How to Bet on the 2020 Preakness Stakes

Traditionally the second leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes is held annually on the third Saturday in May following the Kentucky Derby and run at a distance of 1 3/16 miles or 9.5 furlongs. The Preakness is the race that sets up the Kentucky Derby winner with a chance to win the Triple Crown in the final leg at the Belmont Stakes in New York.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, the Preakness Stakes was moved to Saturday, Oct. 3. The Belmont was moved to June 20 and run at a distance of 1 1⁄8 miles, or 9 furlongs, instead of the traditional 1 1⁄2 miles, or 12 furlongs. Tiz the Law won. The Kentucky Derby was rescheduled for Sept. 5. Authentic won that race. That leaves the Preakness as the final leg in the Triple Crown in 2020.

The Kentucky Derby was rescheduled for Sept. 5, 2020, making the Preakness the final leg in the Triple Crown in 2020.

Find everything you need to know about betting on the Preakness Stakes, including up-to-date odds, how to bet online and when to get money down on your favorite to win the 2020 Preakness Stakes.

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2020 Preakness Stakes odds

Odds and post positions to be updated after the Sept. 30 post position draw.

Racing odds can change from post position to race day. Unlike fixed-odds bets at sportsbooks, horse betting is pari-mutuel, which means variable odds up until the race begins:

Post PositionHorseJockeyOpening OddsMorning Line Odds
1ExcessionSheldon Russell30-1TBD
2Mr. Big NewsGabriel Saez12-1TBD
3Art CollectorBrian Hernandez Jr. 5-2TBD
4Swiss SkydiverRobby Albarado6-1TBD
5Thousand WordsFlorent Geroux6-1TBD
6Jesus' TeamJevian Toleldo30-1TBD
7Ny TrafficHoracio Karamanos15-1TBD
8Max PlayerPaco Lopez15-1TBD
9AuthenticJohn Velazquez9-5TBD
10PneumaticJoe Bravo20-1TBD
11LiveyourbeastlifeTrevor McCarthy30-1TBD

How to bet on the Preakness Stakes

Because Virginia is one of 33 states that allow online horse race betting, you have several options for placing bets on the Preakness Stakes. This includes the privacy of your own home, or wherever you are inside the state with internet access. You can do so through a horse betting app such as TVG.

Horse racing betting apps

TVG is the most convenient way to bet on the Preakness Stakes in Virginia.

You can use this link to visit TVG and download the app. The app is compatible with iOS and Android. You can also bet directly from the TVG website

Betting on the Preakness with TVG is a three-step process:

  1. Sign up for an account.
  2. Deposit funds in your account using one of the available banking methods.
  3. Click on the bets you want to make.

In-person betting

If the convenience of online betting doesn’t appeal to you, for whatever reason, you can always visit a Virginia racetrack or off-track betting (OTB) facility offering simulcast races to bet on the Preakness Stakes. Some Virginia sportsbooks may also take bets on Triple Crown races, but they will be fixed odds bets, not pari-mutuel.

Virginia tracks and OTBs

Virginia has just one live horse racing facility with simulcast racing:

Colonial Downs

  • 10515 Colonial Downs Parkway
  • New Kent, VA 23124

Colonial Downs first opened in 1997 halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg with live thoroughbred racing in the summer and harness racing in the fall. Colonial Downs features a 1 ¼-mile dirt oval, a 7.5-furlong inner turf oval, a 1 1/8-mile outer turf oval, and a chute on the backstretch of the dirt oval for harness racing converting it to a one-turn mile. The facility shut down for six years in 2013 in the wake of disputes between the local horsemen association and track management.

In 2018, Virginia passed a law to allow historical racing machines at the track and Virginia off-track betting parlors. The machines resemble traditional video slot machines with the outcome of each spin based on the outcome of a random selection from a library of over 60,000 historical horse races.

The prospect of the gambling machines made reopening the track economically viable. A company called Revolutionary Racing bought Colonial Downs for over $20 million about a week after the law passed. Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at Colonial Downs opened in 2019 with over 600 historical racing machines on site. Live and simulcast racing returned in August 2019.

Virginia also has four off-track betting parlors featuring simulcast racing and pari-mutuel wagering:

Breakers Sports Grille

  • 9127 W. Broad St.
  • Henrico, VA 23294

Features a signature TV wall with 10 different simulcast signals, smoking and nonsmoking areas, and free parking.

Ponies & Pints

  • 110 N. 18th St.
  • Richmond, VA 23223

Features a horseplayers’ exclusive room and other areas with live sports and horse racing. Plus, simulcasting from up to 20 tracks daily.

Buckets Bar & Grill

  • 228 N. Battlefield Blvd.
  • Chesapeake, VA 23320

Inside the Battlefield Shopping Center and featuring an OTB exclusive room and an adjoining pool room. Plus, simulcasting from up to 20 tracks daily.

The Windmill OTB Sports Grill

  • 2360 Virginia Ave.
  • Collinsville, VA 24078

This OTB is inside a Quality Inn and features a combination sports bar/OTB with 45 TVs. Plus, simulcasting from up to 20 tracks daily and 10 betting terminals.

Types of bets for the Preakness Stakes

Betting on the Preakness Stakes is similar to betting on any horse race. It’s easy to do and starts with an understanding of the following basic bets:

  • Win: Bet on a horse to win the Preakness. Get paid at odds set once all betting is complete if that horse wins. For example, War of Will won the 2019 Preakness Stakes and paid 6.10:1. The horse started the day at 4:1.
  • Place: Bet on a horse to win or finish second in the Preakness. Get paid at odds set once all betting is complete if that horse wins or finishes second.
  • Show: Bet on a horse to win, or finish second or third, in the Preakness. Get paid at odds set once all betting is complete if that horse finishes first, second, or third.
  • Exacta: Bet on two horses to finish first and second in that order in the Preakness. Payouts rise substantially when you pick the first and second place horses in exact order. The $2 exacta paid a whopping $947 at the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Exactas can be boxed, allowing you to place bets flipping the finishing order of the horses.
  • Trifecta: Bet on three horses to finish first, second, and third in that order in the Preakness. Payouts rise even more when you pick the top three horses in exact order. The $1 trifecta paid $4,699.80 at the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Trifectas can be boxed, allowing you to bet on all the different combinations of the three horses finishing order.
  • Superfecta: Bet on four horses to finish first, second, third and fourth in that order in the Preakness. A big payday awaits if you pick the top four horses in exact order. The $1 superfecta paid $51,924 at the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Superfectas can be boxed, allowing you to bet on all the different finishing-order combinations of the four horses. However, the many different combinations make boxing a superfecta expensive.

Wheeling

Exactas, trifectas, and superfectas can also be wheeled. The process of wheeling a bet involves fixing the finishing position of certain horses and combining it with more horses to make multiple betting combinations.

You “key” certain horses you like in the top one, two, or three, and mix in more possibilities in other finishing positions.

The Road to the Preakness Stakes

The Preakness Stakes field is limited to 14 three-year-old thoroughbreds and almost always includes the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Much of the Kentucky Derby field also enters the race, but the Preakness also attracts horses without Triple Crown hopes.

The Maryland Jockey Club also hosts a series of races across the country offering automatic entry into the Preakness Stakes. The winners of the following races are invited to enter the Preakness:

  • $125,000 Federico Tesio at Laurel Park
  • $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational at Oaklawn Park
  • $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields

InfieldFest

Pimlico also hosts the InfieldFest Concert full-day music festival alongside the Preakness Stakes race. The event features live music, DJs, food, drinks, and access to wagering windows.

In 2019, the lineup featured Kygo, Logic, Diplo, Frank Walker, Juice WRLD, and FISHER. The 2020 InfieldFest Concert was canceled because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Preakness Stakes history

Here’s a look at five great moments in Preakness Stakes history:

  • 1973: Secretariat won the 1973 Preakness in record time, making a last-place to first-place run down the stretch to win by three lengths.
  • 1980: Codex bumped Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk in the final turn and went on to win. There was some talk about disqualification, but the Maryland Jockey Club let Codex have the win.
  • 2005: Triple Crown favorite Afleet Alex came up short in the Kentucky Derby, but would not be denied in the Preakness Stakes. Despite stumbling late, the horse went on to win by five lengths. Afleet Alex also won the final leg of the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes that year.
  • 2015: American Pharoah won by seven lengths in the rain, setting up a chance to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in almost 40 years.
  • 2018: Justify won the Kentucky Derby and hung on in the fog to win the Preakness. The horse completed the Triple Crown win at the Belmont.

Preakness speed records

Secretariat ran the 1 3⁄16-mile race in 1:53 to win in 1973, and that’s considered the Preakness record to this day. The time was not without some controversy as it was originally posted as 1:55 until two Daily Racing Form clockers claimed to have timed the horse two seconds faster.

The Maryland Jockey Club eventually settled on the Pimlico’s clocker time of 1:54 ​2⁄5. However, the Maryland Racing Commission changed that in June 2012 based on testimony and replay evidence.

Secretariat’s 1:53 at the Preakness now stands as the official record for all three legs of the Triple Crown. Here’s a look at the fastest Preakness Stakes times:

  • Secretariat 1:53 (1973)
  • Tank’s Prospect 1:53.4 (1985)
  • Louis Quatorze 1:53.4 (1996)
  • Curlin 1:53.46 (2007)
  • Gate Dancer 1:53.6 (1984)

Other than Secretariat (1973), the other horses did not win the Triple Crown. 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (1:58.46) and 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify (1:55.93) were both well off the Preakness Stakes record.

1977 and 1978 Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed were both much closer, having each run the Preakness in a time of 1:54.40.

Horse racing’s Triple Crown

The Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing sees 3-year-old thoroughbreds compete for the title in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The races are normally run in May and June, in order, making the Preakness Stakes the second leg of the Triple Crown.

In 1919, Sir Barton became the first horse to win the Triple Crown by winning all three races. Since then, only 12 other horses have managed the feat. Justify was the last to do it, in 2018, just three years after American Pharoah (2015) broke a 37-year Triple Crown drought.

While only 13 horses have won all three races, 23 have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before failing to complete the Triple Crown in the Belmont.

Secretariat

No discussion about the Preakness or the Triple Crown would be complete without paying homage to Secretariat. Most experts agree Secretariat is the greatest thoroughbred in history.

Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, setting a speed record for each leg that still stands today:

  • Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5)
  • Preakness (1:53)
  • Belmont (2:24)

His record time in the Preakness remains the fastest in Triple Crown race history. Secretariat is in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Preakness Stakes FAQ

When is the 2020 Preakness Stakes?

Preakness Stakes 2020 is scheduled for Oct. 3.

The Preakness is traditionally the second leg of the Triple Crown and held on the third Saturday in May following the Kentucky Derby. In 2020, the Preakness Stakes will be the third and final leg of the Triple Crown with the Belmont (June 20) and Kentucky Derby (Sept. 5) running ahead of the race.

How much does the Preakness winner earn?

The Preakness Stakes is now a $1.65 million stakes race. The winner walks away with the lion’s share of that, with the first-place prize set at $990,000.

Only the top five horses earn part of the purse:

1st: $990,000
2nd: $330,000
3rd: $181,500
4th: $99,000
5th: $49,500

How many fillies have won the Preakness?

Only five fillies have ever won the Preakness Stakes in its 144-year history. In fact, Rachel Alexandra in 2009 was the first filly to do so since Nellie Morse in 1924.

Here’s the full list of five filly Preakness Stakes winners:

  • 2009: Rachel Alexandra
  • 1924: Nellie Morse
  • 1915: Rhine Maiden
  • 1906: Whimsical
  • 1903: Flocarline

When is post time?

2020 marks the 145th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Since Baltimore runs on Eastern Time, the traditional post time for the race is 6:45 p.m. ET. That means you’ve got to place your bets on the Preakness before then.

Who was the fastest horse to win the Preakness Stakes?

Like the other two Triple Crown races, Secretariat holds the record in the Preakness Stakes. Secretariat ran the 1 3⁄16 miles in 1:53 back in 1973 on the way to winning the Triple Crown.

His time was originally posted as 1:55 and changed to 1:54 ​2⁄5 before the Maryland Racing Commission used testimony and replay evidence to confirm the record 1:53 in 2012.