Always Dreaming, Classic Empire become 'neighbors' for Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Wednesday

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Wednesday

Pletcher is looking to end his Pimlico drought.

The year 2010 presented Pletcher with a different situation - the obligatory pursuit of a Triple Crown. Lookin At Lee and Gunnevera both won races at age 2 in this scenario, but for the other three Derby entrants in the Preakness, this likely will be the only time in their careers they will return to race in two weeks.

To date, it has all gone perfectly.

The positional speed is Always Dreaming's greatest racing attribute. Where Always Dreaming, not only is he blessed with the God-given ability, he creates his own luck, and there's something to be said for that.

Pletcher has decided Always Dreaming won't have a timed workout - known as a breeze - before the Preakness.

"It's really a tremendous respect for the Preakness", Pletcher said.

Odds on Always Dreaming winning the Triple Crown have "Yes" as a +300 long shot (a $100 bet would win $300) with "No" priced at -450 (you need to wager $450 to win $100).

Lookin at Lee had a dream trip along the rail in the Kentucky Derby, resulting in a second place finish at odds of 33 to 1. Purchased for a mere $8,500 by obscure owners, Conquest Mo Money will start from the far outside as a 15-1 choice in the morning line.

Unlike the Kentucky Derby, which was run in the rain with sloppy track conditions, the Preakness Stakes weather report is calling for a dry track with temperatures in the mid-70s for Baltimore Saturday.

"He gets into a rhythm, clicking off pretty solid fractions", Pletcher said. "We've got a special horse".

Thirteen winners have started from the No. 4 post, most recently Curlin in 2007. I think Always Dreaming is ...

Following the same routine as he did leading into the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher said he would take the draw reins off Always Dreaming May 19 and just have the dark bay colt jog Friday morning in his last trip to the track before Saturday's classic. He may have lost the Florida Derby at the draw when he landed post 10 and the race was just dominated by those with zip. Even with a good trip, it will be tough to make up almost nine lengths, and at 3-1, he'll be no bargain. Velazquez deftly got outside of pacesetter State of Honor in the Derby, turning into the backstretch to be in the clear.

The Preakness has been relatively predictable over the past few years, as the first or second betting choices have won 14 of the 16 renewals, including Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in 2015. "But he's also the greatest trainer in America at keeping his horses in the barn".

"In a race like the Derby, it's so paramount to have good position going into the first turn", said Norman Casse, who assists his father, Mark, as Classic Empire's trainer. "I don't think I would change anything to this point". Fourth place: $90,000. Fifth: $45,000. Typically unaggressive rider Julien Leparoux must ride Classic Empire aggressively.

When Doug O'Neill arrived with I'll Have Another in 2011, he couldn't get over the hospitality at Pimlico, and of that of the entire city. Senior Investment (Channing Hill, 30-1): He's entering today off a victory in the G3 Lexington at Keeneland and there's something to be said about entering with a little bit of confidence off a victory.

Term of Art has not ducked anybody.

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