Preakness Stakes 2021: Odds and Favorites for Triple Crown Race

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit starts the Preakness Stakes as favorite, a week after it emerged that the colt had failed a drug test following its triumph in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

The 3-year-old is a 9-5 favorite with William Hill to win at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday afternoon.

Medina Spirit won the Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, finishing half a length ahead of Mandaloun, before testing positive for an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone.

The drug is allowed under Kentucky racing rules, but only in limited amounts and 14 days before a horse race. Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms per milliliter—more than double the legal threshold in Kentucky horse racing

Bob Baffert, Medina Spirit's trainer, initially insisted that the horse had never been treated with the medication and that he had been "wronged."

He revealed on Tuesday, however, that he had used Otomax, an ointment that contains betamethasone, on the horse to treat dermatitis.

"I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone," he said in a statement.

"While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample, and our investigation is containing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results."

Medina Spirit will be stripped of the Derby win if a second test confirms the initial findings. Mandaloun would be declared the winner, which would mean there will be no Triple Crown winner this year, as the colt is not taking part in the Preakness.

Concert Tour, also trained by Baffert, has the second-shortest odds at 5-2.

The 3-year-old colt was kept out of the Kentucky Derby following a disappointing performance at the Arkansas Derby on April 10, in which it started as 1-5 favorite but faded badly and finished third.

Following consultation with owner Gary West, Baffert opted not to race Concert Tour at Churchill Downs, but the horse will run at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday.

"We'll run in it and see if he's as good as we think he is," Baffert told US Racing earlier this week. "Or maybe he's not as good as we think he is. We'll give him a chance. I still think he's a good horse."

Preakness Stakes
The saddle blankets of trainer Bob Baffert's two Preakness Stakes entrants, Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, are shown hanging in the barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 12. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Should Medina Spirit or Concert Tour win the Preakness, it would mark Baffert's eighth victory in the "The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans," breaking R.W. Walden's 133-year-old record.

The Hall of Fame trainer won his seventh Kentucky Derby earlier this month, setting another record, but this could be shortlived depending on the outcome of Medina Spirit's second drug test.

Behind Medina Spirit and Concert Tour, Midnight Bourbon is the bookmakers' third favorite at 5-1, followed by Crowded Trade at 10-1 and Rombauer at 12-1. Midnight Bourbon finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and will start from gate No. 5 on Saturday.

Crowded Trade, fresh from a third-place finish in the Wood Memorial, will be at post No. 4. This gate has produced 14 Preakness winners, including Swiss Skydiver last year, the second-highest in the race's history.

Rombauer goes off at 12-1 after finishing third in the Blue Grass Stakes in its most recent start on April 3. The colt finished second in American Pharaoh last September and won on its debut on dirt at the El Camino Real Derby in February. The 3-year-old drew post No. 6, which has produced 16 winners—the highest number in the 111 editions of the Preakness Stakes since the race introduced the starting gate in 1909.

Preakness Stakes odds

(All odds are accurate at the time of writing)

  • Medina Spirit 9-5
  • Concert Tour 5-2
  • Midnight Bourbon 5-1
  • Crowded Trade 10-1
  • Rombauer 12-1
  • Risk Taking 15-1
  • Unbridled Honor 15-1
  • Keepmeinmind 15-1
  • France Go De Ina 20-1
  • Ram 30-1