Justify Installed as Heavy 2018 Preakness Favorite

Justify 2018 Preakness Favorite
The 2018 Preakness Stakes will be headlined by Justify, who should lead all of your exotic plays

The 2018 Preakness Stakes is just one day away, and all eyes are on Justify to provide hope for a Triple Crown champion. He’s that good, and proved it by stomping the Kentucky Derby through muddy terrain. The weather is supposed to be more optimal for the favorite heading in to the weekend, but seven rivals wait to try and take him down.

Justify will enter as the 1-2 odds on favorite to win the 2018 Preakness, and to put this in perspective those are the heaviest odds we’ve seen since Big Brown in 2008, a 1-5 favorite who destroyed the competition before a curious injury derailed him in the Belmont. Even American Pharoah (4-5) and California Chrome (6-5) didn’t have this strong of a mark heading in to the second leg of the coveted classics.

The main challenge to Justify remains Good Magic, the runner-up from the derby and the reigning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion. It sincerely looks like Good Magic is a significant step behind Justify on the track, which is unfair and fair to say at the same time. The book on Good Magic is simple – he shows up on race day and has always finished on the podium. At 3-1, Good Magic is the only one within range of Justify’s heavy 2018 Preakness Stakes odds.

Just outside is Quip at 12-1 and Lone Sailor with 15-1 odds after a brutal finish in the Kentucky Derby. Quip is an intriguing outlier given how much rest he’s had, but it’s difficult to suggest that he’s any stronger of a play than horses like Tenfold. Players seem unusually high on both Tenfold and Quip, and the latter makes for an intriguing place bet but there’s another longshot I’d rather back.

That’s Diamond King, the 2018 Federico Tesio winner who has finally returned John Servis back to Pimlico. With 2018 Preakness odds marking him at 30-1, and a pedigree out of Quality Road, there’s a lot to like here even if you’ve never heard of the new shooter before. It’s a longshot wager so take what you will from it, but Diamond King as a show bet with this number can provide a strong return.

Bravazo is no slouch either after a strong 5th place finish in the money at the Kentucky Derby. He’s sort of being lost in the shuffle for the 2018 Preakness, and seems far removed from his passive win in the Risen Star where was a similar 21-1 longshot. I could talk myself in to him at the shorter distance, but I’ve already seen him lose to Justify decisively so it’s a hard sell for me.

Sporting Chance is the last of the bunch and is fresh off a dismal 4th place finish in the Pat Day Mile.

As you’d expect, an exacta on Justify and Good Magic feels like the strongest of any wager to make. If you really want to get frisky, a trifecta with Justify, Good Magic and then a take-your-pick of Quip or Diamond King feels like a profitable and promising trio.

Where and how you lay your money is up to you. Watch, wager and win at TwinSpires TV if your’e on the go, or catch the broadcast on NBC starting at 2:30pm ET. Best of luck.

2018 Preakness Stakes – Saturday, May 19th at Pimlico
1 3/16th Miles – 3 Year Olds – $1,500,000

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Quip F. Geroux R. Brisset 12-1
2 Lone Sailor I. Ortiz Jr. T. Amoss 15-1
3 Sporting Chance L. Contreras D. Lukas 30-1
4 Diamond King J. Castellano J. Servis 30-1
5 Good Magic J. Ortiz C. Brown 3-1
6 Tenfold R. Santana Jr. S. Asmussen 20-1
7 Justify M. Smith B. Baffert 1-2
8 Bravazo L. Saez D. Lukas 20-1

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