2021 Preakness Stakes predictions, odds and best bet: Can the controversial Medina Spirit strike again?

John Velazquez, aboard Medina Spirit, wins the Kentucky Derby.
Photo of Tom Collins

Tom Collins

Horse Racing· 5 months ago

Show Bio

Journalist and UK/US horse racing handicapper.

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit went from hero to villain in the space of a week when a subsequent drug test came back as positive for Betamethasone, a Class C anti-inflammatory.

Churchill Downs immediately suspended trainer Bob Baffert from running his horses at the track, but Pimlico — the hosting venue of the Preakness — took a different approach, instead leaning on stringent testing. As a result, the winner of the first leg of the 2021 Triple Crown is able to try and build his legacy in Maryland’s biggest race.

Preakness Stakes odds

Here are the betting odds for the Preakness Stakes as of Friday morning, courtesy of TVG:

Medina Spirit 9-5

Concert Tour 5-2

Midnight Bourbon 5-1

Crowded Trade 10-1

Rombauer 12-1

Risk Taking 15-1

Unbridled Honor 15-1

Keepmeinmind 15-1

France Go De Ina 20-1

Ram 30-1

Baffert dual-handed with Medina Spirit and Concert Tour

Ridden again by John Velazquez, Medina Spirit, who boasts a rags-to-riches story given he cost just $1,000 as a yearling, looks to have a favorable pace scenario once again. Drawn well in gate three, similarly aggressive tactics are likely to be employed and it would be no surprise if he led the field around the first turn.

His main danger for early supremacy is stablemate Concert Tour, the long-time favorite for the Kentucky Derby who bypassed the ‘Run for the Roses’ after a disappointing third-place finish in his final trial in the Arkansas Derby.

The bull-like colt was caught in a pace duel on his first start at a mile and an eighth that day and warrants the utmost respect if he bounces back to his prior success in the Rebel Stakes. From a wide gate in ten, Mike Smith is sure to try and navigate across onto the shoulder of Medina Spirit.

Midnight Bourbon back for more

With connections of Kentucky Derby placed horses Mandaloun (second), Hot Rod Charlie (third) and Essential Quality (fourth) opting out of the quick two-week turnaround to run here, the Baffert-trained pair’s biggest danger may come from Churchill sixth, Midnight Bourbon, who will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

The son of Tiznow got far from the perfect trip last time — squeezed out at the start, forced to race in the rear — but has a much better make-up from the gates this time and should adopt a stalking position. Whether that scrimmaging has taken its toll on the heavily-raced colt is another matter, though he looks the ‘wise-guy’ selection to upset the chalks.

Other Preakness Stakes contenders

Keepmeinmind caught the eye of plenty with a strong late effort in the Derby, though was readily outpaced throughout the first quarter and may lack the tactical speed to play a part now dropped back in trip. While the Chad Brown-trained Risk Taking has to bounce back from a thoroughly disappointing effort in the Wood Memorial, a race that hasn’t worked out overly well.

Blue Grass third Rombauer brings in solid west coast form and gets the assistance of leading rider Flavien Prat, while the Japanese-trained France Go De Ina brings some international flavor into the race.

Whatever the result, Medina Spirit will be the story. Will we have a potential Triple Crown winner on our hands or a Derby blowout in the Preakness?

Preakness Stakes best bet and verdict

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is clearly the horse to beat thanks to a favorable pace scenario as he looks to take the second leg of the Triple Crown. However, his odds are going to be pretty short in the market and there’s no guarantee that he will repeat his Churchill Downs effort.

I prefer the odds of Midnight Bourbon at 5/1, who had a pretty rough trip in the Derby but finished his race off well to take sixth and gets a big rider upgrade with Irad Ortiz taking over from Mike Smith. Look for him to sit closer to the speed.

Horse Racing betting guide

Want to learn more about betting on horse racing? Be sure to check out our handy horse racing betting guide, which answers all the questions you’ll have including “Where can I bet on horse racing?” and “How do I bet on horse racing?”.

At Pickswise we offer daily expert Horse Racing Picks from across America, including all of the top Stakes action including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup.

See All
DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NFL, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NFL game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on the Cardinals vs. Texans!

Register for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make a deposit of $10+

Bet $5 on the Cardinals vs. Texans

If you pick the winner correctly, you win $150 in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Max bet $5, max reward $150. Must deposit $10+ to be eligible for promotion. Full terms available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Unibet

$50

Bet $5, Win $50 if Your Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with Unibet and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any NBA team to win their next game

If your team hits a 3-pointer during the game, you win a bonus $50 - regardless of the game's outcome!

Max bet $5. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Unibet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NBA, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NBA Basketball game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose - up to $5,000!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.