The Triple Crown is back on schedule, and that means the 2021 Preakness Stakes is up next, with Medina Spirit attempting to add the second leg on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner is shrouded in controversy after the horse tested positive for a corticosteroid in a postrace exam. Medina Spirit will face additional testing, but is slated to be in the 2021 Preakness Stakes field of 10 three-year-old horses running at the Baltimore track. Baffert also will send out Concert Tour in his quest for a record eighth Preakness crown. The controversy hasn’t deterred oddsmakers, with Medina Spirit listed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the latest 2021 Preakness Stakes odds.
Concert Tour, who like Medina Spirit is trained by Bob Baffert, is right behind him at 5-2 in the 2021 Preakness Stakes field. Post time is set for 6:52 p.m. ET. 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 the 9-5 favorite. The horse-racing insider believes his connections were looking towards the Belmont, but have no choice but to chase the Triple Crown. “The connections seemed legitimately surprised by the Derby win,” Weir told SportsLine, “and this seems like a spot they are forced into.”
With the exception of last year with the re-ordered schedule, Baffert has not lost the Preakness with a Derby winner, and Weir knows Medina Spirit could steal another win with a strong break. However, Baffert’s other entry, Concert Tour, is just as likely to jump out early, and they aren’t going to duel in the early stages. Weir isn’t picking the Medina Spirit to win in any of his Preakness 2021 bets.
Another curveball: Weir is high on Risk Taking, even though he’s a huge long shot at 15-1 on the morning line. Trained by Chad Brown, Risk Taking has two wins in five career starts. He is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Wood Memorial on April 3.
Two starts ago, he won the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at nine furlongs. “A bounce-back makes him a contender,” Weir said.
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.