Always Dreaming heavily favored in early Preakness wagering

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.

“I think that is one of the reasons why Todd typically doesn’t run his horses back in the Preakness from the Kentucky Derby”.

Two other horses Thomas likes are Conquest Mo Money and Hence.

BALTIMORE (AP) – The Preakness has never been Todd Pletcher’s race.

Has the Triple Crown lost its luster?

Senior Investment, an Oaklawn allowance victor for trainer Ken McPeek, comes off a nose victory in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland April 15 after placing sixth in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

This year’s Preakness Stakes has a couple of leaders at the front of the pack and then several other horses that seem to be in a large group that are drawing some long odds.

This is a competitive field, with the Derby horses holding a class-edge on the rest. Pletcher is 0 for 8, with his highest finish in 2000 when Impeachment was third.

Classic Empire is running for redemption, but the field sets up for Always Dreaming, writes Mark Inabinett for AL.com.

What are Always Dreaming’s chances?

“He never was a real charismatic, amusing person”, mentor and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, “but he always handled himself well”. NO horse on the outside was making up any ground except Classic Empire.

The rangy son of Bodemeister has won four in a row for Pletcher since going 0-for-2 last summer with Dominick Schettino. Kentucky Derby winners Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988) finished second and third, respectively, as betting favorites. I’m going to bet him to win and, to hedge the wager a bit, will play him underneath Always Dreaming in a straight exacta. The tank seems full.

Hernandez, 51, saddled his first horse late in 2014, more than a year after the Mexico City native and former jockey suffered a career-ending back injury at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

Notes: Big Brown rolled to victory by 5 ΒΌ lengths over Macho Again in the Preakness before finishing last out of the nine entrants in the Belmont Stakes.

A groom unwraps a leg covering on Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming as he prepares for a wash following a walk on the track at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Friday, May 19, 2017. Its trainer, Miguel Hernandez, used to be a jockey. Watching a replay, Lanerie laughed and put his hand over Always Dreaming on the computer screen, saying cheerfully, “And now I look like the victor”.

“The two weeks is a quick turnaround, and sometimes you don’t know until they get in the stretch and you see what you have in reserve”, he said. I just have to keep things out of his way. We’re not overthinking it. “We still feel he’s the best horse and we want to prove it”. It was the same routine Always Dreaming followed before his career-defining win at Churchill Downs on May 6.

“When I was riding I was asking the trainer, ‘What are you doing with this horse?”‘ he said. “He’s quiet in the stall”. Weather is looking cloudy and cool but dry for Saturday, following what is expected to be a sunny, hot Friday in Baltimore. The races are run on different tracks, at different distances and often with a substantially different field of rivals.

The Illinois Derby victor has improved each race, and his running style suggests he could pick up a minor share.

So it’s clear Lukas is firmly behind Pletcher’s 3-year-old colt.

“I was just kind of pumping him up”, the 81-year-old Lukas said. He’s a colt that has been improving and the effort he puts forth in races are very apparent and definitely a positive trait to see out of young horses. So don’t even get him started on talk of winning the Triple Crown.