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Preakness Stakes post positions determine the gates from which each horse starts in the race. History tells us that starting positions can play a vital role in who wins the second leg of the Triple Crown. Our experts explain the importance of post positions at Pimlico Race Course – and how they may influence your wagers!

How Do Post Positions for the Preakness Stakes Work?

Preakness post positions are allotted when final declarations are made. This is usually on the Monday or Tuesday before the race when a random draw takes place at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and determines positions.

Pimlico Post Position

In keeping with traditions, a numbered marble or pill for each eligible horse is placed into the blind draw machine and mixed up. From here, each horse’s connections choose the starting position of preference from the slots available. When these are determined, Preakness Stakes racebooks update their odds with those numbers.

The post positions for the Preakness Stakes are numbered from 1 to a maximum of 14, with lower numbers located closer to the inside rail. These are considered the most advantageous, as there is less ground to cover to attain a favorable position in the field.

Preakness Stakes Post Positions 2024

The 2024 Preakness post positions were revealed at 5:30pm local time on Monday, May 13 at Pimlico Racecourse. Here is the draw for this year’s race:

  1. Mugatu (20-1)
  2. Uncle Heavy (20-1)
  3. Catching Freedom (6-1)
  4. Muth – Scratched
  5. Mystik Dan (5-2)
  6. Seize The Grey (15-1)
  7. Just Steel (15-1)
  8. Tuscan Gold (8-1)
  9. Imagination (6-1)

Why the Preakness Stakes Post Position Draw Matters

Preakness Stakes post positions can make or break a horse’s chances in the race. Outside gates tend to fare poorly when compared to positions closer to the inside rail. This may be as simple as Preakness Stakes horses on the outside having more ground to cover and traffic to navigate.

Post Victories Win Percentage
#1 13 11.21%
#2 12 10.34%
#3 12 10.34%
#4 14 12.07%
#5 13 11.21%
#6 16 13.79%
#7 14 12.07%
#8 10 8.62%
#9 4 3.45%
#10 2 1.72%
#11 2 1.72%
#12 3 2.59%
#13 1 0.86%
#14 0 0.00%

A quick glance at previous Preakness Stakes results tells us post position 14 has never produced a winner, but there aren’t always that many runners. Gate 6 holds the overall win record, meanwhile, with 16 victories.

When you consider the draw is random, this data illustrates a point where a horse starts from matters. This is enough to see prices change drastically when comparing Preakness Stakes post positions and odds after the draw.

While this information may be startling when learning how to bet on the Preakness Stakes, we don’t recommend basing your entire strategy on it. But to deny that some gates are better avoided would be foolish with such compelling trends.

Preakness Post Positions & Stats

It doesn’t take long to notice patterns and trends in Preakness horse stats and data. Put simply, some gates are simply more successful than others. For this reason, we highly recommend considering the gates where past Preakness stakes winners have emerged.

Most Preakness Winners Post Positions

Gate 6 is the most successful post position in the history of Pimlico Race Course’s showpiece event, with 16 wins. This gives this post position a 13.79% Preakness Stakes win rate, putting it ahead of 4 and 7, which both have 14 wins and 12.07% success ratios, respectively. If you are serious about betting on horse racing’s Preakness showdown this year, that cannot be ignored. Regardless if you have Preakness Stakes tickets or are betting online.

Worst Preakness Draw

Gate 14 on the outside of the Preakness post position draw has failed to produce a single winner in history. All other posts have had at least one triumph, with 13 the only one-time winner. That was Rachel Alexandra, who became the first filly in 85 years to win the race with an impressive victory in 2009. She took her rightful place in the Preakness Hall of Fame as 2016 inductee.

While bookies making Preakness Stakes payouts for a win from higher draws can still happen, it hasn’t occurred very often. And that is bound to impact the odds for horses racing from outside gates.

Recent Preakness Stakes Post Positions & Odds of Winners

Here are the Preakness Stakes odds and post positions for every champion since 2000. What’s particularly interesting about this data is the dominance of horses from the inside half of gates – number 1 alone has produced three victories since 2015.

For this reason, we encourage bettors making Preakness Stakes picks to consider lower to middle draws from post positions:

Year Preakness Winner Post Position Final Odds
2023 National Treasure 1 +250
2022 Early Voting 5 +600
2021 Rombauer 6 +1200
2020 Swiss Skydiver 4 +1100
2019 War of Will 1 +600
2018 Justify 7 -200
2017 Cloud Computing 2 +1300
2016 Exaggerator 5 +250
2015 American Pharoah 1 +125
2014 California Chrome 3 -167
2013 Oxbow 6 +1500
2012 I’ll Have Another 9 +300
2011 Shackleford 5 +1200
2010 Lookin At Lucky 7 +250
2009 Rachel Alexandra 13 +175
2008 Big Brown 6 -500
2007 Curlin 4 +300
2006 Bernardini 8 +1300
2005 Afleet Alex 12 +350
2004 Smarty Jones 7 -167
2003 Funny Cide 9 +200
2002 War Emblem 8 +300
2001 Point Given 11 +250
2000 Red Bullet 4 +600


When is the Preakness Stakes draw made?

How are Preakness Stakes post positions determined?

What happens if a horse is scratched after the draw?

Do Preakness post positions and odds influence each other?

What is the worst Preakness Stakes post position a horse can draw?


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.