Tipsheet: 2022 Preakness Stakes

May 21st, 2022

A strong field of nine three-year-olds will travel 1 3/16 miles on the Pimlico dirt in Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness S. (G1).

2022 Preakness Stakes Picks

  • #5 Early Voting
  • #8 Epicenter
  • #4 Secret Oath
  • #2 Creative Minister

Preakness Stakes Wagers

  • $30 win and place #5 Early Voting
  • $10 trifecta key 5 with 4,8 with 2,4,7,8

2022 Preakness Stakes Contenders

#1 SIMPLIFICATION rallied well to be fourth in the recent Kentucky Derby (G1) despite a wide voyage for trainer Antonio Sano. The Fountain of Youth S. (G2) victor has been consistently good in 2022 and draws well on the inside to save ground throughout the second leg of the Triple Crown. John Velazquez picking up the mount is a good thing, as well.

Simplification wins the Mucho Macho Man Stakes (Photo by Lauren King/Coglianese Photos)

#2 CREATIVE MINISTER was powerful in his sharp allowance victory on the Derby undercard for Kenny McPeek. The Creative Cause colt picks a tough place for a stakes debut, but he is surely quite talented, and I loved the way he finished while going 1 1/16 miles last time out. The gray will have regular pilot Brian Hernandez Jr. in the controls.

#3 FENWICK rates as an outsider in the field for Kevin McKathan. The son of Curlin checked in last in the Blue Grass S. (G1) in his most recent endeavor, and he would be a major surprise on Saturday.

#4 SECRET OATH faces the boys for the second time this campaign, with a strong third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) already on her ledger. The Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine has rolled home to decisive tallies in four of her last five affairs overall, and the stout chestnut will surely be as fit as any runner in the cast, too. Luis Saez will guide the top filly.

#5 EARLY VOTING is the pace of the race and gets the nod to take this field all the way on the front end for conditioner Chad Brown. The once-beaten Gun Runner colt was not disgraced in a neck setback in the Wood Memorial S. (G2) last time out, and he has come back to train well in the interim, as well. Jose Ortiz will be sending the top pick from the opening bell.

#6 HAPPY JACK didn’t factor in Louisville two weeks ago and looks to be a cut below the best of his generation. The Doug O’Neill trainee will have the blinkers back on for the Preakness, but he would be a surprise to me. Tyler Gaffalione inherits the mount.

#7 ARMAGNAC impressed with a wire-to-wire score in his first try with blinkers off last time out. The Tim Yakteen pupil had been outrun in his previous two graded tries, but the equipment change seemingly had a positive effect on the talented son of Quality Road, and he could be an interesting value play at Pimlico. Irad Ortiz taking the reins adds to his intrigue.

#8 EPICENTER was unlucky to not have won the Run for the Roses after running a winning race in defeat. The Steve Asmussen charge is the clear one to beat in the Preakness while coming in with razor-sharp form, and the son of Not This Time can run with great results from either on or off the pace. The Kentucky-bred will have Joel Rosario in the silks once again.

Epicenter wins the Gun Runner S. 2022 (Photo by Hodges Photography/Amanda Hodges Weir)

#9 SKIPPYLONGSTOCKING is on the improve after posting two solid races in succession for Saffie Joseph. The Exaggerator colt was a good third in the Wood Memorial last time out and shows a bullet morning drill in his latest breeze, too. The tactical bay will track the pace from midpack early on with Junior Alvarado up.