At Wednesday afternoon’s post position draw for Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1), Always Dreaming, the impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1), was assigned post 4 and installed the 4-5 favorite in the 10-horse field.
At US Racing the Kentucky Derby winner is currently listed at odds of 10-13.
The Todd Pletcher-trained Always Dreaming will represent the ownership group of MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz Stable, Teresa Viola Stable, St. Elias Stable, Siena Farm and West Point Thoroughbreds in the 142nd running of the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown in a quest to become the 36th horse to capture both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The last horse to accomplish the feat was American Pharoah, racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, in 2015.
“I think [the post] is fine,” Pletcher said. “He was 4 in the Florida Derby and 5 in the Kentucky Derby. He’s generally a very good horse away from the gate. We’ll just come away and try to establish some position and see what some other horses are doing.
“He’s done great [at Pimlico],” Pletcher added. “He’s training forwardly, aggressively, manageably — everything we would like to see.”
Among Always Dreaming’s nine rivals are four of his foes from the Kentucky Derby: Classic Empire, the morning line’s second choice at 3-1, Gunnevera, Hence and Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee. Five newcomers — Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art — round out the field.
Post time for the Preakness, which will be run as the 13th race on a 14-race program, is 6:48 p.m. First post is 10:30 a.m. and doors open at 8 a.m.
The 1 3/16-mile Preakness is the centerpiece of nine stakes on Saturday, totaling $2.65 million in purse money. Sharing the card with the Preakness is the $250,000 Longines Dixie (G2), $150,000 Stella Artois Gallorette Stakes (G3) and $150,000 Maryland Sprint (G3).
The entertainment on Preakness Day, the most celebrated day in Maryland racing, is as plentiful as the racing action. Headlining Saturday’s Budweiser InfieldFest, one of the country’s most eclectic outdoor music festivals, is multi-platinum crossover artist Sam Hunt, joined by Grammy and Billboard award-winning electronic music artist Zedd, pop-punk award-winning and multi-platinum artist Good Charlotte, along with LOCASH, Preston Brust and High Valley.
Friday’s card is highlighted by the 93rd running of the Black-Eyed Susan, Maryland’s premier event for 3-year-old fillies. The Grade 2 is part of a 14-race program that features six stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million, including the $300,000 Xpressbet Pimlico Special (G3), $150,000 Allaire DuPont (G3) and $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3). First post is 11:30 a.m.
Friday’s racing action will be complimented by the return of the Ultimate Girls Day Out, an entire afternoon dedicated to the spirit and strength of women.
“We’re looking forward to an incredible weekend at Pimlico Race Course of world-class racing and entertainment,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “Racing on both Friday and Saturday will feature competitive fields, guaranteed pools and Always Dreaming’s attempt to win the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown in the 142nd Preakness Stakes.
“Along with our world-class racing over two days, we’ll play host to another extraordinary Budweiser InfieldFest headlined by Sam Hunt and special guest Zedd, as well as the Ultimate Girls Days Out. The Stronach Group continues to rejuvenate Maryland racing and reimagine the racing experience with first-class service, dining and entertainment. We look forward to a memorable weekend.”
Field for the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes:
1 Multiplier 30-1
2 Cloud Computing 12-1
3 Hence 20-1
4 Always Dreaming 4-5
5 Classic Empire 3-1
6 Gunnevera 15-1
7 Term of Art 30-1
8 Senior Investment 30-1
9 Lookin At Lee 10-1
10 Conquest Mo Money 15-1
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Preakness Day card from historic Pimlico. Michael is a Maryland bred and raced horses at Pimlico and knows the circuit from the backstretch to the finish line.
The second jewel of the Triple Crown will be run on Saturday May 21 at Pimlico. The big day of racing has seven supporting stakes including the Sir Barton Stakes, Miss Preakness Stakes (G3), Dixie Stakes (G2), Gallorette Handicap (G3), James W. Murphy Stakes, The Very One Stakes and the Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3).