After last year's Preakness Stakes was postponed to October due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Preakness Stakes will return to its rightful spot on the third Saturday in May. Another change from last year will be the presence of spectators at Pimlico Race Course, with 10,000 fans being admitted. That's still a far cry from the 51,838 who enjoyed the 2021 Kentucky Derby in person, but it's another sign of a return to normalcy after last year's Preakness was held without fans. Post time for the 2021 Preakness Stakes is scheduled for 6:47 p.m. ET on Saturday.
With just 10 horses in the 2021 Preakness Stakes field, there will be half as many horses compared to this year's Kentucky Derby. Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby but failed a post-race drug test, is listed at 3-1 in the latest 2021 Preakness Stakes odds. Other top 2021 Preakness Stakes contenders include Midnight Bourbon (5-2 favorite) and Concert Tour (4-1), while France Go de Ina is among the long shots at 20-1. With a talented 10-horse field entering the Pimlico starting gate, you'll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any 2021 Preakness Stakes picks.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
Last year, his first for SportsLine, Weir was on fire. On June 13, Weir hit a $2 superfecta in the Ogden Phipps Stakes that paid a whopping $1,039. He crushed the exacta and trifecta in the Forego Stakes in August for $1,134.50. He hit the late Pick 4 at Belmont Park on June 18, June 19, June 25, July 2 and July 5, with the June 25 score returning a whopping $2,159.50.
This year, he has hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes and Tampa Bay Derby and the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes, with the Tampa Bay Derby score returning $1,414. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, Weir has handicapped the 2021 Preakness Stakes contenders, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.
Top 2021 Preakness Stakes predictions
After studying the results of every horse, Weir is almost completely fading Medina Spirit, even though he won the Kentucky Derby and is among the favorites at 3-1. Weir notes that Medina Spirit's connections "seemed legitimately surprised" that he won the Kentucky Derby in a wire-to-wire run. That creates a situation where he's "forced into" running the Preakness Stakes as he pursues the Triple Crown, even in the midst of uncertainty surrounding his Kentucky Derby win due to the failed drug test.
Weir is also concerned about some of the factors that made Medina Spirit a 12-1 long shot entering the Kentucky Derby. He only had one graded-stakes victory heading into Churchill Downs, and that was in early January at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Weir calls this "the right spot" to fade a Kentucky Derby winner, making Medina Spirit one of the horses to avoid in your 2021 Preakness Stakes bets.
Another curveball: Weir is high on Risk Taking, even though he's a huge long shot at 12-1. The Chad Brown-trained colt was a hot name heading into the spring after consecutive victories, including the Withers Stakes in February. He entered the Wood Memorial as the favorite, but settled for a disappointing seventh-place finish in that April 3 race.
He was scheduled to run as the favorite at last week's Peter Pan Stakes, but was scratched in order to run at the Preakness 2021. Weir believes Risk Taking's connections "believe there is a reason" he ran poorly at the Wood Memorial and see him as a Preakness contender. At 15-1, Weir recommends including Risk Taking in your 2021 Preakness Stakes bets.
How to make 2021 Preakness Stakes picks, bets
Weir is also high on a double-digit long shot who is "the one to fear late." Weir is including this horse in his 2021 Preakness Stakes bets, and so should you. He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.
So who wins the Preakness 2021? And which double-digit long shot will shock horse racing? Check out the latest Preakness Stakes odds 2021 below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Preakness Stakes.
2021 Preakness Stakes horses, odds
Midnight Bourbon 5-2
Medina Spirit 3-1
Concert Tour 4-1
Crowded Trade 8-1
Unbridled Honor 11-1
Risk Taking 12-1
France Go De Ina 20-1