In the Run for the Roses, on a very sloppy track, Always Dreaming fell in behind pacesetter State of Honor, moved just outside the mud splatter, and there was not a drop of mud on jockey John Velazquez when he crossed the finish line. The first official Preakness was won by Survivor with a 10 length cushion between him and second place. Its got nothing to do with revenge because Always Dreaming did nothing wrong. Horses with natural speed avoid problems, get great position, race comfortably and win.
Hence, with Florent Geroux, will move first as the horses enter the stretch, drawing alongside Always Dreaming for about eight strides. 10. Conquest Mo Money (Jorge Carreno, 15-1): This speedster will most likely take to the Pimlico dirt surface and appreciate racing the shorter distance of the Preakness. And if I was associated with Always Dreaming in any capacity - I think the general tone out of the Classic Empire camp - that would scare me.
Still, I have a few questions.
California Chrome (2014) dead-heated for fourth in the Belmont in his attempt, I'll Have Another (2012) was scratched prior to raceday due to a tendon injury, Big Brown (2008) was pulled up in the Belmont, Smarty Jones (2004) ran second in the Belmont, and Funny Cide (2003) and War Emblem (2002) also enduring fated runs in the final leg. I could not imagine either losing the Preakness and both won comfortably.
And there's not too much to suggest that isn't exactly how things will unfold. It can be a challenge for any horse in this modern era, where races are often well spaced, an approach that Pletcher has embraced with most of his horses.
In the Preakness, Casse envisions a duel worthy of a Triple Crown event.
Make a note of this: Pletcher's Preakness record is 0-8, with only a single third-place finish. "But I do feel very, very good about the way he's coming into it". So, he basically had one race in the three months leading up to the Derby and didn't get a fair shot at Churchill Downs.
Always Dreaming starts from post 4, with Classic Empire - who finished fourth in the Derby after getting wiped out at the start - right alongside in post 5.
The colt has been, well, like a dream since he left Kentucky.
Never one to ignore lessons learned, Pletcher is using his experience with Super Saver to guide Always Dreaming's preparation.
Pimlico opened for racing on October 25, 1870.
In most South American countries, including Venezuela, horses are ridden without a saddle during their morning gallops. Why?
"It will give me the opportunity to take the draw reins off of him one day and just go pretty easy tomorrow-let him stretch his neck out a bit", Pletcher said.
The son of Bodemeister again demonstrated a high level of energy during his 11⁄2-mile gallop on the Pimlico racing surface.
"I don't think he could have won the Louisiana Derby, but he had an inside trip and I've learned to keep him clear", McPeek said. The infield is unlike any other party on the planet, still an affordable celebration with great music, racing and imbibing.
Which brings us to Classic Empire.
Pletcher works his colt at 5:30 every morning, when the track is relatively quiet. Classic Empires parents are Pioneerof the Nile and Sambuca Classica. Given the lack of speed, they should be no worse than third heading into the first turn.
Always Dreaming will enter the race as the heavy favorite, as so often happens with the Kentucky Derby victor. The current spacing - two weeks between the Derby and Preakness and three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont - was set in 1969.
Closers like Gunnevera and Hence were clearly impacted by early Derby problems and should run much better in a smaller field.
Lookin At Lee has come back on two weeks' rest once - last summer at Ellis, where he won the Ellis Park Juvenile 14 days after a maiden win there.
I find that any Kentucky Derby run on a wet track, there's kind of a "yeah, but." narrative that follows.
So, it's most likely Always Dreaming again, but hard to like him at 4-5 or so.
"Todd's horse has rated before, but I think he rated on the outside".
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