Better Than Reality TV: How To Bet On The 2021 Preakness Stakes in Virginia

Written By Dann Stupp on May 14, 2021 - Last Updated on May 31, 2021
Bob Baffert

Who needs “The Real Housewives” or “90 Day Fiancé” when you can watch the drama-filled 2021 Preakness Stakes this weekend?

The second leg of horse racing’s famed Triple Crown takes place this Saturday, May 15. As has been the case since 1873, the famed Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, plays host.

So what you can expect when the horses hit the track for the day’s marquee race (5 p.m. on NBC)?

Well, all eyes will be on recent Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. They’ll also be on the 3-year-old thoroughbred colt’s Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert.

But it’s not because he’s bringing integrity and good publicity to the sport.

Baffert brings the circus to Preakness Stakes

If successful at the 146th Preakness Stakes on Saturday and then at the Belmont Stakes on June 5, Medina Spirit will be the first Triple Crown winner since Justify in 2018.

However, race fans aren’t even sure if Baffert’s Kentucky Derby win will stand. On Sunday, we got the first reports that Medina Spirit had tested positive for betamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory drug.

Baffert initially denied any wrongdoing and actually seemed to blame the failed test on “cancel culture.” He subsequently blamed it on an ointment that, he alleged, he didn’t know contained the banned substance.

But as the Washington Post reported, the 68-year-old’s reputation was in question even before this latest failed test:

“He’s an ingratiating character with a wry sense of humor, but the flip side to Baffert’s success has been a quagmire of medication violations and mysterious horse deaths dating back four decades. His ability to stay on top while continually escaping serious consequences is perhaps the starkest representation of racing’s inability to police itself.”

Although Medina Spirit bested a field of 19 at the Kentucky Derby, race officials could take away the victory and retroactively disqualify him if the horse’s “split sample” test is also a failure. Results should come in the following weeks.

Ahead of the Preakness, Medina Spirit has had to undergo additional drug testing to qualify for the race.

Bet on the Preakness Stakes at TVG

As with the Kentucky Derby, horse bettors in VA won’t be able to wager on the ponies via traditional sports-betting avenues.

Instead, you can make your Preakness Stakes wagers online at TVG. It’s a legal horse betting app and streaming service that’s available throughout the United States.

Unlike fixed-odds betting in other sports, horse racing uses a pari-mutuel wagering system. With pari-mutuel betting, which is also known as pool betting, the final odds aren’t known until all bets are collected and the vigorish is deducted.

TVG uses the same pari-mutuel system you’d find at a live racetrack or on the screens of an off-track racebook.

TVG is the best-known advance-deposit wagering site. With an ADW site, you can place bets once you’ve funded your account (no wagers can be made on credit). You can wager on the 2021 Preakness or any other horse races worldwide.

TVG has a host of features. They range from race previews and live video streams to handicapping advice and deposit bonuses for new players.

Preakness odds for Medina Spirit

Despite his owner’s baggage, Medina Spirit is still a favorite for this weekend’s race.

Oddsmakers have installed the horse and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez as the morning-line favorite. Medina Spirit has the shortest odds at 9-5.

Other favorites in the 10-horse field include Concert Tour (5-2), Midnight Bourbon (5-1) and Crowded Trade (10-1).

Over the past decade, a handful of double-digit underdogs have won the race, which is also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.”

Swiss Skydiver won the 2020 Preakness with the second-best time ever. The filly navigated the 1 3⁄16-mile race (9.5 furlongs) in 1:53.28. The famed Secretariat holds the track record (1:53) at that distance.

Place your Preakness bets at Rosie’s

Want to watch the Preakness with fellow horseplayers, but don’t want to venture to Pimlico?

Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, which are located throughout Virginia, are hosting watch parties for the race.

The historical horse racing facilities are best known for their slots-like HHR machines. Rosie’s locations also include off-track betting (OTB) with their on-site racebooks.

These Virginia OTB locations each have a wall of TV screens with races from across the country. You can place your bets on the races at Rosie’s traditional betting windows or at the self-service machines.

Rosie’s locations can be found in the following VA cities:

  • Dumfries, 18069 Triangle Shopping Plaza
  • Hampton, 1996 Power Plant Parkway
  • New Kent, 10515 Colonial Downs Parkway
  • Richmond, 6807 Midlothian Turnpike
  • Vinton, 1135 Vinyard Road

Of course, Rosie’s also has live horse racing in Virginia. Colonial Downs Racetrack is at the New Kent location. You can catch the races live and in person. They take place every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from July 19 to Sept. 1.

Photo by AP / Jeff Roberson
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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