Early Preakness betting odds put the eight-race undefeated Nyquist against the field. The colt’s victory at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday has trainer Doug O’Neill’s horse as a heavy favorite to repeat his success at Pimlico Race Course on May 21st in Baltimore. Exaggerator, the runner-up behind Nyquist on Saturday, is also second on the odds board. As of Monday, according Exaggerator and Lani are the only early returns from Churchill Downs that will be racing in Baltimore in addition to Nyquist. Laoban and Cherry Wine are scheduled to run at Pimlico though they did not participate in the Run of the Roses. Regardless of who runs, Nyquist should be leading the charge when it’s all said and done.
However, the gap between Nyquist and the rest is not as wide as compared to American Pharoah last year. Bob Baffert’s Triple Crown-winning horse dominated in his championship quest. The only concern among people who bet on horses online is that while Nyquist should win in less than two weeks, the Belmont Stakes will be the true test. In good theory, Nyquist should be approached as one would Floyd Mayweather. That is, never bet against him until he loses. The same applies to horse race betting. Nyquist should be the favorite to be the winner until the day should come that he finishes in any other position.
At the Preakness Stakes, Jockey Mario Gutierrez should stick to the same plan that worked for him on Saturday. On a longer track than Nyquist is accustomed to, Gutierrez maintained a constant, steady pace at the long stretches of the track before going full throttle on the home stretch. It was also helpful that Nyquist was in the top three for most of the race before Gutierrez charged ahead. Triple Crown winners are not a dime a dozen. And back-to-back Triple Crown winners are an even rarer occurrence. Some say that if Exaggerator had charged a little sooner, it would be him gunning for the Triple Crown, and we would have forgotten about Nyquist already. However, Exaggerator would not have had the same amount of confidence from people who bet on horses to win the Triple Crown as compared to Nyquist.
Nyquist has already arrived safely at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course and was bedded down in the stall of a former Derby winner also trained by O’Neill. Should he win the Preakness, he will need to remain in good health going into the Belmont Stakes on June 11th. Back in 2012, O’Neill won the first two legs of the Triple Crown with I’ll Have Another, but when it came to Belmont, I’ll Have Another was forced to scratch on the day before the race as a result of an injured tendon. Horse racing, like horse race betting, has a lot to do with luck, so hopefully those four horseshoes Nyquist has on will help him ward off evil.