Preakness 2015: Contenders, Dark Horses & Long Shots

Victor Espinoza celebrates atop California Chrome #3 after winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Victor Espinoza celebrates atop California Chrome #3 after winning the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Last year Victor Espinoza and California Chrome rode to an easy Preakness win, setting up an opportunity to be horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Unfortunately, Espinoza and California Chrome came up short after finishing 4th in the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Tonalist — a horse that had not run either of the previous two legs of the Triple Crown and caused some controversy from California Chrome owner Art Sherman.

This year only eight horses are vying to win the race, making this the smallest Preakness field since 2000.

This year’s race is neatly divided up into four horses who can truly contend and win the race and four who have an opportunity to finish in the money, but fall short of ultimately winning.

The odds below were provided by sportsbooks monitored by

2015 Preakness Contenders

American Pharoah

American Pharoah won the 2015 Kentucky Derby by almost a length over firing Line who is also running in the 140th Preakness Stakes. (Getty)

American Pharoah is sitting as the 4/5 betting favorite and is undoubtedly the best horse in the race. Jockey Victor Espinoza knows what it’s like to have a horse in this position; he had the aforementioned California Chrome in this same spot in last year’s Preakness.

American Pharoah is the head-and-shoulders top choice for the race. the 2nd choices shouldn’t be surprises, either. Just like in the Kentucky Derby, both Dortmund and Firing Line are right behind American Pharoah in both quality and betting — both are 17/4 as of this moment.

2015 Preakness Dark Horses & Long Shots

Danzig Moon

Danzig Moon is a talented horse who was ridden by Julien Leparoux in the 201 Kentucky Derby. (Horse Racing Nation/YouTube)

Danzig Moon was one of Heavy’s dark horses to win the Kentucky Derby. Despite not winning, Danzig Moon ran an impressive 5th behind the talented trio previously mentioned and Frosted (who won the 2015 Wood Memorial Stakes). Danzig Moon impressed so much in the Derby that his owners felt comfortable enough to run him back two weeks later in the Preakness.

The other notable Preakness dark horse is Divining Rod who won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes back in early April. The knock on divining Rod that day was that the field was not filled with any Kentucky Derby contenders — no horse in the race eventually qualified and ended up moving on to race in the Derby.

Still, both horses present good value. Danzig Moon went off at 21/1 in the Kentucky Derby and his and Divning Rod’s current odds for the Preakness are both 20/1.

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is an enlightened being, one with great knowledge, wisdom and foresight. In the 2015 Preakness Stakes, Bodhisattva is a 50/1 long shot. With Bodhisattva’s win in the Federico Tesio Stakes on April 18th at Pimlico, trainer Jose Corrales caved in and decided to run the the three-year-old colt in the Preakness.

Bodhisattva has run 11 times since August 2014 and has run in five total Stakes Races. The horse has improved with every single start, including a 2nd place finish in the Private Terms Stakes in Laurel Park on March 21st and his most recent win in the Tesio. Bodhisattva also has history on his side — post-position No. 6 has yielded 16 Preakness winners since 1909, the most of any since then. The most recent winner from No. 6 was Oxbow two years ago when he defeated 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb.

Comment Here
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x