Always Dreaming is 4-5 early favorite for Preakness

Always Dreaming is 4-5 early favorite for Preakness

Always Dreaming is 4-5 early favorite for Preakness

The fact is that after running in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby, it doesn't really matter where you draw in a 10-horse field at Pimlico Race Course. Always Dreaming is the 4-5 favorite, despite beating Lookin at Lee by a mere 2 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs. Gunnevera drew the No. 6 post position for the 2017 race. "I imagine Classic Empire is going to keep a look at where we are" regardless of his post position.

Always Dreaming, who had briefly misbehaved Monday morning when he went to the track, went about his business in a professional way Wednesday.

"So I'm already in the mindset", Viola said happily. Is it possible that Classic is the Dennis Rodman, 56, of racing? "If I was NBC, I'd have like a close-in camera on those two horses".

"It's never that easy", he said. 10, Judge Lanier Racing. "Now he has a legit chance to win (the Preakness)".

"In a ten-horse field here, I don't think it's almost as important as it is in the Derby", Pletcher commented. "I think 7 will have to be flawless".

He said ideally he might have wanted to be outside Classic Mo Money, a speedy horse who will break from the No. 10 post. That colt, and Classic Empire's half-brother, is American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown Winner. His most recent Preakness starter was Daddy Nose Best, ninth in 2012, giving him an overall record of 2 for 6 in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. "I think it'll be a great race". "You have to be in top form to win the Kentucky Derby, so once they're in top form, it's just a matter of just getting them there". He's got that high cruising speed, which can be effective in all races, especially the Belmont. Julien [Leparoux, his jockey] told me, 'I don't know how we stayed up. Always Dreaming is coming off four consecutive victories, including the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, as well as in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 1.

"Lookin At Lee, being the [Derby] runner-up, great race, great ride by Corey Lanerie". He can watch, and if we break running and Always Dreaming doesn't, we may be on the lead.

Asmussen is also bringing back Hence, who didn't react well to the mud at Churchill Downs and ran a disappointing 11th.

Classic Empire is the early 3-1 second choice for the 1 3/16-mile race. Lookin At Lee has received very little attention at Pimlico this week and is a 10-1 underdog in the Preakness.

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"He said 'Perfect, ' so that's my quote", Blasi noted with a laugh.

Theres a pair of 15-1 shots: Gunnevera (seventh in the Derby) and Conquest Mo Money, whose owners paid $150,000 to supplement their horse.

"We were out early, as soon as the track opened, but he was well behaved around the barn, on his way to the track and on his way back from the track", Pletcher said.

"It just seemed to make him more determined", Casse said. "We call it the catbird seat". Posts 9 through 14 have been the starting spot for 12 winners combined. Last year's Preakness victor, Exaggerator, came out of Gate 5.

The rest of the new challengers are long shots to one degree or another.

In 1999, Charismatic upset the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. The GI Arkansas Derby victor jogged a mile and also galloped that same distance under regular exercise rider Martin Rivera, who gave the thumbs up upon return to a large crowd of fans assembled by the rail near the grandstand. "He's generally a very good horse away from the gate and we'll just try to come away, establish some position and see what some other horses do". Only six have won it since 1980.

Funny Cide finished third at Belmont behind two fresher horses that didn't compete in the Preakness. Attendance at the Preakness Stakes ranks second in North America among equestrian events, only surpassed by the Kentucky Derby.

Speaking of Baltimore-related streaks, Pletcher is working on one of his own.

Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus contributed to this article.

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