Always Dreaming is 4-5 early favorite for Preakness

Amos Gonzales
May 18, 2017

Lexington victor Divining Rod finished third to Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness, while Collected was 10th past year.

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

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Always Dreaming, PP No. 4; 4-5) - "Like I said before, I wasn't overly concerned about where we drew".

Let's check out how the entire group will line up for the 142nd running of the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans along with odds for each horse.

Rated the second pick for the Preakness at 3-1 was Classic Empire, who finished fourth at the Kentucky Derby and will break alongside Always Dreaming from the fifth gate. He's a strong, long, good-bodied horse, and I always think with those horses, the less traffic they encounter early on, the better.

That's going to change in a major way if he crosses the finish line first Saturday.

But Pletcher practically shrugged off the importance of the Preakness draw.

"I think he's a very good horse", Pletcher said of Lookin At Lee. "He seems to be proud of himself and doing well".

Always Dreaming, Lookin At Lee and Classic Empire are joined by Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Gunnevera, Hence, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art in the Preakness field. "Classic Empire looks great, he's training great".

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One of Always Dreaming's owners, Vinnie Viola, spent a sleepless Tuesday night watching clips of the most famous rivalries in racing history: Affirmed-Alydar, Sunday Silence-Easy Goer, Secretariat-Sham. Altogether, he'll face nine other horses in the 1 3/16-mile race worth $1.5 million. He shouldn't get caught in almost as much traffic.

Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen (Lookin At Lee, PP No. 9; 10-1; Hence, PP No. 3; 20-1) - "In years past, they've shown a lot of pace in the Preakness". Always Dreaming has won the past four races he has run. Last year's Preakness victor, Exaggerator, came out of Gate 5.

Adding to the arduous task new shooters face is the fact that, by the very nature of what it is, the Kentucky Derby generally assembles the best sophomores now in training.

Funny Cide finished third at Belmont behind two fresher horses that didn't compete in the Preakness. "You can play many, many things".

Encouraged by Classic Empire's impressive demonstration of resolve in the Derby, Casse is anxious for his 2016 champion 2-year-old to do battle with Always Dreaming in the Preakness.

At one point, he thought: "I'm going to win the Derby!"

One start before the Lexington, Senior Investment was sixth in his only other stakes race, the Louisiana Derby, a race from which the one-two finishers - Girvin and Patch - came back to be rear-half finishers in the Kentucky Derby.

The horse's trainer ruled him out of the Belmont Stakes due to a tendon injury, becoming the third Triple Crown hopeful to win the first two legs but be scratched from Belmont.

No new news is good news from the perspective of the Always Dreaming camp.

Other reports by BadHub

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