Preakness Stakes Betting in PA

Each year, horse racing enters the national spotlight with the Triple Crown races. These three events attract a lot of attention as the best in horse racing for the season go-to-toe.

The Preakness Stakes, held annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD, is often referred to as “the Second Jewel of the Triple Crown.” While several horses have looked like Crown contenders through the years, many have come up short at this highly anticipated race.

On the other hand, several horses have made their mark in history with a victory at the Preakness. Regardless of what transpires, we can be sure of a couple of things when this event rolls around.

First up, viewership and attendance will be through the roof. Next, there will be a massive betting handle for Preakness Day, and we’re not just talking about in person at Pimlico.

You can wager on the Preakness Stakes legally and safely online and bet via a racing betting app right here in Pennsylvania. This page covers everything you need to know about the 2020 Preakness Stakes, beginning with where you can bet on the action.

How to bet on the Preakness Stakes in PA

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To bet on the Preakness Stakes, you’re going to need a place to do it. You have a few in-person options at state casinos and legal off-track betting (OTB) facilities. However, there isn’t any need to travel to bet.

Using your desktop computer or mobile device, you can log in and wager on the ponies. The top option is TVG, a recognized leader in online horse race betting.

TVG is also a live network that features horse racing action worldwide. The biggest races are available on broadcast TV, but TVG is the palace for everything else.

Signing up for an account with TVG is simple. To get started, click through on our exclusive links and you’ll get a sign-up bonus, too. Next, enter a few personal details and complete the account registration.

Once that’s taken care of, iPhone / iPad users should download the TVG mobile app. As for Android users, the site is optimized for mobile, so just log in from your device’s web browser.

All told, it’s a quick and painless process. Once you have your account set up with TVG via our exclusive links, you’ll have a horse betting platform at your fingertips.

Types of horse race bets

Betting on the Preakness Stakes goes beyond just trying to figure out which horse is going to win. There are several ways to bet on the race, many of which can be quite fruitful if all goes well.

Let’s take a look at all the major bet options you have to consider, starting with the basic:

  • Win: Place your bet on the winner of the race.
  • Place: This bet covers a horse to finish in first or second place.
  • Show: This wager pays if the horse you choose finishes in third, second or first place.

All the above bet types work as individual wagers. You can also combine them on a single betting slip if you want, such as a win/place or win/place/show bets. The payout amount for winning tickets will vary depending on the amount of the betting pool and odds.

Hitting on one of these bets can provide a nice return depending on your wager amount.

The next level of bet types are exotic wagers. While these are tough to hit, the returns can be exceptional:

  • Exacta: A bet on the horses who finish in the top two.
  • Quinella: Similar to an exacta, but with different payouts.
  • Trifecta: A wager on the top-three finishers of the race.
  • Superfecta: With this wager, you have to pick the top four horses to finish the race.
  • Super High Five: This is a bet on the top-five finishers in the race.

You can place each of the above bets with a single selection for each spot and a small amount. You can also “box” a bet, which means your picks can finish in any order. You can also add selections.

In both cases, the cost of the ticket will rise accordingly. If your picks were correct, and one finisher happens to be a long-shot horse, you could be looking at a fantastic return.

The Preakness Stakes will be the big focus on the day of the event, but there will also be a full card of other races. If you’d like to try your chances on those races as well, here are some various ways to wager:

  • Pick 3: You need to pick the winner of three straight races.
  • Pick 4: Pick the winner of four races in a row.
  • Pick 5: A wager on the horses to win in five consecutive races.
  • Pick 6: A bet on the winner of six straight designated races.

If you take a shot at these bets and just choose a lone horse in each race, then the cost per ticket will be small, such as 50 cents or $2. If you decide to take a shot with multiple horses in each leg, then the wager amount will rise, depending on the number of selections.

It’s far from easy to win these bets, but they’re a good source of entertainment. Remember to only bet with a comfortable amount.

How horses qualify for the Preakness Stakes

Traditionally, the Preakness Stakes is the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is the first of the trio, while the Belmont Stakes makes its tail end.

It’s not uncommon to see several horses compete in all three races. That’s especially true for those who place well in the first leg and onward. In all cases, the horses in the field are the best of the season.

So, how do we figure out which horses make the cut? That depends on how they perform in other stakes races throughout the preceding year. Known as “the Road to the Kentucky Derby,” horses earn points based on how well they finish in these contests.

In early races, points may be awarded on a scale of 10-4-2-1. Later in the season, the points get bumped up even further to a range of 50-20-10-5. The stakes get kicked up once again for the final races of the stretch, known as the “Super Six.”

Horses who win the races in this category, which include annual events such as the Blue Grass Stakes and Louisiana Derby, win a whopping 100 points. The top finishers on the leaderboard qualify for the main events.

By the time the Preakness rolls around, all the horses scheduled to run will have proved themselves as being among the top 2- and 3-year-old horses for the current season.

Preakness Stakes betting favorites

The week heading into the Preakness Stakes is chock full of anticipation. Once the odds are released, bettors get to see the oddsmakers’ take on the field.

On the day of the race, betting handle will flow in, so it’s not uncommon to see the odds shift. Some bettors like to get their bets in early, while others take a wait-and-see approach on the odds board.

Heading into the 2019 edition of the Preakness, this is how the morning line odds looked:

  1. War of Will: 4-1
  2. Bourbon War: 12-1
  3. Warrior’s Charge: 12-1
  4. Improbable: 5-2
  5. Owendale: 10-1
  6. Market King: 30-1
  7. Alwaysmining: 8-1
  8. Signalman: 30-1
  9. Bodexpress: 20-1
  10. Everfast: 50-1
  11. Laughing Fox: 20-1
  12. Anothertwistafate: 6-1
  13. Win Win Win: 15-1

War of Will pushed through and won the race by one-and-a-quarter lengths at a win bet price of $14.20. Everfast finished in second while Owendale wound up in third place. Betting handle for the day was rather massive, checking in at just a shade under $100 million when all of the figures were tallied at Pimlico.

History of the Preakness Stakes

The first running of the Preakness Stakes took place in 1873. Survivor won the inaugural race contested over 1 1/2 miles at a time of 2:43. The length has shifted through the decades, but the current stretch of 1 3/16 miles has stuck for some time.

There have been a number of legendary performances through the years at Pimlico, including some memorable runs by Triple Crown winners. We’ve been fortunate to see two of those in 2015 and 2018.

It seems that interest is only increasing with each passing year. Here’s a look at the last 10 winners of the Preakness Stakes and their winning times:

  • 2019: War of Will, 1:54:34
  • 2018: Justify, 1:55:93
  • 2017: Cloud Computing, 1:55:98
  • 2016: Exaggerator, 1:58:31
  • 2015: American Pharoah, 1:58:46
  • 2014: California Chrome, 1:54:84
  • 2013: Oxbow, 1:57:54
  • 2012: I’ll Have Another, 1:55:94
  • 2011: Shackleford, 1:56:47
  • 2010: Lookin At Lucky, 1:55:47

The speed record at Preakness’s current length is held by the legendary Secretariat, who won the race in a time of 1:53. Smarty Jones had the most dominant victory, winning by an impressive 11 1/2 lengths in 2004.

Where to watch horse racing in Pennsylvania

If you’re looking to catch the Preakness Stakes on TV, you can tune into NBC, which is the broadcast home for major racing events. You can catch live racing action on media outlets NBCSN and FS1; however, TVG provides the most extensive coverage.

Horse racing in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania have six racetracks for you to get in on the action. Here are the details:

  • The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono1280 Pennsylvania 315, Wilkes-Barre
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack: 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Chester
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: 777 Hollywood Blvd., Grantville
  • The Meadows Racetrack & Casino: 210 Racetrack Rd., Washington
  • Parx Racing at Parx Casino: 3001 Street Rd., Bensalem
  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino: 8199 Perry Hwy., Erie

Handicapping the Preakness Stakes

By the time Preakness Stakes day comes around, there’s a good chance you’ll have come across several takes on how the race will play out. Convincing arguments will be laid out for several runners in the field, so you’ll have plenty to consider.

While you can make the gleaning of information of others a key part of your research, you don’t have to stop there. You can verify speculation and justify it by learning by doing some of your own handicapping. Here are some tips:

  • Past performance: You’ll want to take a look at how the horses have been faring in the run-up to the Preakness. Many in the field will have competed against each other already. With that in mind, there should be plenty of nuggets of information available. Naturally, those who have won some other big races should capture your attention.
  • Career earnings: For a big-picture look at all the runners in the field, go through the career earnings of each of them. This method is an excellent way to help separate the horses into tiers. Theoretically, the better horses will have made more money over their careers. However, keep in mind that some have run in more races.
  • Key stats: There are several stats to consider, such as previous times, pace and class. They can all be helpful and useful, but be careful not to suffer from information overload. To avoid this, consider some of the bottom line stats, such as power and speed ratings, to be fair assessments of overall strength.

You can spend lots of time handicapping the race, but that won’t necessarily get you any closer to positive results. It may lead to success, but there aren’t any guarantees.

As an alternative, keep it simple and follow the steps above while digesting the opinions of sources you trust. There’s a good chance you’ll find some selections you’re happy with by doing so.

Preakness Stakes FAQ

When is the Preakness Stakes in 2020?

The Preakness Stakes typically occurs on a Saturday in mid-May, but it’s a different story this time around. The 2020 edition takes place on Saturday, Oct. 3. NBC Sports will handle the broadcast and streaming duties.

Which horse was the last to win the Triple Crown?

Only 13 horses have been able to win horse racing’s Triple Crown, the last of which was Justify in 2018. American Pharoah made it happen in 2015, but that was the first time that a horse had turned that trick since Affirmed pulled it off in 1978.

What’s the highest paying bet for the Preakness Stakes?

Win, place and show bets can offer decent returns when a long-shot pick takes down one of those places. For bets that provide even greater potential profits, exotic wagers can payout some eye-popping numbers.

Here were the returns for the 2019 edition of the race:

  • Exacta: $947
  • Trifecta: $4,699.80
  • Superfecta: $51,924

Which jockey has the most all-time wins at the Preakness Stakes?

Eddie Arcaro is atop the all-time win list for jockeys at the Preakness Stakes. He won the event six times, two of which came in back-to-back years in 1950 and 1951. Arcaro’s last victory came in 1957.

How much money is bet on the Preakness Stakes?

As interest has risen through the years, so too has the betting handle for the Preakness Stakes. In 2019, the total amount bet on the race was a little south of $100 million. For years with a legitimate Triple Crown contender, the handle can rise well above that number.

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