Preakness favorites Always Dreaming, Classic Empire to break from adjacent post positions

Preakness favorites Always Dreaming, Classic Empire to break from adjacent post positions

Preakness favorites Always Dreaming, Classic Empire to break from adjacent post positions

To get to this point, Pletcher has kept Always Dreaming relatively fresh. "Think about this. The sport has arguably two of its better 3-year-olds in a classic race, loading side by side".

Trainer Todd Pletcher oozed confidence over his Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming on Thursday after early morning training at Pimlico ahead of Saturday's Preakness Stakes in Baltimore.

"It's never that easy", he said.

Arguably more famous than the jockeys who ride them, these 10 Preakness 2017 horses are stealing hearts all across the nation for both their looks and tremendous speed. He's started 48 Kentucky Derby horses but only ran three back in the Preakness. An extreme inside or outside post can doom a contender before the starting gate ever opens.

Pletcher has won Eclipse Awards seven times as the nation's leading trainer, including four in a row.

"I'm not going to sweat the post position too much with a 10-horse field here", he said earlier in the day Wednesday.

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"Let's hope that Sunday morning we wake up and have to think about that", he said.

Always Dreaming prompted comparisons to Alydar, Affirmed's archrival, when his time of 1:47 and two-fifths seconds in the 1 ¹/₈-mile Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, his final prep for the Kentucky Derby, was the swiftest since Alydar blazed home in 1:47.

With his horse straddling the flawless line between composed and raring to go, he has repeatedly asserted his confidence this week.

Four of Always Dreamings rivals are back to take him on in the second leg of the Triple Crown. "We're just letting the horse gallop and be happy". I expected him to come out of the race as though he didn't exert himself and that's exactly what he did.

LP: I think you see something special.

Trainer Antonio Sano will replace jockey Javier Castellano with Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith about Gunnevera Saturday. He will have a number of late runners to fend off in the stretch but he is a game runner who has a chance to hang on for a top three finish. He's in the good hands of Chad Brown and that is an endorsement it itself.

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Pletcher has decided Always Dreaming won't have a timed workout - known as a breeze - before the Preakness.

Antonio Sano-trained Gunnevera, who finished seventh at Churchill Downs, will break from the middle of the pack in the six spot and is a 15-1 shot along with Conquest Money, who drew Gate 10, the farthest outside.

Always Dreaming has surprised Pletcher in how quickly the dark bay colt bounced back from his 2¾-length victory in the Derby on May 6. He's the second morning-line favorite at 3-1 with a great shot of ending up in the winner's circle.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two starters: Lookin At Lee and Hence.

"He said 'Perfect, ' so that's my quote", Blasi noted with a laugh. "I would imagine that Classic Empire is going to keep an eye on where we are". Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art complete the Preakness field.

"We have been avid supporters of Lookin at Lee since the Sentient Jet Juvenile a year ago and have been cheering him on ever since", said Andrew Collins, President and CEO of Sentient Jet.

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