The 142nd run of the Preakness Stakes is on tap from Pimilco Racecourse on Saturday and Kentucky Derby winner, Always Dreaming, opened as a 4/5 favorite.
He aims to outrun nine contenders to keep his Triple Crown hopes alive. Unlike the Kentucky Derby, where the exotics can pay out in ungodly amounts, it’s a bit tougher to hit a big price on the tote board in the shorter field the Preakness offers.
For the first and likely last time of his racing career, Always Dreaming will be asked to run on just two weeks rest. It is a feat that in modern horse racing usually only happens in this spot.
The Todd Pletcher trained colt took it easy on the prep race trail and appears to have plenty left in the tank.
Other Derby horses returning this weekend in Baltimore include Lookin At Lee, Classic Empire, Gunnevera, and Hence. There are five newcomers to the Triple Crown – Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment, and Term of Art.
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
With fewer horses in the field, look for this to be a much cleaner race. The race is also a bit shorter as it is cut back 110 yards to 1 3/16 miles.
Classic Empire is the clear second choice at the window. He was the morning line favorite on Derby day and ran a great race to finish fourth after a rocky start out of the gates that caused him to get stuck in traffic.
It remains to be seen how this race will setup, but Conquest Mo Money, who last ran in the Arkansas Derby (2nd place behind Classic Empire), could be the wildcard to the pace of the race.
Always Dreaming could easily choose to go right for the lead or just off the pace right out of the gate.
Don’t expect weather to be a concern this time around. As of Friday afternoon the forecast is shaping up to be gorgeous on Saturday, with a high of 69 degrees and no rain.
You can try go contrarian and bet against the Kentucky Derby winner, but I’m not going that route. Rather than betting Always Dreaming straight up though, I am keying him atop my exacta and trifecta wheels:
$10 EXACTA WHEEL ($40 total)
#4 Always Dreaming with
#5 Classic Empire / #6 Gunnevera / #9 Looking at Lee / #10 Conquest Mo Money
$2 TRI WHEEL ($32 total)
#4 Always Dreaming with
#5 Classic Empire / #6 Gunnevera / #9 Looking at Lee / #10 Conquest Mo Money with
#2 Cloud Computing / #5 Classic Empire / #6 Gunnevera / #9 Looking at Lee / #10 Conquest Mo Money.
Need help? Check out my Horse Racing Betting 101.