The Preakness is a prestigious horse race run annually on the third Saturday in May at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is the second leg of the Triple Crown, and is run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks before the Belmont.
The following is a list of the highest official superfecta payouts in Preakness history. By official, I mean the prices paid out at Pimlico, where the race is run. In today’s world, almost all the money bet on the Preakness is put into one big betting pool, and the payouts from Pimlico are what everyone who wins a bet on the race gets.
In the past, different racetracks around the country, like Monmouth Park in New Jersey where I would bet the race, would simulcast the Preakness and run their own betting pools. So the prices on bets would vary for each racetrack. The prices listed here are all for a $1 bet.
To win a superfecta bet, bettors must have the first four finishers in a race in the exact order. The highest superfecta payouts listed here for the Preakness are all nice wins for the lucky bettors who had winning tickets, but the money paid out is totally dwarfed by the highest superfecta payouts in Kentucky Derby history.
That’s because the Kentucky Derby generally draws 20 or more horses, while the Preakness is limited to 14 starters. So there are always fewer horses to bet on in the Preakness, which means the superfecta is easier to hit, but will also generally pay less than in the Kentucky Derby.
Highest Superfecta Payouts in Preakness History
1. 1999 Preakness – $18,887.60
The highest paying superfecta in Preakness history came in 1999, when the payout was $18,887.60 for each $1 winning ticket. To win the superfecta in 1999, bettors had to have Charismatic first, Menifee second, Badge third, and Stephen Got Even in fourth place.
The key to winning the superfecta bet in the 1999 Preakness was Badge in third place. That’s because Badge went off at odds of 58.00 to one. Charismatic was 8.40 to one, while Menifee was the betting favorite at 2.00 to one, and Stephen Got Even was 11.00 to one odds.
All four horses came from off the pace, as Cat Thief and Kimberlite Pipe battled for the lead through very fast fractions in the 1999 Preakness. Both of the early leaders collapsed in the stretch, and the four closers ran them down for the highest paying superfecta in Preakness history.
2. 2010 Preakness – $17,126.00
The second highest trifecta payout in Preakness history came in 2010, when the superfecta paid $17,126.00 for each $1 wining bet. To hit the winning superfecta in 2010, bettors had to have Lookin at Lucky (2.40 to one odds) first, First Dude (23.80) second, Jackson Bend (11.60) third, and Yawanna Twist (16.60) fourth.
The betting favorite in the race was Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver at odds of 1.90 to one, who spit the bit entering the stretch and finished a well-beaten eighth. This was not an impossible superfecta to hit if you really liked Lookin at Lucky in the race, and did not like the favorite Super Saver.
3. 2006 Preakness – $11,151.20
The third highest superfecta payout in Preakness history came in 2006, when the superfecta paid $11,151.20 for each $1 winning ticket. To win the superfecta in 2006, bettors had to have Bernadini first, Sweetnorthernsaint second, Hemingway’s Key third, and Brother Derek fourth.
The key to winning the superfecta in 2006 was leaving the heavy favorite in the race, Barbaro at odds of .50 to one, off the ticket. Barbaro, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2006, broke down early in the Preakness and did not finish the race.
Bernadini went off at odds of 12.90 to one, while Sweetnorthernsaint was 8.40 to one. Third place finisher Hemingway’s Key was 29.40 to one odds, and Brother Derek was the second betting choice in the race at 3.20 to one odds. Only nine horses ran in the 2006 Preakness.
4. 2005 Preakness – $10,362.30
The superfecta in the 2005 Preakness paid $10,362.30. A very nice payout considering that the favorite, Afleet Alex at odds of 3.30 to one, won the race. To complete the superfecta bettors had to have Scrappy T (odds of 13.30 to one) in second, Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo (6.00) in third, and Sun King (21.10) in fourth.
It’s not very often that a bettor can use the betting favorite in the race on top, and then key in all the other horses in the race below him and win a $10,362.30 superfecta bet. The 2005 Preakness had a full field of 14 runners.
5. 2002 Preakness – $6,701.50
The fifth highest paying superfecta in Preakness history came in 2002, when the winning ticket paid $6,701.50 for each $1 bet. To win the 2002 superfecta, bettors had to have War Emblem (2.80) first, Magic Weisner (45.70) second, Proud Citizen (7.40) third, and Harlan’s Holiday (5.20) fourth.
Not at all an impossible bet to win, as War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby winner, was the favorite in the Preakness. So all you had to do to win the bet was key War Emblem on top, and use the all button for the rest of the horses. That would have gotten you the key horse necessary to hit the 2002 Preakness superfecta, which was 45.70 to one Magic Weisner in second place.