The second leg of the Triple Crown is upon us Saturday. Pimlico Race Course in Maryland will play host to the Preakness Stakes. Run at 1 3/16 miles, the race has attracted 10 3-year-olds, led by Kentucky Derby champ Always Dreaming. Here's a look at the field. Post time for race 13 on the 14-race card is 6:48 p.m.
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1. Multiplier, Joel Rosario, 10-1
The son of the The Factor comes into the race off a head victory in the Illinois Derby. That effort came off a race where he broke his maiden. This level of competition is a huge step up and he would have show far more than he has already to be competitive.
2. Cloud Computing, Javier Castellano, 12-1
Cloud Computing shows a maiden victory at Aqueduct in three career starts. Was no threat while third in the Wood Memorial and should be an also-ran in this field.
3. Hence, Florent Giroux, 20-1
Was the talk of the town in Louisville before the Kentucky Derby. As with so many other, "wise-guy" horses, he didn't deliver, finishing 11th. The Sunland Derby victory was strong. However, off his career races it appears more an exception than the rule. A long shot, at best.
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4. Always Dreaming. John Velazquez, 4-5
Will be short on the board. And the question is overbet or the real deal. Comes in off the Florida and Kentucky Derby romps. Always seems to find a great trip and that should be the case in this field. Will he be able to deliver on two weeks' rest is the question.
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5. Classic Empire, Julian Leparoux, 3-1
The second choice in the Preakness. Classic Empire was clobbered at the start of the Kentucky Derby and still managed to finish fourth. Has not been a match for Always Dreaming in his last two starts. However, a clean trip makes him the clear threat and a major danger.
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6. Gunnevera, Mike Smith, 15-1
The effort in the Kentucky Derby was uninpiring. Getting Mike Smith is a boost for this late-running son of Dialed In. Likely to be a factor in the exotics, but don't see him running at the top two choices.
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7. Term Of Art, J L Oritz, 30-1
This son of Tiznow would be an absolute stunner if he won the race. Has only two wins from nine starts and has lost his last four in a row. There isn't much to suggest he will be close or competitive in this race. Everyone gets to take their shot. That's about the only reason he's in the starting gate.
8. Senior Investment, Channing Hill, 30-1
Won the Lexington Stakes in his last start at 11-1 odds. That's the good news. The bad news? He has never cracked 90 in the Beyer figures. That basically says he is gonna be way over his head in this talented group.
9. Lookin At Lee, Corey Lanerie, 10-1
Showed great moxie in working through numerous holes to find a great rail ride en route to second-place finish in the Derby. Historians and those looking for hunches know Lookin At Lucky, this horse's sire, downed Super Saver in the 2010 Preakness. The reason that is relevant? Super Saver was the first Kentucky Derby winner trained by Todd Pletcher. Can the son repeat what his father did? Problably not, but it makes a nice tale heading into the Preakness. One massive negative: Lookin At Lee rolls in on a seven-race losing streak.
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10. Conquest Mo Money, Jorge Carreno, 15-1
Has never been worse than second in five career starts. However, he was first in his first three races and now has two second-place finishes in his most recent efforts. Was run down by Classic Empire in the Arkansas Derby and couldn't handle Hence in the Sunland. A nice horse but this isn't a race won by nice horses.
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And the winner is...
The race shapes up like a two-horse battle between Always Dreaming and Classic Empire. Everyone else has their warts and flaws. Will Classic Empire turn the tables on the Kentucky Derby champ or is Always Dreaming destined to head to Belmont with a shot at the Triple Crown? There won't be much value in the win pool on either horse. However, Always Dreaming is rolling and has looked great at Pimlico. He gets a thin call here, which does not guarantee he will capture the crown in three weeks.