think a whole lot of things would have to go sideways with several Preakness contenders for this gelding to become the first Maryland-bred winner of the Preakness Stakes since Deputed Testamony in 1983.
  • What They’re Saying: “Our plan was to run in the Preakness. We were hoping to win the Tesio. The biggest thing is coming up with the money sometimes. I’m a poor working guy. Thirty thousand is a lot of money. I worked it out to come up with the funds to take a chance. I don’t get to take a chance very often.” – Trainer John Salzman Jr.

PP. 5 Red Route One (Chestnut colt)

  • Sire: Gun Runner
  • Dam: Red House, by Tapit
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Record and earnings: 9-2-2-1, $631,575
  • Morning Line Odds: 8-to-1
  • Last Race: Won Bath House Row Stakes
  • Why You Should Bet Him: A near clone of his sire Gun Runner, Red Route One is one of the most seasoned members of his division with nine starts already to his credit. He rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby by earning a fees-paid berth into the Preakness with a victory in the 1 1/8-miles Bath House Row Stakes at Oaklawn on April 22.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: Red Route One is 0-for-6 against graded stakes company  and his only other career win came when he broke his maiden on the turf at Kentucky Downs.
  • What They’re Saying: “Red Route One is a horse that ran decent in the preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby until the Arkansas Derby. That didn’t go his way that day. He rebounded with a nice win in the ‘win-and-you’re-in’ Bath House. He is a horse that will appreciate more ground, (but) we’re very concerned about the lack of pace that is obvious in the Preakness.” – Trainer Steve Asmussen

PP. 6 Perform (Bay colt)

  • Sire: Good Magic
  • Dam: Jane Says, by Tale of Ekati
  • Trainer: Shug McGaughey
  • Owners: Woodford Racing, Lane’s End Farm, Phipps Stable, et al.
  • Jockey: Feargal Lynch
  • Record and earnings: 7-2-1-1, $130,956
  • Morning Line Odds: 12-to-1
  • Last Race: Won Federico Tesio Stakes by a head.
  • Why You Should Bet Him: Perform’s connections paid $150,000 to supplement him into the field for the Preakness, a move that speaks to their level of confidence in his ability. Perform steps up to the graded ranks off a determined victory in the nine-furlong Federico Tesio on April 15 where he stumbled at the break and rallied from as far as 10 lengths off the pace to roll home late.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: The Tesio was only his second career win although his previous loss all came at distances of one mile or shorter.
  • What They’re Saying: “I think the distance is a big thing and the two turns is a big thing. I thought he was a sprinter (as a 2-year-old) and I ran him on 4th of July weekend where he ran second. I was a little bit disappointed in his races after that. But I think the sprint races helped get him to the long races.” – Trainer Shug McGaughey

PP. 7 Blazing Sevens (Dark bay colt)

  • Sire: Good Magic
  • Dam: Trophy Girl, Warrior’s Reward
  • Trainer: Chad Brown
  • Owner: Rodeo Creek Racing
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  • Record and earnings: 6-2-0-2, $565,250
  • Morning Line Odds: 5-to-1
  • Last Race: Third in Blue Grass Stakes
  • Why You Should Bet Him: Trainer Chad Brown has had tremendous success with bypassing the Kentucky Derby with horses who could have made the field and getting them right for a Preakness triumph. He worked that formula to perfection with Cloud Computing in 2017 and again with Early Voting last year. Brown will try and do the same this weekend with Grade 1 winner Blazing Sevens.
  • Why You Should Save Your Money: Blazing Sevens has yet to recapture the form that allowed him to win the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes last October and he has lost his last three starts. He was third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) but was well beaten that day, finishing 5 3/4-lengths behind the top two.
  • What They’re Saying: “(Blazing Sevens) is coming into the race fresh. He is coming in with a full tank of gas. Off his most recent work I see him moving forward off the Blue Grass. The horse is as good as I have ever seen him. I needed to see the horse really move forward and to see him at his very best. That is what I am seeing.” – Trainer Chad Brown

SCRATCHED – PP. 8 First Mission (Bay colt)

 

How Can I Bet On the Preakness Stakes?

If you’re looking to place a bet on the 2023 Preakness Stakes, you can sign up with one of the top horse betting apps and take advantage of the bonuses and promotions offered in states where they are legal.

FanDuel Racing is a market leader among apps in the horse betting space, and it has the distinction of being the first legal horse racing app in the US. FanDuel Racing is an official wagering partner of all three Triple Crown races: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

To celebrate, FanDuel is offering a “$20 No Sweat Preakness Bet” on the 2023 Preakness Stakes to all new and existing sportsbook and DFS customers. Place your first win bet up to $20 on a single horse to win the Preakness Stakes and get it back as a Racing Bonus within 24 hours if you don’t win. Preakness Stakes wagering opens Friday, May 19.

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In addition to wagering on a horse betting app, you can bet in person at Pimlico Race Course or at several off-track betting facilities around the country:

Maryland Simulcast Betting Facilities

  • Jockey Bar and Grille: 7700 Old National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
  • Greenmount Station: 1631 N. Main Street, Hampstead, MD 21074
  • Hollywood Casino Perryville: 1201 Chesapeake Overlook Pkwy, Perryville, MD 21903
  • Horseshoe Casino: 1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
  • Long Shot’s: 5400 Holiday Drive, Frederick, Md. 21703
  • MGM National Harbor Casino: 7100 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
  • Pimlico Race Course (when they are not racing live): Hayward Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21215
  • Riverboat on the Potomac: 301 Beach Terrace, Colonial Beach, VA 22443
  • Timonium Fair Grounds: 2200 York Road, Lutherville, MD 21093

Is Forte Running in the Preakness?

No, champion and Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite Forte is not running the Preakness.

After being scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby due to a bruised right foot, Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list as is the case with all Kentucky Horse Racing Commission veterinary scratches related to soundness. That ruling prevented Forte, who defeated Mage in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, from being entered in the Preakness Stakes.

Preakness History

The most celebrated Preakness winners are the 13 Triple Crown winners: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018). Last year’s Preakness Stakes was won by Early Voting, who bypassed the Kentucky Derby two weeks earlier. Early Voting provided owner Seth Klarman, who grew up in Baltimore a few blocks from Pimlico, and trainer Chad Brown with a second win in the Preakness, having previously captured the race in 2017 with Cloud Computing.

Odds of Past Preakness Stakes Winners

The Preakness Stakes can offer great value for bettors. Here are the top 10 highest odds of past Preakness victors:

  • Master Derby (23-to-1 in 1975)
  • Coventry (21-to-1 in 1925)
  • Display (19-to-1 in 1926)
  • Bee Bee Bee (18-to-1 in 1972)
  • Oxbow (15-to-1 in 2013)
  • Hindus (15-to-1 in 1900)
  • Don Enrique (15-to-1 in 1907)
  • Deputed Testamony (14-to-1 in 1983)
  • Cloud Computing (13-to-1 in 2017)
  • Bernardini (12-to-1 in 2006)
About the Author
Alicia Hughes

Alicia Hughes

Senior Writer
Alicia Hughes is a senior writer and award-winning horse racing journalist at Gaming Today. She previously served as a digital content editor for TVG and racing editor for The Blood-Horse following 12 years at the Lexington Herald-Leader. A graduate of Pace University in New York and a diehard New Jersey Devils fan, Hughes is a past president of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association.

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