The 2-year-old champion was the morning line favorite for the Derby, but fell to 7-1 as bettors flocked to Always Dreaming and Irish War Cry who both went off at 4-1.
The dark bay colt was never challenged in winning the Kentucky Derby by 2 ¾ lengths on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.
The 142nd Preakness Stakes, set for a 6:48 p.m ET post time on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course, has at this point almost morphed into a match race between Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming and Classic Empire.
Going off at +3300 to win the Kentucky Derby, Lookin At Lee was clearly the best of the rest on Derby Day, using a strong late kick to pull away into second place while not quite being able to catch Always Dreaming.
The only concern was maybe he was too good too soon. “But you never know”.
Odds will fluctuate up to the start of the race, scheduled for 6:48 p.m. Saturday.
Always Dreaming gave trainer Todd Pletcher a “little bit of a fright” after getting “fired-up” and producing a series of bucks which led to a stumble during a gallop at Pimlico Monday, but the handler told reporters he was “really, really happy” with his work Tuesday. Both are owned by Zayat Stables, which two years ago won the Preakness with Triple Crown victor American Pharoah. This race has proven to be very formful over the years, with favorites or horses coming out of the Derby dominating the race.
Always Dreaming will come out of the No. 4 post for the second leg of horse racing’s triple crown, which will be held at Pilmco Racecourse on Saturday.
Always Dreaming will attempt to be the fourth Kentucky Derby victor in the last six years to finish first in the Preakness.
“I think Conquest Mo Money has been compromised a couple times in his last three starts, and he’s probably a little better than he looks on paper”, Casse said.
Calumet Farm is bringing back Hence for another try at Always Dreaming.
“We don’t worry about that too much”, Lookin at Lee assistant trainer Scott Blasi said after Wednesday’s draw.
At one point, he thought: “I’m going to win the Derby!”
“Those are the kind of things that can happen when Derby winners get a great trip and then they don’t get such a trip in the Preakness, and somebody else gets a good trip, ” Bailey said.
His second-place finish seemingly impressed no one.
Regardless of the Preakness outcome, Conquest Mo Money is already a victor for New Mexico-based owner Tom McKenna, 81, who paid only $8,500 for the colt last November at the dispersal sale of Conquest Stable horses.
IBT Prediction: This is Always Dreaming’s race to lose.
Casse’s ideal scenario involves Always Dreaming and Conquest Mo Money dueling in the early stages.
“We sit behind and watch”, he said.
Unraced before this season, Conquest Mo Money already has earned $508,900. Dilger acknowledges that horses were part of his upbringing and something he always wanted to do with his life. Mike Smith is taking over the mount – Javier Castellano will move over to Cloud Computing, as he regularly rides for Brown – and has often been willing to go out to the lead at Pimlico. Lookin At Lee is the third favorite to win the Preakness at +1000. It’s something I’d love to win.