Is It Safe To Bet On Always Dreaming To Win the Preakness Stakes?

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,May 18, 2017 9:17, EDT in

Always Dreaming was the betting favorite to win the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago at Churchill Downs and did on a sloppy track. On Saturday, Always Dreaming is again the betting favorite (-125) to win the 142 nd running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. So is it safe to bet the colt to win a fifth straight race? The Preakness will be contested at 1 3/16 miles and post time is 6:48 p.m. ET.

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Is It Safe To Bet On Always Dreaming To Win the 2017 Preakness Stakes?

Always Dreaming will go up against four horses he beat at the Kentucky Derby and five new shooters. Those types of horses, who didn’t run in the Derby, often aren’t a threat in the Preakness. Since 1997, just three Preakness winners did not race in the Kentucky Derby: Red Bullet in 2000, Bernardini in 2006, and the filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

It has been the Derby winners and, to a lesser degree, losers in the Derby who have fared best in the Preakness. The Derby winner has won 10 of the past 20 Preakness Stakes, with horses who lost in the Derby winning seven times over that period.

Always Dreaming will start from Post 4 in the 10-horse field – post position isn’t nearly as important in the Preakness with the smaller field as it is in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher said he might have wanted to be outside Classic Mo Money, a speed horse who will break from the No. 10 post. But Always Dreaming won the Derby from the No. 5 post and the Florida Derby from the No. 4 post. Thirteen winners have started the Preakness from the No. 4 post, most recently Curlin in 2007. Always Dreaming will be only the ninth horse Pletcher has run in the Preakness, a race he has yet to win.

“It’s fine,” said Pletcher of the post position. “He’s usually a very good horse coming away from the gate.”

Four times this decade, the Derby winner failed to take the Preakness, including last year when Exaggerator romped home to a 3 ½ length victory. Triple Crown dreams were dashed as Derby winner Nyquist finished third. Always Dreaming is likely going to have a tougher test here. Now he is the horse everyone else in the race will be trying to beat, and it will be a very tactical affair. Always Dreaming will be racing on two weeks’ rest after normally getting a month in between.

Always Dreaming will be the first Derby runner Pletcher has run in the Preakness since Super Saver in 2010. He’s had just two Preakness starters since then, Dance City in 2011 and Stradivari last year, but neither ran in the Derby.

I believe Classic Empire wins this race, just as I did the Derby. The son of Pioneerof the Nile finished fourth in the Derby. His finish in the Run for the Roses is impressive considering the bumping he took after the start when Irish War Cry veered in.

Here’s the full field with post positions.

1) Multiplier
Owner: Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, and George Kerr
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Morning line odds: 30-1

2) Cloud Computing
Owner: Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Morning line odds: 12-1

3) Hence
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Florent Geroux
Morning line odds: 20-1

4) Always Dreaming
Owner: MeB Racing Stables LLC, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St Elias, Siena Farm, West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez
Morning line odds: 4-5

5) Classic Empire
Owner: John Oxley
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Morning line odds: 3-1

6) Gunnevera
Owner: Peacock Racing Stables LLC
Trainer: Antonio Sano
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Morning line odds: 15-1

7) Term of Art
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: José Ortiz
Morning line odds: 30-1

8) Senior Investment
Owner: Fern Circle Stables
Trainer: Ken McPeek
Jockey: Channing Hill
Morning line odds: 30-1

9) Lookin At Lee
Owner: L and N Racing LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Corey Lanerie
Morning line odds: 10-1

10) Conquest Mo Money
Owner: Judge Lanier Racing
Trainer: Miguel Hernandez
Jockey: Jorge Carreno
Morning line odds: 15-1