It’s Preakness props prep time, as bettors get another angle to access the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The $1.5 million race is Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
Kentucky Derby-winning Mage attracts the biggest spotlight, as he tries to set up a Triple Crown sweep bid at the Belmont Stakes on June 10.
While he chases history in the Preakness, bettors can chase after winning prop bets.
Circa Sports in downtown Las Vegas is dealing odds on whether Mage will win the Preakness and Belmont to complete the 14th Triple Crown in history, pricing ‘No’ as the -890 favorite, with ‘Yes’ offered at +625 for the optimistic gambler.
More for Saturday: Get to Know 2023 Preakness Field | Preakness morning-line odds | Preakness Stakes Best Bets & Predictions | Preakness Exactas, Trifectas Superfectas
Matchup Props for 2023 Preakness
Circa has also unfurled a series of head-to-head matchups, which are appealing on a couple of levels.
One, they provide the A vs. B matchup similar to NASCAR and the PGA Tour, giving gamblers a potpourri of side-betting options. Bettors have flocked to this format, whether it’s matchups of two, three, or four performers in other sports.
Two, the props represent a side wagering platter. If Mage’s odds drift toward the unplayable line at post time, gamblers can use the props as their own set of races within the race.
Preakness Prop Odds & Picks
Here are several head-to-head Preakness props, with my selections.
Mage (-225) over National Treasure (+195)
These odds show the perceived dominance of the Kentucky Derby winner. Mage nearly beat Forte in the Florida Derby and is improving. The Bob Baffert-trained National Treasure was beaten by Forte and is still rounding into top form.
Both horses might end up in the Preakness trifecta, but Mage gets the nod head-to-head.
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Red Route One (+120) over Blazing Sevens (-140)
Small underdog. Red Route One runs better the longer he goes, especially in the slop. Spots the field 15-20 lengths and then tries to make it up.
Blazing Sevens managed a third in the Blue Grass Stakes, Red Route One was second in the Rebel Stakes. Which performance was better? We’ll find out.
The latest indications Friday morning are a decreasing chance of the rain that would help Red Route One by making the track sloppy. Monitor that.
Perform (-160) over Coffee With Chris (+140)
Perform won a minor Maryland stakes race with a miraculous rally. He is eligible to improve, especially against a horse on a similar level.
He is chasing one of the early speed horses, which is his concern here.
Coffee With Chris (-210) over Chase the Chaos (+180)
Here is the beauty of props. These horses are projected to be the bottom two of the Preakness field. Most bettors can’t make a dime on them.
But put the two have-nots in a prop, and what do you have? A potential bet.
When else can you see minus numbers for Coffee With Chris?
National Treasure (-160) over Blazing Sevens (+140)
The more I watch the Santa Anita Derby, the better I think National Treasure’s fourth-place closing finish was. He needed the race after missing the San Felipe with a foot injury. Second race back, and he exits a faster event than the Blue Grass, in which Blazing Sevens notched third.
Perform (+140) over Red Route One (-160)
Have to take a flier. Red Route One could win the race or still be in neighboring Delaware when it’s over. He runs late, which has been costly.
Perform is moving up, but showed a remarkable burst in his last race. I took both of these under Mage in a 50-cent superfecta key, and I give Perform a small edge here.
Red Route One (-235) over Coffee With Chris (+200)
A horse in the front-to-middle against a horse projected for the rear. I think Red Route One at least gets past Coffee With Chris.
More props will show up closer to the race. They are a fun betting sideshow.
Good luck finding a fit.
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