Nine days away from the 141st Preakness Stakes and favored Nyquist has seen some of his projected opponents’ rise in the eyes of oddsmakers. According to the latest odds from Sportsbook.ag, the Kentucky Derby winner remains a solid 3/5 favorite, but challengers Exaggerator and Stradivari are quickly climbing the ranks.
Nyquist, who beat Exaggerator by a 1 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs less than a week ago, trotted around Pimlico Race Course for the first time Wednesday and the plan is to keep him fresh and happy prior to the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
“We just wanted to see him move efficiently, and he did everything and more that we wanted to see this morning,” assistant trainer Jack Sisterson told The Courier-Journal.
Exaggerator has come up short four times against Nyquist in each of their meetings, but he is still considered the biggest threat to trainer Doug O’Neill and jockey Mario Gutierrez’s hopes of making Nyquist the 13th Triple Crown winner of all-time.
When odds first began popping up earlier this week, Exaggerator was listed at 4/1 but has since improved to 7/2, which may have more to do with bettors feelings about Nyquist and his ability to push towards a Triple Crown.
But Exaggerator, sired by Curlin and trained and ridden by the Desormeaux brothers, has six races of a mile or longer in his track record and he’s finished in third place or higher in eight of his 10 career races.
The rise of Stradivari, from 30/1 odds just a few days ago to leapfrogging top contenders like 10/1 Gun Runner and 12/1 Suddenbreakingnews to reach 7/1, is most intriguing in the build up to the Preakness.
According to HorseRacingNation.com, the dark-colored colt eventually made his way to trainer Todd Pletcher and his impressive 11 1/4-length victory at GulfStream Park in December and win at Keeneland last month made him a major threat at the Derby until he was sidelined and saved for Pimlico.
Odds To Win 141st Preakness Stakes
Gun Runner 10/1
Brodys Cause 25/1
Cherry Wine 25/1
Uncle Lino 30/1
Awesome Speed 32/1
Dazzling Gem 35/1
Abiding Star 40/1