Always Dreaming looks very much for real as Preakness awaits

the-preakness-stakes-2nd-jewel-of-the-triple-crown-will-be-run-on-saturday-at-maryland-s-pimlico-race-course-the-preakness-stakes-is-a-1-3-16-mile-affair-8230

And this is one of those years.

The new shooters include: Interesting 30-1 longshot Multiplier, who breaks from post No. 1 and has won his last two starts in respectable times at 1 1/8th miles, including the G3 Illinois Derby; early-speed horse Conquest Mo Money, who will likely try to establish a forward position while breaking from the far outside post No. 10; recent G3 winners Term Of Art and Senior Investment; and 2x G3 placed (means he finished either 2nd or 3rd) Cloud Computing.

While the Kentucky Derby had a congested field of 20 horses, 10 are set to run from Pimlico on an expected fast dry track. Post time for the race is 6:45 p.m. ET.

“I wasn’t overly concerned about where we drew”, said Todd Pletcher, Always Dreaming’s trainer. It’s always nice to have a horse going for the Triple Crown.

For trainer Todd Pletcher, it was a second career Derby win.

Bettors looking for an upset might love to think Always Dreaming won’t have it as easy in Baltimore. “We’ve won this race twice with Curlin and Rachel Alexandra, both coming back off two weeks rest, and we’re very familiar and very comfortable with what’s getting ready to happen”. He lost twice at the tail end of his career and three times overall as a 3-year-old. On the other other hand mediocre horses don’t win Triple Crowns, history tells us.

Take a year ago: In the Derby, Nyquist faced only one other solid front-runner, ran close to the early lead on a comfortable pace, took the lead on the turn for home and went on to win.

Castellano jumped to Cloud Computing, which has become something of a hot name, mostly because he hasn’t run since the Wood Memorial when he was third behind Irish War Cry and Battalion Runner. Don’t even think about them – not even on superfectas.

There’s also Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee, Grade III Sunland Derby winner Hence, Grade II Fountain of Youth winner Gunnevera and Grade III Lexington Stakes winner Senior Investment, among others.

So who will win? The Steve Asmussen-trained runner got the dream rail trip in the Derby but will start from Post 9 in Baltimore.

Classic Empire, Lookin At Lee and Gunnevera are in the field, but Always Dreaming already proved he can beat them. A clean ride in Baltimore and Pimlico could be conquered by Classic Empire.

It looks like a cold exacta: Classic Empire first, Always Dreaming second.

Well, maybe, but at 4-5 and 2-1, respectively, that’s awful value.

Regardless of the Preakness outcome, Conquest Mo Money is already a victor for New Mexico-based owner Tom McKenna, 81, who paid only $8,500 for the colt last November at the dispersal sale of Conquest Stable horses. “Hopefully, on Saturday the best horse will win, and we hope that it’s our horse”.

Conquest Mo Money was a star in New Mexico before finishing second to Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby. He could be a factor late in the Preakness when he comes from behind.

Among the runners entering the Preakness that didn’t start in the Kentucky Derby, Conquest Mo Money seems the most promising of the bunch.

At 15-1 Conquest Mo Money is too good to pass up, though he will certainly be bet down. “Then look into the factor that we got wiped out at the start”.

The ultimate rush would be to raise the Triple Crown trophy at Belmont Park two years after American Pharoah ended a 36-year drought.

Brad Wilson’s pick: 1. Classic Empire is fast.

Recommended exotics: Throw Always Pleasing in if you want on trifectas and superfectas, though the payoff will be low.

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