Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Post Positions Drawn For 142nd Preakness Stakes

Post Positions Drawn For 142nd Preakness Stakes

Most of the time the victor of the Kentucky Derby goes into the Preakness Stakes as the betting favorite and most of the time I agree with that assessment and sink or swim on a bed of chalk.

The son of Bodemeister again demonstrated a high level of energy during his 11⁄2-mile gallop on the Pimlico racing surface. "Except for one morning when he tried to buck Nick off, he's gotten progressively stronger". It can be a challenge for any horse in this modern era, where races are often well spaced, an approach that Pletcher has embraced with most of his horses. He and jockey Jorge Carreno, who rides in his first ever Triple Crown race, will have to get a better start from the far outside post today to have a shot at pulling off the upset.

"I think I have a greater respect for Always Dreaming now", Casse admitted. Gunnevera had arguably the worst trip in the Derby, but still finished well.

To date, it has all gone perfectly.

Don't overthink it - this is Always Dreaming's race.

Always Dreaming will start from Post 4 and opened at -125 on Sports Interaction's horse racing odds before moving to -143. Conquest Mo Money demonstrated good stamina when he refused to capitulate in the Arkansas Derby until the very end after setting legitimate early fractions. That horse has run first or second in all five of his starts and didn't run in the Derby. And when he won, he was in.

"I don't want to take a lot of credit for his career, frankly", Lukas insisted. They know Always Dreaming is capable of winning in a number of ways, including from off the pace or leading, and they also know their horse wants to run.

Should Always Dreaming be successful, the final leg of the Triple Crown will come in the Belmont Stakes on June 10. The 1 3/16th mile Preakness, which is 1/16th of a mile shorter (110 yards) than the KY Derby's 1 1/4 mile distance, goes to post at 6:48 p.m. It takes a horse like him to get the dream trip as he did in the Derby.

A sixth Oaklawn-raced horse, Royal Mo, had been scheduled to run in the Preakness before suffering a career-ending leg injury during a workout Sunday at Pimlico. Always Dreaming, though, avoided the trouble, the benefit of having a horse with tactical speed who breaks well.

"The tank seems full", trainer Todd Pletcher said. And he was willing to reinvest a chunk of the horse's earnings to get here.

Classic Empire ran a heck of race in the Derby, but the poor start provided him with too much of a deficit to make up against Always Dreaming, who sloshed through the mud to victory. The Derby victor will start in post four, Classic Empire just to his right. The likely pace scenario is very favorable, with longshot Conquest Mo Money expected to go for the lead from post 10.

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Pletcher is a traditionalist, but he's always trying to improve the game.

"I'd lie if I said no", he said when asked if he had considered Triple Crown prospects. Velazquez deftly got outside of pacesetter State of Honor in the Derby, turning into the backstretch to be in the clear.

Yet, Always Dreaming won't yield ground.

There is a sharp decline in odds after the co-favorites, and should either Always Dreaming or Classic Empire finish in the top two, it would mostly be consistent with recent history.

"(I'm doing it) partly because that's what we did the day before the Derby", Pletcher said with a chuckle.

I hated Super Saver that day because I thought he was fortunate to get a sloppy track in the Derby and another fantastic rail ride from Calvin Borel.

"If we can't win, I hope he does".

"He's the greatest trainer of thoroughbred horses in North America", Dogwood president Cot Campbell said this week. I just have to keep things out of his way. That is the only equipment change among the 10 runners.

Preakness Facts: Opening day at Pimlico Race Course in 1870 featured the Dinner Party Stakes that was won by a horse named Preakness.

The field is set for the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore Saturday. The storied Kentucky stable also has Term of Art, trained by 2012 Preakness victor Doug ONeill.

Hernandez will match skills in the Preakness with such accomplished veterans as Pletcher, a multiple Eclipse Award victor, and Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. His sire, Lookin at Lucky, won the 2010 Preakness but he is unlikely to get his first stakes win on Saturday.

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