There is an element of both mystery and familiarity regarding the New Jersey connection to Saturday’s $1.65 million Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
The race and the Garden State are intertwined on several levels.
The biggest link is that gamblers can bet on the middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, unfolding at 6:50 p.m. Saturday, all throughout New Jersey.
They can participate via connection with Monmouth Park’s live card, as well as:
- Mobile devices providing FanDuel Racing
- Several simulcast facilities throughout the state
- Via the live harness-racing night card at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford
2023 Preakness Stakes odds
|Post Position||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Opening Odds|
|1||National Treasure||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert||4-1|
|2||Chase The Chaos||Sheldon Russell||Ed Moger Jr.||50-1|
|3||Mage||Javier Castellano||Gustavo Delgado||8-5|
|4||Coffee With Chris||Jaime Rodriguez||John Salzman Jr.||20-1|
|5||Red Route One||Joel Rosario||Steve Asmussen||10-1|
|6||Perform||Feargal Lynch||Shug McCaughey||15-1|
|7||Blazing Sevens||Irad Ortiz Jr.||Chad Brown||6-1|
|8||First Mission||Luis Saez||Brad Cox||5-2|
2023 Preakness Stakes takeaways
The Preakness Stakes field of eight is more manageable than the 18-horse cavalry stampede at the Kentucky Derby from two weeks ago. Racing luck and traffic problems have less impact on the outcome than in the congested Kentucky Derby.
Mage, the Kentucky Derby winner, was installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite. He will break from post 3.
The absence of chief rivals Forte, Angel of Empire and Two Phil’s made him the lone Kentucky Derby graduate in this field.
Forte, who nipped Mage in the Florida Derby, was targeted to meet him in the Derby and Preakness. He was withdrawn from both races with a bruise that is expected to heal before the June 10 Belmont Stakes. If Mage wins the Preakness, a rematch with Forte is possible for the Belmont.
First Mission, the Lexington Stakes winner, was listed as the 5-2 favorite in the 8 post.
National Treasure, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, gained early respect at 4-1. Baffert trained the last two Triple Crown winners in American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018. Baffert is popular in New Jersey circles and his horses are always highly-regarded in the $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. It will take place on July 22.
Baffert would set a Preakness record with eight triumphs should National Treasure win, but this is not one of his strongest horses.
Blazing Sevens (6-1) finished third in the Blue Grass stakes, a Derby prep. That alone puts him in the initial top tier.
Red Route One, a notorious late runner, is 10-1 and projected to be coming from 10 to 20 lengths back to try to get into it. Perform, 15-1, has the same running style.
Meanwhile, Coffee With Chris, 20-1, is a good Maryland horse who has not been able to step up to the next level.
Chase the Chaos, 50-1, was nowhere to be seen at 30-1 in the San Felipe Stakes. Owners must feel there was something wrong with him that day and that his talent level is better.
NJ Preakness betting guide
Monmouth Park has several options.
The Oceanport facility off of Garden State Parkway exit 105 has a live-racing card on Saturday, starting at 12:40 p.m. During that time, gamblers can also place wagers on the Preakness.
Gamblers also have a live book on the premises, where bets can be taken on the Preakness. Caesars Sportsbook at Monmouth Park, located on the first floor of the Grandstand, is open seven days a week and features over 100 high-definition TVs and a 75-foot video wall. On Saturday, the book will open at 9 a.m. and close at midnight.
Another new wagering vehicle has just been announced, with the launch of MonmouthBets betting app, which is available on mobile devices.
The track issued the following information in a press release:
“BetMakers Technology Group, a global leader in wagering technology, has announced the groundbreaking launch of MonmouthBets, the first legal and regulated mobile application for fixed odds betting on horse racing in the United States.”
In addition to being able to place bets on Monmouth Park races, New Jersey horseplayers can now place fixed-odds wagers on races from Tampa Bay Downs, Canterbury Park, Delaware Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Emerald Downs and Century Mile.
The all-turf “Monmouth at Meadowlands” meet that begins Sept. 15 will be part of the fixed-odds menu as well.
The desire for fixed-odds wagering on horse racing is resounding, based on a recent survey commissioned by BetMakers. The survey determined that 83% of US horseplayers polled want a fixed-odds betting option alongside the established pari-mutuel wagering system.
BetMakers initially debuted retail fixed odds for the New Jersey market in 2022 at Monmouth Park, following years of international success with its wide array of betting solutions. The company, through its initial client MonmouthBets, started by offering fixed-odds wagering on Thoroughbred horse racing in New Jersey.
Other ways to bet the Preakness Stakes
Besides combining with live racing at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, New Jersey bettors can take the simulcasting route.
The BetMGM Race & Sportsbook, located at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, has a big room with giant screens, live tellers and self-service kiosks.
Gamblers can tie in a casino experience with their wagers, but must allow a few extra minutes to bet in order to avoid being shut out.
Favorites in Clementon, Woodbridge and at Chickie & Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township spread simulcast availability throughout the state. Allow time for extra lines and more bettors.
Simulcasting works for a good number of bettors, while many others are converting to the convenience of mobile.
The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford has numerous betting options along with a live harness racing card.
The Big M has a 6:20 p.m. post time on Saturday, with a multi-race live menu stretching past 11:30 p.m. Gamblers can sandwich their Preakness betting around some of the best harness racing in the United States.
Further link between New Jersey and the Triple Crown races
The Preakness, like the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, are breeding grounds for entries into the $1 million Haskell Stakes July 23 at Monmouth Park.
The winner of Saturday’s race will have fans pondering whether the horse can do a Preakness-Haskell double.
It’s been done a number of times.
Deputed Testamony was the first horse to complete the feat, doing so in 1983.
Since then, Point Given in 2001, War Emblem in 2002, Big Brown in 2008, Rachel Alexandra in 2009, Lookin at Lucky in 2010, American Pharoah in 2015, and Exaggerator in 2016 also won both the Preakness and the Haskell.
Some entries from Saturday’s race are likely to wind up in the 2022 Haskell.
Last year, Preakness runner-up Midnight Bourbon ran in Monmouth’s big race.
The Preakness owes its roots to a horse from New Jersey
Most people probably aren’t aware of this, but the Garden State has a Preakness connection.
There is an unincorporated community named Preakness within Wayne in Passaic County.
Milton Sanford, who had made a fortune by manufacturing blankets for the Union Army in the Civil War, owned Preakness Stud, which sits today on the corner of Preakness Avenue in Wayne.
The barn played a major role in the launch of this multi-million-dollar race:
At an 1868 dinner party for horsemen in Saratoga Springs, N.Y, it was suggested that a race called the Dinner Party Stakes be run to commemorate the gathering. The race would be two miles and run in 1870.
Attendees included Maryland Gov. Oden Bowie, who promised he would build a track in Maryland if the race could be put there. That happened and Pimlico Race Course was born.
The Dinner Party Stakes was run on the opening day of Pimlico in 1870 and won by Milton’s horse.
So, track officials created a raced named the Preakness Stakes, which became one of America’s most famous events, in his honor.
In 2018, Preakness was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.