Always Dreaming of Preakness too

While post position isn't as critical in this race as it is in the Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming will be the ninth horse trainer Todd Pletcher has saddled over the years for the Preakness Stakes.

And this is one of those years. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who conditioned 2010 Kentucky Derby victor Super Saver, shipped Always Dreaming to Pimlico a week earlier than he had done with Super Saver in order to take advantage of the quiet surroundings before the majority of the Preakness contenders would arrive. Winning the Derby in the mud against a so-so field where the contenders fired blank squibs while the longshots waited too long, and with a ideal trip, doesn't carry much sizzle forward. Lookin at Lee Corey Lanerie 10-1 10. Always Dreaming John Velazquez 4-5 5.

Classic Empire looms as Always Dreaming's most serious challenger, on the basis of the 2016 2-year-old champion's thoroughly courageous fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, in which he was almost knocked off his feet while being slammed between horses at the start, fell to 13th in the 20-horse field and staged a very wide rally in the stretch over a wet track that favored horses racing close to the inside rail.

Neither Velazquez nor Pletcher has won the Preakness.

Always Dreaming is ready to run in Saturday's Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. "The first two races were so easy for him that I don't think that we really took much out of him".

13/16 miles, 3-year-olds, 126 pounds. On the other other hand mediocre horses don't win Triple Crowns, history tells us.

"I've never seen him go into the Preakness with a horse like this", Baffert told Forde of Always Dreaming.

"I was just kind of pumping him up", the 81-year-old Lukas told the Baltimore Sun of Pletcher. Gunnevera Mike Smith 15-1 7. But, we think, not the Preakness, and Gunnevera showed absolutely nothing in Kentucky that makes us think he's winning Saturday. "This horse looks good".

Cloud Computing - He was a non-threatening third in the Wood Memorial to Irish War Lord, who caused a chain reaction bearing in at the start of the Derby and finished 10th.

Lukas agrees with Classic Empire is the only horse talented enough to pull off an upset. Always Dreaming has totaled $2,284,700 in earnings, while Classic Empire is the second-leading money earner at $2.2 million in his career. Many had Classic Empire circled as a Derby favorite.

Always Dreaming - He has dominated his competition in the Florida Derby and the Kentucky Derby in his last two starts.

Well, maybe, but at 4-5 and 2-1, respectively, that's bad value.

One of them is Conquest Mo Money, who supplemented to the Preakness for $150,000.

Whether he does it again in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday depends on a good trip, the tactics by his nine rivals and a little luck. Veteran Jockey Johnny Velasquez played it right running up in front during the Kentucky Derby so that his horse was not washed down with mud being kicked up into its face. So he's aimed for the Preakness all along - no small factor.

It turns out that picking the victor of the Kentucky Derby wasn't so hard: just take the betting favorite and the horse that had the fastest time in a 11/8-mile prep race.

"We got what we were looking for in terms of quiet environment", Pletcher told the Baltimore Sun on Friday of his Derby champion's 10-day workout schedule in Baltimore.

We can't pass Conqust Mo Money up - even at the cost of no Triple Crown this year amid an unexciting class of horses.

Recommended exotics: Throw Always Pleasing in if you want on trifectas and superfectas, though the payoff will be low. Value-focused railbirds might try a Conquest Mo Money/Gunnevera exacta.

  • Julie Sanders