How to wager the Preakness Stakes if you think Justify will win

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TwinSpires Staff

May 17th, 2018

Kentucky Derby winner (G1) Justify and trainer Bob Baffert (c)

by Scott Shapiro

Like any race, formulating an opinion on the favorite is the first step a handicapper should make when analyzing the 2018 Preakness Stakes.

Justify (#7) is the 1-2 chalk and looks extremely tough to beat unless you are expecting regression after an arduous three-month campaign that resulted in a Kentucky Derby (G1) win two weeks ago.

Assuming you have Justify on top and see the impressive colt making it a perfect five-for-five after Saturday, the question becomes how to find value underneath in the exotics. An exacta or trifecta with Good Magic (#5) for second may be the likeliest outcome, but it is not a strategy that will make you rich. Instead I will focus on keying Bravazo (#8) underneath in the exotics and hope that the 20-1 shot on the morning line can move forward off of a solid sixth-place effort in Louisville, Kentucky, two weeks ago.

The son of Awesome Again was wide throughout in the Kentucky Derby and made a solid middle move before tiring late. Something clearly went wrong when he finished eighth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), so I can toss that and instead focus on his two prior races where he showed a lot of grit and determination to get to the wire first.

If jockey Luis Saez can relax Bravazo a few lengths off the early pace and once again make his move in the middle stages of the race, I think it will be good enough to finish in the top few and provide some much needed value in the vertical wagers.

Here is how I would wager on the Preakness Stakes if you like Justify to win:

$20 Exacta: 7-8 = $20

$5 Trifecta Wheel: 7 with 8 with 2+4+5 = $15

$5 Trifecta Wheel: 7 with 2+4 with 8 = $10

$1 Superfecta Wheel: 7 with 8 with 1+2+4+5 with 1+2+4+5 = $12

$1 Superfecta Wheel: 7 with 1+2+4+5 with 8 with 1+2+4+5 = $12

$10 Superfecta: 7 with 5 with 8 with 2+4 = $20

Total Budget: $89

Stay tuned for my article on How to Wager on the Preakness if you think Justify will lose.