May is going to be a massive month for horse racing in Maryland. May 21 will see gamblers trying to work out who will win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. It’s the second leg of the Triple Crown and you can bet it’ll be a day no one will forget.
The global horse racing calendar has some outstanding races, especially in the UK. However, the state of Maryland can also boast some excellent horse racing events and May sees that proven with the running of the Preakness Stakes.
You have to go back to 1873 for the first ever running of this race. Where does the name come from? Well, very knowledgeable gamblers will know that a horse called Preakness won the First Dinner Party Stakes at Pimlico when the track opened. That success led to the Governor of Maryland Oden Bowie naming this race after that horse.
The winner of the Preakness Stakes has a blanket of Viking daisies placed around its neck. They resemble the state flower of Maryland which is the Black-Eyed Susan. That’s why the Preakness is often called ‘The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.’
Those who enjoy a tipple while going racing will know the official drink of this race is the Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail (orange juice and vodka). Hopefully, you can have one after betting on the winner of this year’s race.
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On May 7, it’s the Kentucky Derby and that is the first leg of the Triple Crown with the final leg being the Belmont Stakes on June 11. If you want to bet on the Preakness Stakes, keep a very close eye on the Kentucky Derby. That will give gamblers many a clue on who will be successful at Pimlico.
Last year, three of the first four home in the Preakness Stakes had run in the Kentucky Derby. Not the winner though with Rambaeur (who was an 11/1 outsider) not taking party in the Kentucky race. In 2020, the filly Swiss Skydiver won the Preakness and had won the Kentucky Oaks. That was only the sixth time that betting on a filly to win the Preakness Stakes resulted in a successful bet.
The Preakness Stakes is run over nine-and-a-half furlongs. That’s half a furlong less than the distance of the Kentucky Derby. One horse that gamblers will be keen to place bets on is Epicenter trained by Steve Asmussen.
Epicenter is a hot tip for the Kentucky Derby and has won over the Preakness Stakes distance. Only one of his four races has been lost and that was only by a head. February saw Epicenter win in Grade 2 and then won the Louisiana Derby in March. if running well in Kentucky, has to be a strong bet to win the Preakness Stakes just a fortnight later.
If you spend $1.7 million on a horse, you expect it to go on to win big races. That’s how much Taiba cost but didn’t even run as a two-year-old. Betting on Taiba winning his debut race this March never saw gamblers in danger. Taiba won that race by seven-and-a-half lengths and set him up for a shot at the Santa Anita Derby.
That was only his second run and what is lacked in experience is more than made up in terms of talent. His jockey is Mike E Smith, and the 56-year-old has all the experience you want to see. Taiba is entered for the Kentucky Derby and looks one to bet on in the Preakness Stakes too.
Another Grade 1 winner that gamblers should consider backing is Blue Grass Stakes winner Zandon. That’s a good pointer to success in the Preakness Stakes as 2021 winner Rambauer finished fourth in that race last year.
The Blue Grass Stakes success was the first win for Zandon after three races. He does have a bit to find with Epicenter who beat in February. Zandon is an improving horse though and May could be a big month for him in Kentucky and Pimlico.
Mo Donegal has won three of his four races so has plenty of track experience. With a win over Zandon under his belt and his only loss was inflicted by White Abarrio in a Grade 3 race two months ago. Can he show further improvement in May?
White Abarrio is also a contender that gamblers should be paying great attention to. He’s had four wins and a third so far with successes in both Grade 3 and the Grade 1 Florida Derby this year. Showing top form over nine-and-a-half furlongs shouldn’t be a problem for this runner. Could he give gamblers a Preakness Stakes win?