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2022 Preakness Stakes Trifecta, Superfecta & Exacta Picks

By Hank Blaine

When an 80-to-1 shot wins the Kentucky Derby, balloon payments abound. No matter which horse wins the Preakness Stakes, don’t expect nearly the crazy prices we saw a couple of weeks ago at Churchill Downs. Smaller fields means smaller payouts even if the longest shot on the board heads to the winner’s circle. But just because an 80-to-1 shot isn’t likely to win the second jewel it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider playing a few exotics. Check out reasonable and probable exacta, trifecta, and superfecta plays.

Trifecta, Superfecta & Exacta Picks for the 2022 Preakness Stakes

READ MORE: 2022 Preakness Stakes Sleeper Picks

Key Horse: 5-Early Voting

It’s best to always use a key horse when making exotic bets. If you don’t use a key horse, there’s a chance you could end up spending more money creating your ticket than you wish. The key horse in our exotic plays is front runner Early Voting. Horses can wire at Pimlico. The turns are incredibly tight. So horses on the lead have an advantage. Not only that, but Early Voting might get an easy lead in Saturday’s race.

Exacta Pick: 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath, 9-Skippylongstocking

At best, Epicenter goes off at his 6-5 morning line odds. At worst, he goes off at 3-5. No doubt, if Epicenter runs the same race that he did in the Kentucky Derby, he can win this event, but we’re keeping the favorite off our exacta ticket. The morning line chalk ran his eyeballs out in the Kentucky Derby. It’s difficult to see him repeating the effort.

Skippylongstocking finished third behind Mo Donegal and Early Voting in the Wood Memorial. Saffie Joseph Jr., one of the best under the radar trainers in the U.S., conditions Skippy. Saffie believes his horse is coming up to a huge race.

Creative Minister ran lights out to win an allowance on the Derby undercard. The Kenny McPeek trained runner has an excellent turn of foot and rates a big chance to overtake Early Voting in the stretch.

Secret Oath has the best turn of foot of any horse in the race. She easily won the Kentucky Oaks. Unlike Epicenter, she didn’t have to run hard in her last and should have enough in the tank to provide an excellent performance.

Trifecta Pick

  • Second Slot: 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath, 9-Skippylongstocking
  • Third Slot: 1-Simplification, 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath, 8-Epicenter, 9-Skippylongstocking

Only nine horses will run in the Preakness. It could make sense to push the all button, but we’re not going to do that. Epicenter has the look of a third place finisher. So we’ll add the chalk to the third slot.

Simplification made a nice run to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby. He can win the Preakness but the pace will be much slower in Saturday’s race then it was in the Derby. Also, Simplification will have less real estate to work with for his run. Third seems like Simplification’s ceiling.

Superfecta Pick

  • Second Slot: 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath
  • Third Slot: 1-Simplification, 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath, 8-Epicenter, 9-Skippylongstocking
  • Fourth Slot: 1-Simplification, 2-Creative Minister, 4-Secret Oath, 6-Happy Jack, 8-Epicenter, 9-Skippylongstocking

We thought about pushing the all button. But Fenwick shouldn’t make up much ground in the second half of the race and Armagnac could bounce off his last, an exceptional performance in a $100,000 optional claimer at Santa Anita. Armagnac got an easy lead in that race. He’ll have to sit off Early Voting in this one, which could lead to Armagnac finishing last.

Happy Jack can finish fourth. Doug O’Neill is an excellent trainer. He knows what he’s got with Happy Jack. Don’t be surprised if O’Neill and jockey Tyler Gaffalione try to finish at least fourth, meaning Tyler doesn’t go all out for the win and instead tries for fourth-place money.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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