Justify the Clear Betting Favorite on Odds to Win the Preakness Stakes

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The falling price on Justify in the Preakness Stakes might leave bettors to get creative to find wagers offering plus money this weekend

Two weeks removed from his Kentucky Derby victory, Justify is the -225 favorite on the odds  to win the Preakness Stakes at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The 1-3/16-mile thoroughbred race takes place on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Preakness Stakes: What Time, Where to Watch and More

Good Magic (+325) is the nominal second favorite in the eight-horse field, followed by Quip (+1400), Bravazo (+1800), Diamond King (+2000), Lone Sailor (+2000), Tenfold (+3300) and Sporting Chance (+4000). Based on the weather in Baltimore this week, it appears the field will get a wet track not unlike the one that Justify triumphed on at Churchill Downs.

Justify’s trainer, Bob Baffert, is 4-for-4 with Kentucky Derby winners that he has brought to the Preakness, the second jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown. The racetrack history is less auspicious for the chestnut colt. In the last 32 runnings of the race, the betting favorite has won 13 times (40.6 percent) and placed second nine times (28.1 per cent).

Good Magic finished second by 2½ lengths at the Kentucky Derby, but had to run hard early and late in the sloppy conditions. While Good Magic has drawn the No. 5 post position, which was the starting gate for two of the last 10 Preakness winners, it’s plausible that that tough race two weeks ago could affect him on Saturday.

Diamond King, who runs out of the No. 4 spot, might have the strongest outside shot at ending Justify’s Triple Crown chances. Diamond King won the Federic Tesio local prep race in March and arrived at the Preakness well-rested.

The only other gate with multiple winners in the last decade is No. 6, which will be occupied by Tenfold, whose sire, Curlin, won the Preakness in 2007. Tenfold could be worth taking as a sleeper across-the-board pick (win, place or show) or playing along with Justify.

Bravazo is starting from the No. 8 gate, but he had to run on the outside at the Kentucky Derby and finished a respectable sixth. At the very least, he is worth including in a play with Justify.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

Jockey suspended for using whip on another rider in Arkansas

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) A jockey has been suspended 60 days for misusing his whip – not on a horse – but on another rider in a race at an Arkansas track.

A stewards’ ruling posted Thursday on the Association of Racing Commissioners International website alleges that David Cohen “deliberately” whipped fellow jockey Edgar Morales several times during the eighth race at Oaklawn Park on April 6.

Cohen and his horse Bolita Boyz were forced wide into the stretch by Morales and No Funny Biz. The two raced side-by-side through the stretch, with Cohen whipping his mount left-handed and apparently also striking Morales.

Neither horse won the race.

Upon returning to the jockeys’ room, the ruling said that Morales confronted Cohen, telling him, “You whipped me more than you did your horse.” Morales testified at a hearing that Cohen replied, “Be patient and don’t take me wide.”

Morales testified he had four welts on his right thigh from Cohen’s whip. Although jockeys can be accidentally struck by a whip in a race, Morales told stewards that “it was not an accident, he meant to do it.”

According to the ruling, Cohen said he wouldn’t deliberately hit another jockey with his whip and that if it happened it was accidental.

The ruling said other riders and valets testified they overheard a discussion in the jockeys’ room and that they considered Cohen’s admission as indicative of a deliberate action rather than being accidental.

The stewards agreed with Morales after finding that Cohen’s action was deliberate and violated multiple rules. The stewards said Cohen’s actions jeopardized the safety of other jockeys and horses in the race.

Cohen’s suspension runs from April 27 to June 25.

He was earlier suspended for April 25 and 26 by the stewards as the result of careless riding in the eighth race at Oaklawn on April 7.

His agent, Bill Castle, is appealing both suspensions.

Cohen is second in the Oaklawn jockeys’ standings, with 59 wins from 258 mounts.

Santa Anita to run three days a week, hike purses for six weeks

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Santa Anita will race three days a week instead of four over the next four weeks because the track has lost some of its horse population to out-of-state venues.

Several stables have shipped horses to Kentucky to run at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, leaving Santa Anita with fewer horses to race and smaller field sizes.

Track officials have yet to decide whether to race three days or four for the final three weeks of the spring meet, which ends June 23.

The track said Friday it is raising purses for all non-stake races by $10,000 each for the next six weeks as a way to help owners and trainers who lost money when the track was closed for most of March.

The deaths of 23 horses since Dec. 26 forced the closure while the track’s dirt surface was examined. Racing resumed March 29, with one horse death occurring since then as the result of injuries in a turf race.

The purse increase announced Friday begins April 26 and runs through June 2. Track officials will decide later whether to continue it through the end of the meet.

The increase is being funded by existing excess money in the purse account and money from The Stronach Group, which owns the track.

Thoroughbred Owners of California chairman Nick Alexander says his group will match the purse supplements funded by TSG in the hopes of returning to racing four days a week.