Looking for Longshots in the Preakness Stakes

With so many Triple Crowns over the past few years (two from 2015-2018 is a lot after a 37-year drought!), longshots have had a tough time coming through in the classics. It’s been so tough that it took a historic Kentucky Derby disqualification of first-place finisher Maximum Security (the 9-2 second favorite) for 65-1 outsider Country House to be declared the winner after finishing second.

Officially, Country House became the second-longest shot to take the Run for the Roses. Only 1913 winner Donerail had higher odds, 91-1 ($184.90 for a $2 win bet).

Improbable

Improbable has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Preakness Stakes.

With the Preakness Stakes at hand, longshots have been few and far between, with the odds certainly not as long as those witnessed in the Derby. For one thing, there’s about half the number of horses running in the Preakness than one typically sees in the Run for the Roses, where 18-20 horses is the norm. This year, 19 ran in the Derby; 13 were entered in the Preakness on Wednesday.

Improbable, fifth in the Derby but moved up to fourth after the DQ, was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s second leg of the Triple Crown. The longest shots are Everfast at 50-1, with Signalman and Market King each at 30-1.

The most recent longshot winner of the Preakness was just two years ago, when Cloud Computing won at 13-1 and returned $28.80, the ninth-longest shot in the race’s 144-year history. In 2013, Oxbow, who ran sixth in the Derby, captured the Preakness at 15-1 odds ($32.80), the fifth-longest shot.

The longest shot in Preakness history came in 1975, when Master Derby at 23-1 ($48.80) edged Derby winner Foolish Pleasure by a length. Master Derby drifted out in the stretch, an objection for interference was filed by the Foolish Pleasure camp, but was disallowed by the stewards.

Take note of these factoids before picking your Preakness long shot: Signalman is trained by Ken McPeek, who won the 2002 Belmont Stakes with Sarava at 70-1 odds — the longest shot to win in Belmont history; Market King is trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, the trainer of Oxbow; and Everfast is trained by Dale Romans, winner of the 2011 Preakness with Shackleford at 12-1.

The Preakness longshot list:

  • Master Derby, 1975, 23-1, $48.80
  • Coventry, 1925, 21-1, $45.60
  • Display, 1926, 19-1, $40.70
  • Bee Bee Bee, 1972, 18-1, $39.40
  • Oxbow, 2013, 15-1, $32.80
  • Hindus, 1900, 15-1, $32.00
  • Don Enrique, 1907, 15-1, $32.00
  • Deputed Testamony, 1983, 14-1, $31.00
  • Cloud Computing, 2017, 13-1, $28.80
  • Bernardini, 2006, 12-1, $27.80
  • Shackleford, 2011, 12-1, $27.20
  • The Bart, 1886, 12-1, $26.20
Richard Rosenblatt
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.

In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.

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