The horse that wins the Kentucky Derby is always a focal point during the two-week turnaround for the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes. However, Medina Spirit and trainer Bob Baffert have become engulfed in controversy leading up to the 2021 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course after a failed drug test put their win at Churchill Downs into question. An agreement between the Baffert barn and the Maryland Jockey Club will allow Medina Spirit to run on Saturday in the 2021 Preakness Stakes field with additional pre-race testing.
Post time is scheduled for 6:47 p.m. ET and Medina Spirit will break from the No. 3 post at 3-1 in the current 2021 Preakness Stakes odds, while stablemate Concert Tour will also undergo additional testing and is listed at 4-1. Midnight Bourbon is the 2021 Preakness Stakes favorite at 5-2. With so much to consider, you'll want to see what SportsLine's Jody Demling has to say before entering any 2021 Preakness Stakes picks and predictions of your own.
A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling enters the 2021 Preakness Stakes after a major heater in 2020: At one point last year, he picked the winners of six straight races: the Saudi Cup, Gotham Stakes, Rebel Stakes, Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby and Belmont Stakes.
This is the same handicapper who has called the Preakness winner nine times in the last 16 years. In last year's Preakness Stakes, Demling nailed the Swiss Skydiver-Authentic exacta. He also correctly faded 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic in the Preakness a year ago, saying "it's a lot to ask to come back after that performance in the Derby less than a month ago."
He opened last season's Triple Crown schedule on a heater too. At last year's Belmont, Demling said Tiz the Law was clearly the class of the field, and Barclay Tagg's horse pulled away for a convincing 3 3/4-length victory. Anyone who has followed him is up huge.
Now, with the 2021 Preakness Stakes lineup set, Demling is sharing his picks and predictions at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
Top 2021 Preakness Stakes predictions
One shocker: Demling is fading Medina Spirit, even though the Kentucky Derby winner is the 9-5 favorite. Baffert downplayed his chances of winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby for weeks, but jockey John Velazquez broke quickly and took Medina Spirit straight to the front, where he'd run comfortably from start to finish on his way to the win.
However, a post-race test revealed that Medina Spirit had 21 picograms of betamethasone in his system, more than double the legal threshold, casting doubt on the legitimacy of his run. Now, he'll be subject to added scrutiny ahead of the 2021 Preakness Stakes and he's been left in the care of Baffert's assistant trainers. Medina Spirit is also making a difficult two-week turnaround against a field that includes seven fresh 2021 Preakness Stakes horses who weren't in the Kentucky Derby.
Demling has locked in his 2021 Preakness Stakes picks for Concert Tour, who is second on the Preakness Stakes 2021 odds board at 5-2. The three-year-old is the son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and has won three of his four races this season. Concert Tour drew the outside position for the Preakness 2021, which has produced two winners in Preakness history.
Concert Tour is a stablemate of 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, but Concert Tour is the speedier of the two horses. Just like Medina Spirit, Concert Tour didn't have trainer Bob Baffert by his side in the week leading up to the Preakness, nor will he have him on Saturday. However, he will have jockey Mike Smith, the most experienced rider with 18 previous Preakness races, while no other jockey has more than 10 appearances. Smith also has two wins at the Preakness, including in 2018 when he rode Justify to the Triple Crown.
Demling has also locked in his 2021 Preakness Stakes predictions for Midnight Bourbon, who is third on the 2021 Preakness Stakes odds board at 5-1. The son of Tiznow and great-great-grandchild of legendary Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew broke his maiden at Ellis Park as a two-year-old and has piled up graded stakes experience since, including an impressive win at Lecomte.
After finishing third or better in his first seven starts, Midnight Bourbon broke poorly in the Kentucky Derby. He made up ground to finish sixth, but was still a full 8 1/4 lengths off the pace set by Medina Spirit. He'll stand a much better chance on Saturday with a good break, but he'll also be dealing with a jockey change with Irad Ortiz Jr. saddling up after Mike Smith chose to ride Concert Tour.
How to make 2021 Preakness Stakes picks, bets
Demling has projected exactly where Concert Tour and Midnight Bourbon will finish in his projected 2021 Preakness Stakes leaderboard. He is especially high on an underrated horse who has history on his side ahead of the Preakness 2021. Before you make any Preakness Stakes 2021 picks, be sure to see who it is exclusively over at SportsLine.
Which horse wins the Preakness Stakes 2021? And where do Concert Tour and Midnight Bourbon finish? Check out the latest 2021 Preakness Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Demling's picks for the Preakness Stakes.
2021 Preakness Stakes odds, post positions
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