2016 Preakness Top Winning Picks

Posted by Aaron . on May 19, 2016 in

On Wednesday night, the draw for post positions took place. Let’s take a look at how the horses will line up, and their sportsbook odds of winning as of this writing.

2016 Preakness Top Winning Picks



  1. Cherry Wine (20-1)
  2. Uncle Lino (20-1)
  3. Nyquist (3-5)
  4. Awesome Speed (30-1)
  5. Exaggerator (3-1)
  6. Lani (30-1)
  7. Collected (10-1)
  8. Laoban (30-1)
  9. Abiding Star (30-1)
  10. Fellowship (30-1)
  11. Stradivari (8-1)


Nyquist, the Kentucky Derby winner, is the heavy favorite again at Pimlico. Exaggerator was the runner-up at Churchill Downs and is seen as potentially the stronger finisher, but he has a late kick, and Pimlico is a shorter track than Churchill Downs.

But what about Stradivari? He has won his last two races by an aggregate 25 ¾ lengths. He is a new shooter, so the hope is that he will be able to run like an experienced horse, even if he lacks the big-race experience so far. Stradivari’s breeders have also raised and sold Stay Thirsty (2nd in the 2011 Belmont Stakes) and First Samurai (3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), both multiple Grade 1 winners. Stradivari has shown his trainers the desire to run faster over distance. He foaled April 24, which makes him a young thoroughbred, and he will be the youngest at the Preakness. There are also some who look as Collected as the most likely upset, trained by Bob Baffert.

A lot of experts look at Nyquist or Exaggerator as the only two realistic possibilities, though. Nyquist got out front quickly (and the #3 position at the post will allow him the space to do that again) and he stayed there the whole race. The Preakness is a shorter race (9 ½ furlongs), which means that the rest of the field has less time to catch up to Nyquist’s initial burst.

For Exaggerator to win, jockey Kent Desmoreaux will have to make his move sooner. He didn’t make it soon enough to challenge Nyquist at Churchill Downs, and Pimlico is a shorter track. Exaggerator did make up about 17 lengths at Churchill Downs, so it may be a question of timing. Both of these horses have solid shots at coming away with the win. After the Kentucky Derby, Desmoreaux said that he actually held Exaggerator back and had him wait before making a kick and that he is more inclined to give the horse some more freedom so that he can have a better chance of getting up with Nyquist and blowing by him down the stretch. Don’t be surprised if this shift in strategy gives Stradivari or Collected a chance to slip into the “Place” finish, though.