Everything to know about the 2024 Preakness post positions

May 14th, 2024

Post positions for the 2024 Preakness (G1) at Pimlico were drawn on Monday, with a nine-horse field slated to contest the second leg of the Triple Crown.

The post draw for the first Triple Crown jewel, the Kentucky Derby (G1), draws a lot of attention since the giant 20-horse field is filled with intriguing post position statistics. Several of the Derby’s post positions haven’t produced winners since the 1980s, 1970s, or even the 1960s, and post 17 hasn’t produced a single winner in history.

In contrast, the Preakness is currently limited to 14 starters and frequently draws considerably smaller fields, so post positions play less of a role in the outcome. Nevertheless, historical post position data suggests that at least one horse in the 2024 field is at a disadvantage.

Here are the 2024 Preakness post positions, along with historical data pertaining to each post since the starting gate was introduced to the Preakness in 1909:

Post PositionStartsWinsWin %Wins since 2000Last winner2024 Preakness entrant
11161210.3%3National Treasure (2023)Mugatu
21161210.3%1Cloud Computing (2017)Uncle Heavy
31161210.3%1California Chrome (2014)Catching Freedom
41161412.1%3Swiss Skydiver (2020)Muth
51141311.4%3Early Voting (2022)Mystik Dan
61131715.0%3Rombauer (2021)Seize the Grey
71041413.5%3Justify (2018)Just Steel
8921010.9%2Bernardini (2006)Tuscan Gold
97845.1%2I'll Have Another (2012)Imagination
105923.4%0Real Quiet (1998)None
114124.9%1Point Given (2001)None
1227311.1%1Afleet Alex (2005)None
131616.3%1Rachel Alexandra (2009)None

The winningest post position in Preakness history is post 6, which has yielded 17 winners. It also boasts the highest win percentage at 15%. The adjacent post 7 has also been favorable, producing 14 winners (tied for second with post 4) and the second-best win rate at 13.5%.

There aren’t any post positions with bad stats from post 1 through post 8, but for the most part there’s a falloff in win percentages from post 9 outward. This is partly because as field sizes grow, any given post position is less likely to produce a winner. In a six-horse field, any post has a 16.7% chance at producing the winner; in a 12-horse field that drops to 8.3%.

So which horses drew best in the 2024 Preakness? #6 Seize the Grey (15-1), winner of the Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, landed favorably in post 6. So too did Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up #7 Just Steel (15-1) in post 7. Both are conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a six-time winner of the Preakness.

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner #5 Mystik Dan (5-2) can’t complain about post 5, and post 4 should be suitable for #4 Muth (8-5), who defeated Just Steel and Mystik Dan in the Arkansas Derby.

Arguably the only horse who drew poorly from a statistical standpoint is #9 Imagination (6-1), winner of the San Felipe (G2) and runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Post 9’s 5.1% win rate is less than half of post 8’s 10.9% rate, and 5.1% is considerably lower than would be mathematically expected based on field sizes through the years.

Will Seize the Grey extend the record-setting success of post 6? Can Mystik Dan bolster the respectable stats of post 5? Will Imagination overcame the challenge of post 9? We’ll find out this Saturday.