Derby victor Always Dreaming gets 4th post for Preakness

Paola Ditto
Mag 20, 2017

"He was four in the Florida Derby and five in the Kentucky Derby".

Whether he does it again in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday depends on a good trip, the tactics by his nine rivals and a little luck.

Always Dreaming, which plodded through the mud and muck and slop two weeks ago to win the Kentucky Derby by almost three lengths.

This could be setting up like 2000 when Pegasus had a flawless trip around the track at the Derby and then had to make two wide turns at the Preakness and finished second.

The only concern was maybe he was too good too soon. "My wife said, 'I've never seen you that excited, ' and I said, 'That's our guy'".

Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming is washed after a workout at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

A fixture in the horse racing world who has been writing about, talking about and betting on races for years, Demling comes into the 142nd edition of the Preakness fresh off a Derby win that continued a mind-blowing streak: For the ninth year in a row, he nailed the Oaks-Derby double at Churchill Downs.

Which horse will come out on top?

Ridden by John Velazquez, Always Dreaming will break from the No. 4 post in the 10-horse field for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

If something goes wrong for Always Dreaming, who is 4-5 on the Pimlico morning line - remember that trainer Todd Pletcher is no wiz with horses on short rest - the one to beat him should be 2-year-old champion Classic Empire, who is 3-1. "If we can't win, I hope he does". Classic Empire finished fourth in the Derby, but it was a creditable performance after a rough start, and he should do better Saturday.

"It's fine", Pletcher said of the draw.

Then we can talk about becoming him joining the legends of the sport. Pletcher has never won the Preakness.

From County Clare, Ireland, Dilger has now bred and raised a Kentucky Derby victor on his Lexington, Kentucky farm. Hes 0 for 8 in the race, with his best finish being third with Impeachment in 2000.

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

Bettors looking for an upset might love to think Always Dreaming won't have it as easy in Baltimore. The contender that will start furthest from the rail is Conquest Mo Money at 15/1. If the pace is too fast, it gives closers a chance to make a winning run at the end.

"Our home base is Belmont, and it's a special race for us", Pletcher said, per Cherwa.

"There's more anxiety when you have the Derby victor and you're going for the Preakness and he's favorite, so that part is different but preparation-wise you're trying to do everything you can to have him the best you can on the day", added Pletcher. They also have a cheat sheet with a rundown of all the Preakness starters as well as a look at payouts for bets on the Preakness Stakes since 1990.

Sure, its the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

Lookin At Lee is a closer who could come running late under Lanerie.

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