Epicenter Heavy Favorite Following 2022 Preakness Stakes Draw

Written By Paul Bergeron on May 17, 2022 - Last Updated on December 11, 2023

Giddy bettors in the Preakness are looking for the next Rich Strike, who shocked the racing world two weeks ago, winning the Kentucky Derby at 80-1 odds. 

With the second-biggest longshot winner in Derby history skipping the Triple Crown’s second jewel Saturday – the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore – and instead pointing to the Belmont Stakes three weeks later, skeptical bettors assume something like a high, double-digit odds winner repeating the trick is mostly unlikely.

The nine-horse field will be led by 6-5 morning line favorite Epicenter, who finished second to Rich Strike as the 4-1 favorite in the race. He is one of three Kentucky Derby entrants in the race. The others are Simplification (fourth in Derby) and Happy Jack (14th).

New shooters,” as they are called, are horses that did not participate in the Kentucky Derby. A new shooter has won the past two Preakness Stakes and four of the last six.

How to watch the Preakness

  • What: 2022 Preakness Stakes
  • When: Saturday, May 21
  • Where: Pimlico Race Track, Baltimore, Md.
  • Race Surface: Dirt
  • Race Distance: 1 3/16 mile (9.5 furlongs)
  • Post Time: 7:01 p.m. ET
  • Broadcast: NBC
  • Online viewing: Peacock
  • Pre-Race coverage: CNBC, 2-4 p.m.; NBC 4 p.m.
  • Weather Forecast: Low 90s; slight chance of showers in the evening

How to bet on the Preakness online in Michigan

Horse racing is not a market that’s available at Michigan’s 15 online sportsbooks, but there are options for online horse racing bettors.

TVG is the largest online betting app for horse racing in Michigan. TwinSpires and Xpressbet are also available in Michigan for online betting on horse racing.

Betting on horse racing is also legal at Michigan racetracks, and there is just one of those left: Northville Downs. The track is located at 301 S. Center St. in Northville, and you can call 248-349-1000 to make a reservation for the Preakness.

Preakness Stakes odds

The post-position draw for the 2022 Preakness Stakes was completed Monday afternoon. Here’s where the nine horses will line up, along with their morning line odds.

Post PositionHorseJockeyMorning Line Odds
1.SimplificationJohn Velazquez6-1
2.Creative MinisterBrian Hernandez Jr.10-1
3.FenwickFlorent Geroux50-1
4.Secret OathLuis Saez9-2
5.Early VotingJose Ortiz7-2
6.Happy JackTyler Gaffalione30-1
7.ArmagnacIrad Ortiz Jr.12-1
8.EpicenterJoel Rosario6-5
9.SkippylongstockingJunior Alvarado20-1

Do Longshots Win the Preakness?

Since 1976, only two winning horses paid more than $30 to win (Oxbow, $31.80 in 2013 and Deputed Testamony, $31.00 in 1983). However, the past two Preakness winners rewarded bettors with Rombauer taking first last year, paying $25.60 and Swiss Skydiver paying $25.40 the year before.

Does Filly Secret Oath Have a Chance?

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas goes for his record seventh Preakness win with Secret Oath, who has won three of four stakes races in her career. She won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks (a race for top fillies) the day before the Kentucky Derby.

Secret Oath would be the seventh filly to capture the Preakness, the most recent being Swiss Skydiver (2020). 

Why is Epicenter a Big Favorite?

Epicenter comes in with the top Beyer Speed Figure in the race (102), the only horse with one over 100. Most analysts figure a triple-digit speed figure is needed to win this race.

Epicenter was sitting pretty in the Kentucky Derby before Rich Strike surprisingly slipped through on the rail. Epicenter will break from the No. 8 post, which means he’ll have a great vantage point of the competition during the long, first stretch so he can get into the position he wants. He has also won at this distance, taking the Louisiana Derby this spring.

What New Shooters Have the Best Chances?

Early Voting is the second choice on the morning line. With a win in the Withers (G3) and runner-up in the Wood (G2), he qualified for the Derby, but Chad Brown was pointing him to the Preakness all along. Jose Ortiz will ride. His top career speed figure is 96 in three lifetime starts.

If You Had to Pick a Longshot

Creative Minister and Skippinglongstocking present interesting cases. The former comes in with the highest Equibase Speed Figure at 108 but is relatively untested, and uber-confident trainer Kenny McPeek didn’t nominate this horse until recently when the owners ponied up $150,000 to enter.

Skippylongstocking is the most experienced horse in the field with nine starts. With a stalking style, he could be there, especially in trifecta and superfecta wagering, if the top contenders tire or falter.

Photo by Charlie Riedel / Associated Press
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