Four other horses from the Kentucky Derby are in the Preakness, but three of them – Lookin At Lee (second), Gunnevera (seventh) and Hence (11th) – try to rally from far behind.
Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming, ridden by exercise rider Nick Bush, walks past the starting gates after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 18, 2017.
Always Dreaming’s team will be aiming for horse racing immortality Saturday when the horse lines up at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the 142nd running of the Preakness.
“It’s very exciting and we’re enjoying every minute of it”, Ms. McKenna said as her horse is one of 10 in the field. “But I have a renewed love for my son right now”.
The fact he seized the lead relatively early before the final stretch run suggests he can do the same at the shorter Preakness (1 3/16 miles compared to 1 1/4 miles).
The other Kentucky Derby horse – Lookin At Lee – finished second as a 31-1 long shot breaking from the doomed rail post.
He expects a tight, fast track at Saturday’s 6:48 p.m. post time, similar to the one on which Always Dreaming swept to victory in the April 1 Florida Derby.
“I’m just very, very pleased with the way he’s come out of the Derby and the way he looks at Pimlico”, Pletcher told the LA Times earlier in the week.
They will take on the bigger, established stables in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Two years ago, American Pharoah became the first horse to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 37 years.
Classic Empire went on to the Kentucky Derby, finishing fourth in the slop following a rough trip.
Classic Empire was the nation’s champion 2-year-old after winning four of five starts including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2016.
And his horses even better.
Good news for Always Dreaming is everything seems to be set for another good run.
“The way he’s moving, the way he’s acting, the way he’s getting over the track, we feel really blessed that he’s coming into the race this way”.
Casse likes the neighboring posts.
“We sit behind and watch”, he said.
“I think we’re going into this thinking we have a really good shot to win it”.
Only one California horse – Term of Art – opted to face Always Dreaming in this second jewel of the Triple Crown.
I will use $60 of my bankroll on Classic Empire to win. The race is expected to come down to two thoroughbreds: Always Dreaming and Classic Empire.
The track announcer will yell, “And here comes Lookin At Lee“, and the Derby runner-up jumps from 10th to fourth and is rolling. He drew the No. 9 post.
Of the new shooters, Multiplier (Illinois Derby) and Senior Investment (Lexington Stakes) both won stakes in their last starts. He will break from the No. 2 hole.
Cloud Computing leads the middle of the pack at +1400, ahead of Gunnevera at +1600, Conquest Mo Money at +1800 and Hence at +2000. It was quiet around Pimlico last week, when Always Dreaming practiced standing in the starting gate and visiting the paddock area where he will be saddled indoors on Saturday. Therefore, he could not run in the Kentucky Derby without owner Judge Lanier Racing paying a $200,000 late nomination fee. He was sired by 2010 Preakness victor Lookin At Lucky.
Besides the top two favorites, there are other quality colts in the $1.5 million, 1 3/6-mile race, like Lookin At Lee, a 33-1 Derby longshot who found his footing late and finished second, and Gunnevera, victor of the Grade II the Fountain of Youth in March who finished seventh at Churchill Downs two weeks ago.