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Our experts have outlined their free Preakness Stakes picks for this year’s race at Pimlico Race Course. Crucial factors such as form and speed have been thoroughly examined for each of the selected horses. Keep reading for the best Preakness Stakes predictions from pro handicappers.

Who are the Preakness Favorites in 2024?

Our racing handicappers are excited to reveal their top Preakness Stakes picks. These horses, which you can bet on at the best Preakness racebooks, are considered to be the most suitable candidates for the showdown at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Preakness Stakes Picks

The cast-iron favorites for the Preakness will be revealed following on from the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, which takes place on May 4, 2024. These are the Preakness Stakes horses among this year’s favorites.

Muth (scratched)

Dual Grade I winner that has never finished out of the first two in six career starts for top California barn. Easy American Pharoah Stakes win before bumping into Fierceness in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and chasing that one home.

Continued to prove his versatility since with 7f San Vicente Stakes success on return before following up in the Arkansas Derby over further latest. With the trainer banned from running his horses in the Kentucky Derby, this is the obvious alternative target. Sire produced last year’s Preakness second and third.

However, Muth, who was the pre-race Morning Line favorite for the 2024 Preakness Stakes, was scratched from the race after having a high temperature after travelling over to Baltimore.

Mystik Dan

Kentucky Derby hero who just hung on from Sierra Leone and Forever Young latest. Those front three clear of re-opposing rival Catching Freedom, who missed the show. Slight drop back in trip no problem based on that, and should confirm form with the the fourth and Just Steel.

Did have something to find with Muth on Arkansas Derby form, but clearly improved on that with Churchill Downs triumph, and the Baffert horse now misses the race. Given green light for Triple Crown bid here, so commands respect and will feature among many Preakness picks this year.

Mystik Dan is also the new Preakness Stakes favorite with Muth on the sidelines. He’ll be looking to become the first winning favorite since Justify in 2018.


Exclusively raced in the State of California for Bob Baffert to date. Took form to a new level with San Felipe Stakes success on the penultimate start and never out of the top two in six races.

Just lost out by a neck in a sustained duel with Stronghold when placing in the Santa Anita Derby latest. Trainer has a fabulous record of eight wins in the Preakness, including last year. From the same sire as the 2020 second-placed Authentic.

Plus, is sure to attract plenty of media attention with Frankie Dettori booked to ride.

Preakness Stakes Picks & Analysis From Our Pro Handicappers

Our handicappers emphasize the importance of making versatile Preakness Stakes picks from different categories. Sportsbooks and betting apps have a wide range of options available to wager on beyond outright win markets. For this reason, it can be advantageous to learn how to bet on Preakness Stakes futures odds, place or show, and more.

Top Preakness Stakes Picks to Win

Betting on a horse to win the race is the most basic way to wager on the “Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.” By backing a horse to win – whether it is named among our expert Preakness Stakes betting tips or not – it must be declared as the race’s official winner for you to be paid out at the odds taken.

Muth silks Muth (scratched)

With him arriving in Baltimore for the Preakness fresh and on the back of an impressive Arkansas Derby victory, Muth is a worthy favorite. Bob Baffert also runs Imagination, but the fact neither could run at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby helps their cause. No such ban on runners from his barn exists at Pimlico.

Baffert is the winningest trainer in Preakness history with eight victories. Muth beat subsequent Kentucky Derby hero Mystik Dan in convincing fashion at Oaklawn Park. The form couldn’t have received a better boost than that.

However, Muth will now MISS the Preakness Stakes after getting a high temperature soon after travelling to the track in the week before the race.

Preakness Expert Picks for a Top 3 Finish

Landing the winner of the Preakness is more challenging than backing a horse to finish in the top three. The terms for finishing 2nd and 3rd are placing and showing, respectively. You can wager on both in pari-mutuel pool bets.

One of the more popular types of Preakness Stakes picks is the Across the Board (ATB). An ATB works by wagering on the same horse to win, place, and show on the same ticket. You cover every scenario by the same stake meaning your total outlay triples.

Mystik Dan silks Place Bet – Mystik Dan

Any Kentucky Derby winner launching a Triple Crown bid is a horse bettors must respect. That is what Mystik Dan tries just two weeks on from his triumph at Churchill Downs. He was all out to win the first leg of the Triple Crown, so the slightly shorter distance of the Preakness won’t be a problem.

Mystik Dan’s trainer Kenny McPeek saddled the filly Swiss Skydiver to victory in this in 2020. While the Triple Crown had a very different look to it that year because of the global pandemic, he still knows what it takes to win. Mystik Dan must improve again to beat Arkansas Derby conqueror Muth, so he’s a safer bet for a top two finish or even Across the Board this time.

With Muth out of the race, Mystik Dan would become the Preakness Stakes ‘top pick’.

Imagination silks Show Bet – Imagination

With Muth scratched, Baffert now just has one in the Preakness this year, bidding for a record-extending ninth win, but Imagination can also make the show for the barn. A short break after his sustained battle with Stronghold in the Santa Anita Derby, where he missed out by a neck, is a good thing.

That was a hard race, but should’ve toughened Imagination up plenty. Legendary Italian jockey Frankie Dettori again takes the ride on the San Felipe Stakes scorer. Imagination battled superbly all the way to the wire the last day and with connections knowing he couldn’t run in the Kentucky Derby, will have targeted this instead.

Preakness Longshot Picks

Master Derby stormed to win the Preakness in 1975 at odds of +2300, upsetting the favorite, Foolish Pleasure. While previous Preakness winners with huge odds are not as common as with the Kentucky Derby. But this doesn’t mean there is no value in considering longshot Preakness Stakes picks.

With a smaller field of between 7-10 horses, it may be tougher to identify multiple expert picks for Preakness longshots to win at Pimlico. But unfancied horses who finished in the top 3 – like Jesus’ Team (+3000) in 2020, Everfast (+5000) in 2019, and Senior Investment (+3000) in 2017 – indicate that selecting longshots for place and show bets can also be profitable.

Seize The Grey silks Seize The Grey

Trainer D Wayne Lukas has won the Preakness six times and runs two this year. Of those, the pick is Seize The Grey who didn’t make the cut for the Kentucky Derby, but still won at Churchill Downs. He steps back up in trip after landing the Grade II Pat Day Mile at the meet.

Third in the Jeff Ruby, Seize The Grey wouldn’t be such a longshot if he hadn’t run seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes. He is worth another chance to prove himself at the highest level based on his subsequent victory. Morning Line odds of 15-1 suggest the +2000 available with BetOnline is a value longshot bet.

Exotic Preakness Stakes Expert Picks

Exotic bets can be a little more complicated to get the hang of than straight bets and top 3 finishes. But while the more intense exotic bets can also be tougher wagers to win, the Preakness Stakes betting odds for doing so are often appealing. It’s a trade-off.

Expert handicappers may add their exotic wagers among the best Preakness Stakes picks. These may include Exactas, Trifectas, Superfectas, and Super Hi Fives. All wagers are based around several horses finishing in order but have different rules.

Preakness Exacta Picks

Exacta bets payout when the two horses you picked to finish first and second in the order selected. You can rely on our handicappers picks for the Preakness for Exactas. Or you can research the best options for these bets by studying horses ahead of the race.

Quinella bets are a solid alternative option to Exactas. With the Quinella, you also pick the horses to finish 1st and 2nd but they can be in any order.

Exacta Bet – 5 & 9

The two outstanding horses in this edition of the Preakness on form are Muth (4) and Mystik Dan (5). It would have been an Arkansas Derby rematch between the pair here, but Muth will now miss the race.

This paves the way for the Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan to keep his Triple Crown dreams alive before heading to the Belmont Stakes on June 8. The sole Bob Baffert runner Imagination, with Frankie Dettori in the saddle, is the call to follow home the Run For The Roses hero.

Preakness Trifecta Picks

Your Preakness Stakes picks (three or more) in a Trifecta must finish first, second, and third in the right order for you to win. While payouts are better than Exactas or Quinellas they are undoubtedly more difficult to win.

With that said, the smaller field at Preakness makes Trifectas – as well as any other exotic bet on this list – easier than in the Kentucky Derby or other heavily-populated races.

Trifecta Bet – 5, 9 & 3

Mystik Dan (5) and Imagination (9) finishing ahead of Kentucky Derby fourth Catching Freedom (3) are the Trifecta picks.

Preakness Superfecta Picks

Winning a Superfecta means predicting four or more horses to finish from 1st to 4th in precise order. While a field of around 8 is average for the big race at Pimlico, this is still more difficult than it may sound.

Even the best Preakness Stakes expert picks for Superfecta wagers are at risk of collapsing if one horse suffers a setback.

Superfecta Bet – 5, 9, 3 & 6

Our longshot pick Seize The Grey (6) is one to include alongside Mystik Dan (5), Imagination (9) and Catching Freedom (3) in the superfecta. D Wayne Lukas has six victories in the Preakness and runs two. Like Mystik Dan, Seize The Grey ran and won at Churchill Downs, but in the Pat Day Mile rather than the Kentucky Derby. He may just miss out on the show.

Key Stats Behind Preakness Picks And Predictions

Preakness picks by experts are thoroughly researched and carry a lot of substance. Pro handicappers tend to shirk assumptions by modeling selections on hard data and statistics. This information, which is free and available to the general public, can also help you make the right picks for the race.

Recent Form

The Kentucky Derby offers exceptional insight into a horse’s attributes before this race. However, a smaller field with many “new shooters” – a term used to describe horses in the Preakness that didn’t line out at the KD – should have their form in previous graded stakes races examined.

Post Positions

There is no doubt that Preakness Stakes post positions matter in this race. Inside horses start closer to the inside rail and have less ground to cover than those on the outside. For this reason, it’s wise to consider the draw.

National Treasure (2023), War of Will (2019), and American Pharoah (2015) are three recent winners that broke from the rail at #1 although middle positions have been successful in recent times based on the key Preakness Stakes trends.

Speed Figures

Pimlico is a track that rewards speed – especially tactical speed. Frontrunners like National Treasure (2023), American Pharoah (2015), and Oxbow (2013) enjoyed impressive gate-to-wire Preakness victories, but accounted for just 30% of winners. The pace angle is also something to consider when making Black Eyed Susan Picks in the big fillies only race the day before. Horse racing betting guides and betting sites should take this into account.

Trainers and Jockeys

Experts will no doubt consider the strength of trainers like Bob Baffert when making Preakness Stakes picks. Baffert has a record of 8 wins in the prestigious Grade I Thoroughbred event. Jockey Eddie Arcaro’s six victories from 1941 to 1957 are also impressive, although modern jockeys require a little more examination.

There are also only two past Preakness jockey winners in the 2024 line-up – Flavien Prat and Tyler Gaffalione. While Frankie Dettori  and Jaime A Torres are making their debuts in the race this year.

Wins and Competition

22 of 24 Preakness Stakes winners since 2000 had at least one graded stakes victory en route to Baltimore, Maryland. Only Cloud Computing (2017) and Oxbow (2013) have attained champion status since then in the race, without any graded stakes honors. This stresses the importance of competitive action ahead of the famous horse race.

Where You Can Find Preakness Predictions From Pro Handicappers

You’ll find free Preakness Stakes picks on our site. Our handicappers are committed to providing the best betting tips and picks for the race and leave no stone unturned in delivering them to you. But we’re not the only credible source online.

The Daily Racing Form provides a wealth of information from handicappers and industry experts. Founded in 1894 by Frank “The Father of Form” Brunell, the outlet provides useful data including previous Preakness Stakes results, charts, and more.

Most of the three-letter broadcasters have handicappers and race experts providing their expert Preakness picks. While not all are free, many are. But if you’re not particularly keen on these – or the likes of legacy sports outlets in the digital domain like ESPN – you can always do some window shopping.

NBC handicapper Eddie Olczyk’s Preakness picks are also always popular with horse racing fans ahead of the race each year. Plus the Jeff Siegel picks for all the big US horse races are always well sought after.

It’s a good call to treat anyone selling picks with suspicion. Experts use the same data and stats to research, analyze, and arrive at their picks. While different handicappers may suggest opting for different bets – or even horses – there is no such thing as buying guaranteed picks to win. Free Preakness picks can be helpful.

How Preakness Stakes Handicappers Picks Are Made

Preakness Stakes picks should be the culmination of a holistic assessment of various factors. It’s the destination reached through a journey as experts assess things likely to influence the result of the race. Here is what it takes.

Knowledge of Runners

All of the three-year-old Thoroughbreds running in the race are examined and rated appropriately. Some may decide on their expert Preakness picks by conducting a process of elimination whereby the weakest horses are discarded.

By analyzing knowledge of the speed, form, pedigree, and condition of the rest, handicappers find it easier making picks. Unproven horses with less obvious markers of potential are deemed riskier prospects.

Identifying Class

Winners are usually cut from a different cloth when compared to the rest of the field. While the demands of the Preakness Stakes differ from that of the Kentucky Derby, and even other prep races, there are often indications of a horse’s class to deal with what comes their way.

Graded stakes wins and success in the extra distance at Kentucky Derby are far likelier to influence Preakness handicapper picks than pedigree alone. You can also consider the records of trainers and jockey. They are instrumental in shaping a prospect into a Preakness Stakes-level champion.

The State of Play

Several factors beyond a horse’s speed and physical prowess can influence picks. This is why expert handicappers need to consider external factors such as track suitability, weather, potential injuries, and anything else beyond the control of the barn.

One of the most pivotal aspects of the Preakness that cannot be controlled is a “bad post” in the draw. However, history shows the potential impact of post positions when it comes to counting Preakness Stakes payouts and returns.


Who are experts picking to win the Preakness this year?

What general Preakness Stakes betting tips and advice should I consider before wagering?

How do experts come up with the Preakness selections?

Are expert Preakness Stakes picks based on pedigrees?

What do Preakness tips say about horses to avoid betting on?

Why are Preakness Stakes predictions so heavily influenced by the Kentucky Derby?


Adam Haynes is our expert racebook reviewer with years of experience in finding top odds, markets, and bonuses. If you're looking to find the best betting sites for the Preakness Stakes, Adam's advice is always worth considering.