2024 Preakness Stakes predictions, horses, contenders, odds: Expert who nailed last 2 exactas gives out picks

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Catching Freedom is the latest horse from the Kentucky Derby to enter the 2024 Preakness Stakes after trainer Brad Cox said the horse is physically strong enough to run in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Cox often doesn’t run his Kentucky Derby horses in the Preakness with only a two-week turnaround, but said Catching Freedom ran well in the Kentucky Derby and wants to see what he can do against the 2024 Preakness Stakes field. Catching Freedom, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, is 6-1 in the latest 2024 Preakness Stakes odds, so should you include the Cox-trained horse in your 2024 Preakness Stakes bets? Race favorite Muth scratched on Wednesday due to a fever, making Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan the favorite at 5-2 among the 2024 Preakness Stakes horses.

Post time for the second leg of the Triple Crown is 7:01 p.m. ET. With several accomplished horses set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you’ll want to see what Santa Anita Park-based racing reporter and analyst Michelle Yu has to say before making any 2024 Preakness Stakes picks, considering the success she’s had picking the Preakness the last two years.

Few people in racing are as well-connected as Yu. An on-air host and reporter who has provided racing analysis for TVG, HRTV and the Breeders’ Cup, Yu has spent a lifetime in racing. Prior to her television career, she worked for trainers Steve Asmussen and Ron Moquett. She also is married to Santa Anita-based trainer Ryan Hanson.

Yu also has tremendous handicapping chops. In a wide-open Kentucky Derby in 2021, she gave out Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first, as the winner at 12-1. In Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager two years ago, she suggested a play on All Other 3-Year-Olds, which cashed at a whopping 18-1 when Rich Strike won the Derby.

Last year she crushed the Saudi Cup, riding 15-1 winner Panthalassa. She also smashed the Haskell Stakes for a $663 score, hitting 12-1 winner Geaux Rocket Ride as well as the exacta. Those were just two of her scores in 2023.

She enters this year’s Preakness Stakes on a roll. She correctly called National Treasure to win the Pegasus World Cup. In the last two months, she predicted Stronghold’s upset win in the Santa Anita Derby, en route to a $219.50 payday, and smashed the exacta in the Apple Blossom Handicap as part of a $410 score.

Most importantly, she has had a read on the Preakness the last two years. She hit the exacta in both 2022 (Early Voting over Epicenter) and last year (National Treasure over Blazing Sevens).

For the second leg of the Triple Crown, Yu has handicapped the 2024 Preakness Stakes lineup, made her picks and constructed her best bets. You can head to SportsLine now to see them.

Top 2024 Preakness Stakes predictions

One surprise: Yu is high on the chances of double-digit longshot Just Steel. The bay-colored colt had a disappointing result in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 17th of 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby field. But he entered as one of the most experienced horses in the field and one result doesn’t determine the quality of a horse. Just Steel has two victories and four runner-up showings over 12 career races and finished second at the Arkansas Derby behind Muth on March 30.

Just Steel has a Hall of Famer trainer behind him in D. Wayne Lukas and a pedigree that’s hard to top. Just Steel is the son of Justify, the latest Triple Crown winner (2018). Justify retired with a perfect 6-0 record. Just Steel is plenty used to running against the top horses in the 2024 Preakness Stakes field with four of his last five races including at least one of Muth (now scratched), Mystik Dan and Catching Freedom, the three horses with the shortest 2024 Preakness Stakes odds. Just Steel finished second in three of those four races, so he’s proven capable of finishing with those top horses and with significantly longer odds than any of the three, Yu sees value in playing Just Steel to finish ahead of them all on Saturday. You can see all of Yu’s 2024 Preakness Stakes bets here.

How to make 2024 Preakness Stakes picks

Moreover, Yu’s top pick is a longshot who “should get a cozy trip.” She is including this horse in her 2024 Preakness Stakes bets, and so should you. She’s also sharing her shocking prediction for Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan. She’s sharing which 2024 Preakness Stakes horses to back at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2024 Preakness Stakes? Where does Mystik Dan finish? And how has Yu constructed her wagers? Visit SportsLine to see Yu’s picks for the Preakness Stakes, all from the Santa Anita Park-based racing insider who has hit the exacta in the Preakness Stakes the last two years, and find out. 

2024 Preakness Stakes odds, contenders

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