Better Late Than Never: Illinois Horse Racing Fans Can Wager, Watch The Preakness Stakes

Written By Joe Boozell on October 1, 2020 - Last Updated on July 19, 2021

The Preakness Stakes will run on Saturday, Oct. 3, marking the end of a peculiar 2020 Triple Crown horse racing season.

Typically the second leg, the Preakness will go third this year due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally supposed to take place on May 16.

Here’s what you need to know about betting on the 2020 Preakness Stakes in Illinois.

Preakness Stakes essential info

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 3
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. EST
  • TV: NBC,, NBC Sports app
  • Location: Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore
  • Length: 9.5 furlongs (1 3/16th miles)
  • 2019 winner: War of Will
  • 2020 betting favorite: Authentic
  • Purse total: $2.7 million
  • Surface of track: Dirt 

The current forecast for Saturday in Baltimore is sunny with temperatures in the 60s, which should make for a fast track.

There will be no fans in the stands due to COVID-19. Last year, 130,000 spectators took in the event, and the Preakness exceeded $54.4 million in all-sources wagering.

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Odds, betting favorites

Here are the TVG odds for the 145th running of the Preakness.

1Excession30/1Sheldon Russell
Steve Asmussen
2Mr. Big News12/1Gabriel Saez
Bret Calhoun
3Art Collector5/2Brian Hernandez, Jr.
Thomas Drury, Jr.
4Swiss Skydiver6/1Robby Albarado
Ken McPeek
5Thousand Words6/1Florent Geroux
Bob Baffert
6Jesus' Team30/1Jevian Toledo
Jose D'Angelo
7Ny Traffic15/1Horacio Karamanos
Saffie Joseph, Jr.
8Max Player15/1Paco Lopez
Steve Asmussen
9Authentic9/5John Velazquez
Bob Baffert
10Pneumatic20/1Joe Bravo
Steve Asmussen
11Liveyourbeastlife30/1Trevor McCarthy
Jorge Abreu

Authentic is the Illinois horse betting favorite, and that comes on the heels of a Kentucky Derby win in September.

Bob Baffert, who trains Authentic, has won the Preakness Stakes seven times.

Kentucky Derby champions have gone on to have nice success in the Preakness in recent memory.

During the past 20+ years, almost half of Kentucky Derby winners have proceeded to win the Preakness. The caveat, of course, is that the Preakness usually only takes place two weeks after the Derby.

This time, there is a month apart. Regardless, there is a lot going for Authentic.

Equibase Speed Figures (ESF) also projects that Authentic will burst out to an early lead based on how fast these horses have been running in recent races. ESF adjusts for distances, conditions and track.

Tiz the Law, who won the Belmont Stakes and was the betting favorite going into the Kentucky Derby, will not be partaking on Saturday.

“Our primary interest is doing what’s right for the horse, in this case he’s not ready,” owner Jack Knowlton wrote earlier this month. “We look forward to training him up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic on 11/7.”

Tiz the Law finished second at the Derby. So even if Authentic’s stiffest competitor is sidelined, there are other viable challengers in the field.

Art Collector tops that list, despite not having raced in 60 days. He was considered a major Derby contender but was scratched a few days prior due to a foot injury.

But Art Collector won at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Blue Grass in July, and again in August at the Ellis Park Derby. He has fresh legs and a recent track record of success.

Preakness history

This marks the 145th Preakness Stakes. The first event ran in 1873.

It usually draws the second-highest attendance of any horse race in North America after the Kentucky Derby, though that obviously will not be the case in 2020.

Secretariat owns the fastest time in Preakness Stakes history. He finished the race in a record time of  1:53.00.

Last year, War of Will clocked in at 1:54.34. That was the fastest time since Curlin in 2007.

The track has run 1 3/16 miles since 1925.

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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