The Preakness is considered the second prong of the elusive Triple Crown, with the final prong occurring three weeks later on Long Island in the Belmont Stakes. Very stoic, stoic narrative coming out of the Classic Empire camp. “In a lot of races things change as soon as the gates open”.
“We’re running because we think he’s the best horse”, Casse said. He’s a tough son-of-a-gun. If a horse paid $10, we thought we were rich. His sire, Lookin at Lucky, won the 2010 Preakness but he is unlikely to get his first stakes win on Saturday. A fast track is anticipated. Always Dreaming’s talent is unquestioned.
“The tank seems full”, trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’s always at the front of the stall, has his head out and his ears up and taking in the scenery”.
Always Dreaming is in top form, with the tactical speed to work out flawless trips. In the racetrack’s spring meet of 1873, the 3-year-old stakes race was named after him and the rest is history.
“I thought he had a very strong, enthusiastic, contained gallop”, Pletcher said.
For the record, I won a grand total of zero dollars betting on the Kentucky Derby. To win this bet, Classic Empire must win and my three selections underneath must finish second and third.
Neither Pletcher nor Velazquez has won the Preakness – Always Dreaming will be only the ninth horse Pletcher has run in the race – and that drought continues.
Only 11 horses finished with a victory from the fourth post, the last to do that being Curlin in 2007.
“Always Dreaming will be right there, but if we break running, we can be there, too”, Casse said.
It’s a typical status of such major Churchill Downs victors given the Preakness (1 3/16 miles) is a little shorter than the Derby (1 1/4 miles) and there is much less competitive traffic with the field halved from 20 to 10. Cloud Computing finished a distant third in the Wood Memorial.
“Always Dreaming was the best in the Derby, and there are other good horses”. The Grade One test is a mile and 3/16th’s on real dirt. This season, he’s been winless in four stakes, all at Santa Anita.
Multiplier (The Factor), hero of the GIII Illinois Derby, got his first look at Pimlico Wednesday beneath trainer Brendan Walsh and briefly crossed paths with Senior Investment as that one jogged back along the outer rail.
But longshots have had a good chance of finishing second.
“He’s the greatest trainer of thoroughbred horses in North America”, Dogwood president Cot Campbell said this week. By bypassing a series of prep races in stakes and focusing on smaller building blocks, Pletcher gambled that he would have a colt who would produce when it mattered in the Florida Derby and thus would be set for the demands of what lay ahead. Hollendorfer was proud of his horse’s Derby performance at 40-1 odds. “I think it took me a couple of seconds to really start to cry because I was just in a state of shock”, Birkenhauer said. “He’s training forwardly, aggressively, manageably-everything we would like to see”.
“He ran a great race to finish fourth and never quit on me”, Leparoux said. The memories come to life of Seabiscuit, Man ‘O War, Secretariat and the latest super horse, American Pharoah, come to life when you walk through the gates.