Fresh off an easy victory at the Kentucky Derby last weekend, Nyquist is already listed as the odds-on favorite to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes on May 21 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The 3-year-old colt’s strong performance drew comparisons to that of American Pharoah, who last year became horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner in decades.
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Bovada.LV, a prominent online sportsbook, currently lists Nyquist as a -140 (5/7) favorite to win the Preakness Stakes, also known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.” The rest of the field is listed at 1/1, or even money. Exaggerator, who finished second to Nyquist at the Kentucky Derby, is getting 9/2 odds.
The sportsbook is also taking action on whether Nyquist will win the 2016 Triple Crown. Currently, Bovada lists at +200 (2/1) to replicate American Pharoah’s feat and -300 (1/3) to fall short. The Las Vegas-based Westgate Superbook won’t release Preakness odds until the field is finalized, but the sportsbook lists Nyquist at +250 to win the Triple Crown and -300 to fall short.
The entire Derby Day program generated $192.6 million in wagers, down just 1% from a record-setting total in 2015, according to race officials. Total wagers on the Kentucky Derby race itself reached $124.7 million, down 10% from 2015.
Nyquist’s status as the overwhelming (2-1) favorite negatively impacted the amount of spending, as did the untimely crash of leading horse racing outlet TVG’s website, which prevented countless fans from placing bets. TVG CEO Kip Levin blamed the crash on human error, the New York Post reported. TVG did not immediately respond to FOXBusiness.com’s request for comment.
But the demand for tickets to Triple Crown events seems to be strong. More than 167,000 people packed Churchill Downs for the Derby last weekend. The median ticket price for the 2016 Preakness Stakes was $105 as of Monday afternoon, with the cheapest available seat listed at $42, according to online ticket aggregator StubHub.
By comparison, the median price for Preakness tickets was $88 on the same day last year. In all, sales are up 22% on StubHub compared to one year ago – a trend the company expects to continue as the next leg of the Triple Crown approaches.
“After the Triple Crown last year, we’ve seen horse racing demand up overall this year on StubHub, and the Preakness is no exception,” StubHub spokesperson Cameron Papp told FOXBusiness.com. “The Kentucky Derby over the weekend was StubHub’s highest-selling one yet and we expect similar demand for the Preakness, as sales are already up compared to the same time last year.”