As the field whittles down, Nyquist’s chances of claiming the 141st Preakness Stakes continue to climb higher and higher. The 3-year-old Uncle Mo colt is now a 10/19 favorite to secure the second jewel of the Triple Crown after sitting at 3/5 five days ago, according to the latest odds from Sportsbook.ag.
Much of the rise can be attributed to Nyquist’s stellar run at the Kentucky Derby, the eighth straight victory of his career, but the betting public’s opinion as well as the diminishing field are also major factors.
Over the last few days four would-be contenders have been pulled from Saturday’s race at Pimlico to either focus on the Belmont Stakes or due to injury.
Originally, 17 thoroughbreds were angling for position in the 14-deep Preakness field, but now Dazzling Gem, Suddenbreakingnews, Brody’s Cause, and Cupid are currently off the racing form. At first a 35/1 longshot, Dazzling Gem will instead run the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes in the Preakness undercard and trainer Brad Cox said the decision had a lot to do with Nyquist.
“Nyquist isn’t in there," Cox told The Courier-Journal about the Sir Barton. "That has a lot to do with it.
“I think this will be a great stepping-stone to bigger and better things, hopefully, the rest of the year,” he added. “I think this is the most realistic spot for the horse and the best spot as far as moving forward.”
Meanwhile, both Suddenbreakingnews and Brody’s Cause will instead point to the Belmont. Trainer Dale Romans opted to keep Brody’s Cause out of the Preakness after a seventh-place showing at the Derby, while Suddenbreakingnews’ connections will save the late-charger for the Belmont. Sired by Mineshaft, Suddenbreaking news toiled in the first half-mile of the Derby but rallied to finish only 4 3/4 lengths behind Nyquist.
And trainer Bob Baffert, who captured the Triple Crown with American Pharoah last year, may be pulling Cupid from the field altogether. Listed at 30/1 last week, Cupid sat out the Derby and was expected to point to the Preakness but is currently unlisted. He reportedly underwent surgery to fix an entrapped epiglottis last month, according to Paulick Report, and hasn’t raced since finishing 10th at the Arkansas Derby.
Otherwise, Nyquist’s long-standing threats Exaggerator and Stradivari are holding steady five days before the race. Exaggerator dipped ever so slightly from 7/2 to 15/4, while Stradivari ticked up from 7/1 to 13/2 odds.However, the odds could shift around much more following Wednesday evening’s post-position draw.
Odds To Win 141st Preakness Stakes
Gun Runner 8/1
Cherry Wine 22/1
Uncle Lino 25/1
Awesome Speed 30/1
Abiding Star 35/1