142nd Preakness Stakes preview, odds and predictions

Todd Pletcher trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming walks to a barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Thursday

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming, walks to a barn at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

I'm moving away from Always Dreaming this Saturday and leaning toward Classic Empire to be the victor of the 141st Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, though Always Dreaming has done nothing wrong.

Smarty Jones followed two weeks later as the most decisive victor in Preakness history, by 11 3/4 lengths, and it is still possible to spark a debate about whether that or the Rebel Stakes, his second of three races at Oaklawn Park, represented his finest performance. Thus Always Dreaming will be only Pletcher's ninth Preakness horse, and he has yet to saddle a victor. On many occasions, a New York-bred, -owned or -raced horse, one who is familiar with the oval at Belmont Park, visits the winner's circle at the Belmont.

"Always Dreaming is obviously a very good horse". Also pictured at left is trainer Todd Pletcher.

In all, four Derby horses will challenge Always Dreaming again, with Classic Empire having been a Derby favourite but settling for fourth on a sloppy track. Always Dreaming, victor of the Kentucky Derby, will be trying to add his name to the history books by becoming the 36th horse to win both the Derby and Preakness.

Since 1997 only three Preakness winners did not race in the Kentucky Derby they are Rachel Alexandra in 2009, Bernardini in 2006 and Red Bullet in 2000. Their Preakness finish is in parentheses.

Notes: Funny Cide won the Preakness by 9 ¾ lengths over Midway Road.

The Southern Colorado rancher was a bit out of her element, walking around the paddock at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Record shows starts wins-seconds-thirds. In the racetrack's spring meet of 1873, the 3-year-old stakes race was named after him and the rest is history.

Kentucky Derby to win by almost three lengths while never seriously threatened by runner-up Lookin At Lee, who drew post nine for the rematch.

Penguins even series 1-1 against Ottawa
Now with the series returning to Ottawa, after seeing how the Penguins can adjust to match the Senators' game, the pressure is on. Passed over in all of this is Fleury, who had his second shutout of this postseason in goal for the Penguins.

Trainer Steve Asmussen will saddle two starters: Lookin At Lee and Hence. They may go at it right from the start. Barbaro was euthanized several months later due to complications from that injury.

Before 1931, the Preakness had been run on every day of the week but Sunday.

Always Dreaming is the first Derby horse Pletcher has run in the Preakness since Super Saver in 2010.

That's what beat Sunny's Halo, Oaklawn's first Kentucky Derby victor, in 1983, and it has hampered others since.

Multiplier (Joel Rosario, 30-1): He's one of few entering fresh after skipping the Kentucky Derby.

Immediately, talk will turn to who sat out the Preakness so they could win the Belmont. So he's aimed for the Preakness all along - no small factor.

Tom McKenna, the 81-year-old principal in Judge Lanier Racing, elect to pass on the Kentucky Derby and Conquest Mo Money was pointed at the Preakness. I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of a swollen tendon. Of Pletcher's eight Preakness starters to date, none has done better.

Winning the three most prestigious events on the USA horse racing calendar, an achievement dubbed the Triple Crown and something only 12 horses have done since 1919. American Pharoah (2015) and California Chrome (2014) both won, while Nyquist finished third in 2016 and Orb was fourth in 2013. The sibling of 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah finished fourth at Churchill Downs as a +500 bet and has earned just one victory in three races since picking up wins in the previous four races he finished. The legendary John Longden won the Preakness aboard Count Fleet in 1943 and then saddled Majestic Prince, the victor in 1969.



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