Improbable, War of Will lead early Preakness Stakes odds as the field begins to take shape. The Preakness is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 18 at 6:50 p.m. ET.

After a wild finish to the fastest two minutes in sports at Churchill Downs horse racing fans and bettors have turned their attention to the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday. However, the field for the race at Preakness will be missing some notable names, leaving a pair of Derby bets as current favorites on the Preakness Stakes odds.

Maximum Security was among the sports betting favorites on Kentucky Derby odds as he took to the sloppy racing track at Churchill Downs last Saturday. The Jason Servis horse then outran the competition to be declared the winner and pay out for his supporters. Or at least that's what everyone thought, until a lengthy delay and review led to his disqualification. Maximum Security was deemed to have impeded other horses by straying out of his lane.

And that made the Kentucky Derby winner the relatively unheralded Country House, who had carried longshot betting odds into the race and crossed the finish line behind Maximum Security. Trainer William Mott and jockey Flavien Prat were winners of the Triple Crown's first jewel.

That drama set up a potential rematch of Maximum Security vs. Country House in the Preakness Stakes next weekend, but those hopes were quickly dashed this week when both horses were declared out of the race. Maximum Security suffered cuts on his hind legs during the Kentucky Derby, and, with no Triple Crown attempt on the line anyway, won't be shipped to Pimlico Race Course for the Preakness Stakes. Country House will lose his shot at the Preakness Stakes due to illness – the horse developed a cough this week that has sidelined him.

And a third high-profile horse, Code of Honor, will be skipping the Preakness Stakes as well next week, after turning in a second-place performance at the Kentucky Derby. So who does that leave to lead the early betting odds to win 2019 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore next Saturday?

Preakness Stakes Betting: Contenders Odds

The midweek favorites on bets for the Preakness Stakes odds are a pair of horses that came up short at Churchill Downs, with Improbable at +150 on the betting board and War of Will just back at him at a line of +250. Both horses are considered probable to be in the field next Saturday, taking their shot at claiming the second jewel of the 2019 Triple Crown.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and Improbable, one of Bob Baffert's trio of betting contenders in the Kentucky Derby along with Game Winner and Roadster, finished in fourth at Churchill Downs behind Country House, Code of Honor, and Tacitus.  Improbable had been coming off second-place results in both the G1 Arkansas Derby in April and the G2 Rebel Stakes in March, both at Oaklawn Park, and was the winner of the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity in December of last year. 

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione rode War of Will to a seventh-place result in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Mark Casse, a second-straight disappointing finish for the horse after he was ninth at the G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds back in March. War of Will, though, won both the G2 Risen Star in February and the G3 Lecomte in January at Fair Grounds. As well, the horse ran in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in November of last year, ending up in fifth place.

Maximum Security's team have contended that War of Will had run too close to their horse at the Kentucky Derby, starting the chain of events that resulted in the eventual disqualification.  War of Will's team obviously disagrees with that assessment as they turn to focus on racing at the Preakness.

Preakness Stakes Betting: Value Odds

After the top two betting favorites Improbable and War of Will there is a gap in the latest betting odds to win 2019 Preakness Stakes, with horse Alwaysmining set at +650, Bourbon War also at odds of +650, Anothertwistafate listed behind them at +800, and both Bodexpress and Owendale pegged at +1000. Mr. Money was also listed at +1000 odds on those Preakness Stakes props as of Wednesday afternoon, but is now expected to skip the race in Baltimore next weekend.

Of that Preakness group above only Bodexpress was racing in the Kentucky Derby, finishing well back in 13th place for trainer Gustavo Delgado. That was a drop from his previous race, a second-place result in the G1 Florida Derby in March. The ninth-place finisher at the Kentucky Derby, Win Win Win, is possible for the Preakness Stakes as well next week. Win Win Win finished second at the G2 Blue Grass Stakes in April and third at the G2 Tampa Bay Derby in March.

Both Alwaysmining and Anothertwistafate received automatic Preakness Stakes bids thanks to victories earlier this year - Alwaysmining in the Federico Tesio at Laurel Park in April, and  Anothertwistafate in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate back in February.  Alwaysmining's victory in the Federico Tesio was his sixth first-place result in a row dating back to last October, all at Laurel Park.  Anothertwistafate is coming off a second-place finish in the G3 Lexington in April, and also finished second in the G3 Sunland Derby back in March.

Bourbon War finished in fourth place for trainer Mark Hennig in his most recent start in the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in March, ending up behind Maximum Security, Bodexpress, and Code of Honor in that race. Bourbon War was also second at the G2 Fountain of Youth behind Code of Honor at Gulfstream Park in March. Owendale is coming off a victory in the G3 Lexington at Keeneland in April, holding off Anothertwistafate to pick up the win in that race. Owendale's other major start this year was at the G2 Risen Star, where he was eighth.

Preakness Stakes Betting: Longshot Odds

The longest odds on the updated Preakness Stakes betting board then belong to bets Signalman at +1200, and Laughing Fox at +1400. Signalman is coming off a third-place finish at the G2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland last month, and the top result on his resume is a victory in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last November. Signalman also competed in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November, finishing in a solid third place in that betting field.

Laughing Fox won the Oaklawn Invitational at Oaklawn Park last weekend to automatically qualify for the Preakness Stakes. Laughing Fox also finished in fourth in the G1 Arkansas Derby in April and seventh in the G2 Rebel Stakes in March for trainer Steve Asmussen.

This year's Preakness Stakes is the 144th running of the event, which takes place over 1 3/16 miles on the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course. Last year's Preakness Stakes winner was Justify, who had previously won the Kentucky Derby and also went on to win the Belmont Stakes to complete the 13th Triple Crown in history.