Previewing the Preakness Stakes


“Sometimes you don’t know until you are in the heart of the battle whether he has that extra in reserve”, Pletcher said.

Post time on Saturday is 6:48 p.m.

The same question is being asked of Always Dreaming that was posed of Smarty Jones: Can he put away a horse in the stretch?

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

“I’m someone who has been in a lot of races and lost a lot of races, so I know you don’t want to be overconfident”, trainer Todd Pletcher said, “but I do feel very, very good about the way he’s coming into it”. Taking advantage of a post position near the inside and other contenders’ early trouble, he fell into a flawless trip right behind a stamina-challenged pacesetter.

Conquest Mo Money – This speedster in the outside post in the field of 10 was an extremely game second to Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby.

The main storyline clearly revolves around Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming.

Notes: Just as he had done in the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another came from behind to edge Bodemeister in the Preakness.

“We’re running because we think he’s the best horse”, Casse said. Most top horses have at least a month in between races, but it will be just the two weeks for those Derby runners.

Though we missed last year’s Preakness with Nyquist, we won six of the eight prior runnings of the Preakness.

Cloud Computing, who opted out of the Kentucky Derby and comes to Baltimore fresh, is 12-1 on the morning line and is trainer Chad Brown’s first Preakness starter. Pletcher is 0 for 8, with his highest finish in 2000 when Impeachment was third. A good exotic horse, though, at 15-1. Always Dreaming, 2. Classic Empire, 3. “It’s got nothing to do with revenge because Always Dreaming did nothing wrong”.

Both Pletcher and Casse have said this week that they expect Conquest Mo Money to end up setting the pace.

“We sit behind and watch”, he said. He hasn’t won a race since early August of a year ago, but if Classic Empire and Always Dreaming exert too much energy early he’ll likely be there at the end.

There’s a posse of contenders that would love to extend that history.

Royal Mo, who was on the also-eligible list for the Derby and was expected to be a factor in the Preakness, suffered a serious career-ending injury while working towards the Preakness. He could use his speed to pressure Always Dreaming early or go for the lead outright. OK, Javier Castellano switched to Cloud Computing from Gunnevera, which can’t hurt, but it’s not enough for a horse that has only won a sprint. Lookin at Lee Corey Lanerie 10-1 10. If a horse paid $10, we thought we were rich. “My father has taken good care of me for 30 years, so I’m glad I could do this for him”. Classic Empire, having been throttled out of the gate and bumped at every turn, was coated and worn out and trudged to a fourth-place finish.

And there he was sitting by himself early Friday morning in a plastic chair on the shedrow of the stakes barn at Pimlico Race Course.

Exercise rider Victor O’Farrel gallops Preakness Stakes entrant Gunnevera at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Friday, May 19, 2017.

However, Classic Empire, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, poses a real threat, Thomas said.

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