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Preakness Stakes Horses: 2022 Contenders & Post Positions

The Preakness Stakes is loaded with the top three-year-olds in racing.

Last Updated: May 21, 2022 8:13 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
Horses approach the finish line during the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The list of 2022 Preakness Stakes horses will feature some familiar names from the Kentucky Derby alongside some of the fastest three-year-olds in horse racing, some of which opted out of the first leg of the Triple Crown. However, with Derby winner Rich Strike taking a pass, there will be no Triple Crown in 2022.

The field for the Preakness has shrunk to 9 horses in 2022. The experts at TwinSpires have looked at the potential contenders before making their Preakness Stakes picks.

Who is running in the 2022 Preakness Stakes?

Although 80-1 Kentucky Derby (G1) upsetter Rich Strike is skipping the Preakness S. (G1), Saturday’s middle jewel of the Triple Crown remains rich in intrigue.

Epicenter, just denied as the Kentucky Derby favorite, will face star filly Secret Oath, who could make history for her Hall of Fame trainer. Add in the consistent fourth-placer from the Derby, an accomplished contender who qualified for the Derby but didn’t run, and an up-and-comer making his stakes debut, and you’ve got a challenging test at Pimlico.

Epicenter Epicenter

The 4.10-1 Kentucky Derby favorite looked like a winner for most of the stretch. The first to make his move off a wickedly fast pace, Epicenter repelled Zandon’s bid, only to be nailed by deep-closing Rich Strike in the final yards. With a more typical pace scenario here, and the slight cutback to 1 3/16 miles, Epicenter projects a trip similar to his track record-setting Louisiana Derby (G2) at this distance.

Secret Oath Secret Oath

Secret Oath earned a higher Brisnet Speed rating (103) in her Kentucky Oaks (G1) victory, over fillies, than Rich Strike posted in the Derby (102). Her prior third in the Arkansas Derby (G1) isn’t a true bill, given her tough trip. Fillies have won twice here in recent years, and if Secret Oath can achieve the feat, she’d lift Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas to a record-tying seventh Preakness win. 

Simplification Simplification

Like Epicenter, Kentucky Derby fourth Simplification is another who stands to benefit from a more normal pace in the Preakness. The Gulfstream Park shipper dropped much farther back than usual at Churchill Downs, then offered a strong rally to reduce his beaten margin to 3 1/2 lengths. Simplification should secure better position at Pimlico, reminiscent of his successful Fountain of Youth (G2) tactics. 

Early Voting Early Voting

After romping in the Withers (G3) and nearly wiring the Wood Memorial (G2), Early Voting had earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby field. But his connections, citing the colt’s inexperience, preferred to aim here instead. That was also their plan for a similar type, Cloud Computing, who won the 2017 Preakness. Early Voting brings even stronger credentials, including a field-topping 111 Brisnet Speed rating.

Creative Minister Creative Minister

Late bloomer wasn’t nominated for the Triple Crown, so connections are paying $150,000 to supplement. A fast-closing second in his sprint debut, Creative Minister is 2-for-2 since stretching out to 1 1/16 miles, including a dominant allowance score on Derby Day. The Preakness represents a significant class hike for a colt yet to try stakes company. 

Skippylongstocking Skippylongstocking

Wood Memorial third didn’t have enough points to make the cut for the Derby, but he’s turned in back-to-back solid efforts. The key has been stepping up to 1 1/8 miles, as evidenced by a good-looking allowance tally at Gulfstream prior to the Wood. The added ground suits the colt who’s attempting to become a third-generation Preakness winner, after sire Exaggerator and grandsire Curlin. 

Happy Jack Happy Jack

Homebred from historic Calumet Farm, which also bred Rich Strike, seeks to deliver a similarly shocking upset in the Preakness. Never a factor when 14th in the Kentucky Derby, he was previously a well-beaten third in the San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1). Trainer Doug O’Neill hopes that putting blinkers back on can help Happy Jack get involved in the game earlier. 

Armagnacg Armagnac

Another fringe player in the Southern California preps for the Kentucky Derby, Armagnac was outfinished by Happy Jack in both the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby. He suddenly emerged as a Preakness candidate with a frontrunning allowance romp at Santa Anita May 8. Armagnac’s presence isn’t necessarily a negative for pace rival Early Voting, who might opt to use him as a target. 

Fenwick Fenwick

Fenwick looks up against it after trailing home a long-way last in the Blue Grass (G1). He had needed five starts to break his maiden, finally winning as a 21.70-1 longshot at Tampa Bay Downs. Fenwick went wire-to-wire that day in first-time blinkers, toppling 1-20 favorite Commandperformance who had been second in the Champagne (G1) and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).  

Preakness Stakes Post Positions

Here are all the horses set for the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” on May 21 with their odds to win the Preakness Stakes.

Post Position Horse Odds
1 Simplification 6/1
2 Creative Minister 5/1
3 Fenwick 50/1
4 Secret Oath 9/2
5 Early Voting 4/1
6 Happy Jack 30/1
7 Armagnac 12/1
8 Epicenter 5/2
9 Skippylongstocking 25/1

Odds courtesy of TVG as of May 17 at 1:20 a.m. ET.

Printable Preakness Stakes horses list

The field and the odds are set, be sure to download our printable Preakness Stakes horses list to take with you on the go!

How horses qualify for the Preakness Stakes

Qualifying for the Preakness Stakes isn’t based on a points system, but rather focused on winnings as well as success in the Kentucky Derby two weeks prior.

Preakness Stake prep races

Unlike the Kentucky Derby qualifying, which is done on points, the Preakness Stakes pulls its field from the horses’ graded stakes earnings as well as lifetime earnings. The Top 5 horses from the Kentucky Derby are also granted automatic spots, however, but not all of those horses will choose to race in the Preakness Stakes.

Triple Crown Horses

The Preakness Stakes is the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown and often features the winner of the Kentucky Derby. There have been 23 horses win both the Derby and the Preakness and 13 of those contenders have gone on to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

Types of Preakness Stakes horses

The Preakness Stakes is one of the fastest graded stakes races with a distance of just 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs), which is why this event is limited to three-year-old thoroughbreds.

Thoroughbred

Thoroughbred horses are known for their long athletic builds and burst of speed, which makes them the ideal horse for the Preakness Stakes – the shortest and fastest of the three Triple Crown races.

Age of horses

The Preakness Stakes, along with the other two Triple Crown events, are limited to three-year-old horses. At that age, horses are just beginning to mature and there is still an aura of the unknown when it comes to their performances. 

Instant Replay: Preakness Stakes horses

The Preakness is limited to just 14 horses pulled from the top graded stakes earners and the Top 5 finishers in the Kentucky Derby.

The Preakness Stakes is the shortest of the Triple Crown races at 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs).

There have been 23 horses win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

The Preakness Stakes is limited to three-year-old thoroughbred horses.

Preakness Stakes horses FAQs

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