Code of Honor Opens as Preakness Favorite


Code of Honor opened as the early betting favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1). (Photo credit: Maryland Jockey Club).

Although he is not yet confirmed to run, the Shug McGaughey trained Code of Honor opened up as the early betting favorite for the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico on Saturday, May 18.

The colt crossed the wire third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday and was placed second via the disqualification of Maximum Security, who was placed 17th after interfering with War of Will, causing a chain reaction that affected Bodexpress and Long Range Toddy.

At USRacing Code of Honor opened as the Preakness favorite at 5-2.

“It’s a slim possibility, but it’s not out of the question,” McGaughey said about the colt starting in the Preakness. “He’s not going to run in the Belmont. I’d like for him to have a good summer campaign, maybe the Dwyer; maybe at Saratoga. We’ll have to see.”

Country House was placed first thanks to the disqualification and became the second longest price in the history of the race, returning $132.40. The highest $2 payoff in the history of the Kentucky Derby came in 1913, Donerail returning his backers $18.90.

Country House became the third $100+ Kentucky Derby winner in the last 15 years. Giacomo paid $102.60 in 2005 and Mine That Bird paid $103.20 in 2009.  From 2013 to 2018 the post time favorite won every race.

The longshot winner it the current second choice in early Preakness wagering at USRacing at 3-1. Mott said, “Having the Derby winner, you’re pretty much forced to go into the Preakness.”

Improbable a Go for Baffert

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert sent out three Derby starters, Improbable finishing fourth, Game Winner fifth and Roadster checked in 15th.

Baffert said on Monday that Improbable is heading to Pimlico and will have Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith aboard. There is no final word yet on his other two Derby starters.

Improbable is listed at 15-2 in early Preakness wagering while Game Winner is 5-1.

War of Will, who was interfered with by Maximum Security at the 5/16’s pole in the Derby will make his way to Baltimore. He ended up eighth and placed seventh. The colt is the co-third choice in Preakness wagering with Tacitus at 4-1.

Kentucky Derby Replay

Tacitus, who finished third after the DQ is the co-third choice at 4-1, but is trained by Mott, making him unlikely to start in the Preakness.

Horses that did not compete in the Run for the Roses who may compete in the Preakness include Sueno, third-place finisher in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Alwaysmining, winner of the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park, Anothertwistafate, winner of the El Camino Real Derby, Signalman, who was third in the Blue Grass (G2); Laughing Fox, winner of the Oaklawn Invitational, Lexington (G3) winner Owendale, Mr. Money, winner of the Pat Day Mile (G3) and Bourbon War, fourth in the Florida Derby (G1).

Early Preakness Stakes Betting Odds via USRacing:

Code of Honor   5-2

Country House   3-1

War of Will   4-1

Tacitus   4-1

Game Winner   5-1

Improbable   15-2

Vekoma   11-1

Laughing Fox   12-1

Alwaysmining  12-1

Owendale        14-1

Anothertwistafate   16-1

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