ESPN Preakness 2023 Expert Picks & Predictions: Mage, National Treasure Among Best Bets To Win Preakness Stakes

Preakness Stakes contender National Treasure

ESPN’s picks and predictions for the 2023 Preakness Stakes have been released. Find ESPN’s Preakness 2023 picks and predictions for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

There will only be seven horses in the field on Saturday for the 148th running of the Preakness Stakes. The race is set for 7:01 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, on NBC. Can Mage keep his Triple Crown hopes alive?

Here are ESPN’s picks and predictions for the 2023 Preakness Stakes.

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ESPN Preakness 2023 Picks & Predictions

The Kentucky Derby winner Mage (-140) remains the favorite heading into the weekend. The big news heading into Saturday is the scratching of First Mission, one of Mage’s toughest challengers. Anita Marks of ESPN will look to take advantage of the small field by setting up a trifecta with multiple options to win, place, and show.

Mage (-140) or National Treasure (+270) To Win

To start the trifecta, Anita Marks likes Mage or National Treasure to win. In many experts’ minds, these are the only two horses with a chance of winning. Mage has great acceleration, which he displayed in his Kentucky Derby win. “We saw in the Derby that this horse has a good mind, and push-button speed,” Marks said. “He will want a fast pace to win.”

With National Treasure, this horse wants to make the lead and ride the rail out of post No. 1. It’s also backed by trainer Bob Baffert, who is tied for the most Preakness victories of all time with seven. Throw in the extra motivation Baffert will have post-suspension, and National Treasure will be a dangerous horse in this race.

Mage (-140), National, Treasure (+270), or Blazing Sevens (+700) to place

To place (finish second), Marks will have Mage, National Treasure, and Blazing Sevens on her trifecta ticket. Blazing Sevens is regarded as the third favorite, with First Mission scratched. Blazing Sevens has a championship trainer in Chad Brown, who has won two Preakness Stakes, including 2022’s Early Voting. Blazing Sevens did not race in the Derby. However, Brown made this decision “twice and won both times.”

National Treasure (+270), Blazing Sevens (+700), Red Route One (+1400), or Perform (+1800) to show

To show (third place), Marks will have National Treasure and Blazing Sevens, along with the longshots Red Route and Perform. Red Route has a “good running style and has impressive closing speed,” which is perfect for betting a horse to show. With Perform, he won the Tesio Stakes impressively. Sired by Good Magic, Marks said Perform “could challenge at the end.”

Preakness Stakes Betting Guides 2023

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