2017 Preakness Stakes cheat sheet

Another Kentucky Derby Presented is in the history books, and now, the focus of the horse racing world shifts to the May 20 Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown held at Pimlico Race Course. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is set to face a quality group of contenders in Baltimore.

Post time for Preakness is scheduled for approximately 6:45 p.m. ET.

Whether you are interested in making a couple of bucks on the race or just want to know a little bit about this year’s runners, we’ve got you covered with our 2017 Preakness Stakes Cheat Sheet. We’ll update this list with post positions and morning-line odds once the field is set.

MJohn Velazquez aboard Always Dreaming crosses the finish line to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Always Dreaming

Jockey: John Velazquez

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Owners: MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St. Elias Stable, Siena Farm, and West Point Thoroughbreds

Career record: 6 starts – 4 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $2,284,700

Earnings per start: $380,783

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 104

Pedigree: Bodemeister – Above Perfection, by In Excess

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Many said that this year’s Kentucky Derby was one of the most wide-open in recent memory, as each of the 20 contenders had one or more question marks leading into the race. In Always Dreaming’s case, the unknown variable arose from his relative inexperience, as he had only competed in one stakes race prior to the Derby, winning the April 1 Xpressbet Florida Derby in visually impressive and decisive fashion. Heading into the Preakness, any concern about this colt’s ability to perform against the best of his generation has been quashed by his dominant win in the Kentucky Derby – and now the main question becomes, are we about to see the second Triple Crown winner in three years? A son of 2012 Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister, Always Dreaming has attributes that usually pay dividends in Pimlico’s marquee race: a high cruising speed, which can be put to service on the lead or just off of it, coupled with push-button acceleration. Todd Pletcher is still in search of his first Preakness win, with his best finish coming in his first attempt, when Impeachment finished third in 2000. In contrast to his 48 Kentucky Derby starters, Pletcher has only entered eight horses in the Preakness, including his first Derby winner Super Saver, who finished eighth in 2010. John Velazquez has finished second twice in the Preakness: in 2011, when Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom could not catch Shackleford, and in 2013 with Itsmyluckyday.

Looking at Lee is galloped during morning workouts at Churchill Downs. Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports/Mark Zerof

Lookin At Lee

Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: L and N Racing

Career record: 10 starts – 2 wins – 3 seconds – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $852,795

Earnings per start: $85,280

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 101

Pedigree: Lookin At Lucky – Langara Lass, by Langfuhr

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Lookin At Lee came into the Kentucky Derby with the reputation of a stone-cold closer dependent on an honest pace up front and some racing luck to provide a path for his finishing kick, and he exits the first jewel of the Triple Crown with the same M.O. and with a lucrative runner-up check to boot. The Steve Asmussen trainee does not mind racing in close quarters, as his rallying third in the Arkansas Derby showed, nor does he mind hugging the rail, as he did for most of the Kentucky Derby. He’s a talented, consistent colt … but it must be noted that he’s only won twice in 10 career starts, and both of those were at Ellis Park last summer. Sire Lookin At Lucky won the 2010 Preakness, and Asmussen has reached the Preakness winner’s circle with two of the sport’s biggest stars this century – Curlin in 2007 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Corey Lanerie made his first Preakness start last year and finished second behind Exaggerator aboard Cherry Wine.

Classic Empire #5, ridden by Julien Leparoux, wins the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)
Breeders Cup via Getty Images/Eclipse Sportswire

Classic Empire

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Trainer: Mark Casse

Owner: John Oxley

Career record: 8 starts – 5 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $2,220,220

Earnings per start: $277,528

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 116

Pedigree: Pioneerof the Nile – Sambuca Classica, by Cat Thief

Color: Bay

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Of the many Kentucky Derby also-rans whose comments line in the Equibase chart indicates trouble, last year’s champion 2-year-old male arguably had the worst trip of all. Despite being slammed at the start of the race and bumped again when he rallied wide in midstretch, Classic Empire kept trying to the finish, and got up for fourth. With a much smaller field set for the Preakness and the presence of higher-caliber speed horses such as Conquest Mo Money and Royal Mo to test Always Dreaming, Classic Empire could be due for a much better trip than he got in the Derby. He’s the most formidable contender to Always Dreaming, and will very likely stalk behind that rival in midpack through the first mile before launching his bid. Pioneerof the Nile was eased in the 2009 Preakness, his final career start; he’s now the sire of a Triple Crown winner, thanks to American Pharoah. John Oxley’s 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos finished sixth in the Preakness. Mark Casse’s best Preakness finish in three tries was with Oxley’s Danzig Moon, who finished sixth in 2015. This will be Julien Leparoux’s eighth Preakness start; his best finish came in his 2008 debut, when Macho Again ran second to Big Brown.

Gunnevera wth jockey Javier Castellano on board, wins the Fountain Of Youth Stakes (Grade II) at Gulfstream Park. (Photo by Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire

Gunnevera

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Antonio Sano

Owner: Peacock Racing Stables

Career record: 10 starts – 4 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $1,170,200

Earnings per start: $117,020

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: Dialed In – Unbridled Rage, by Unbridled

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Gunnevera summoned a mild rally to finish seventh in the Kentucky Derby, and according to his jockey Javier Castellano, he did not like the wet track at Churchill Downs. Based on his trio of Derby preps at Gulfstream Park, he is a legitimate candidate to hit the board in the Preakness on a fast track, and if there’s enough pace up front, he has an outside chance to win. He has, however, finished a combined 19 ¾ lengths behind Always Dreaming in his two most recent starts. Young sire Dialed In finished fourth in the 2011 Preakness. This will be the first Preakness for both trainer Antonio Sano and the ownership group Peacock Racing Stables. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes the mount on Gunnevera for the Preakness, and will be vying for his second win in the classic in his 16th career start. He won aboard Prairie Bayou in 1993, and has finished second twice, riding Mine That Bird in 2009 and Bodemeister, who succumbed to I’ll Have Another in the final strides, in 2012. Smith also has finished third four times.

Hence is galloped during morning works at Churchill Downs. Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports/Mark Zerof

Hence

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owner: Calumet Farm

Career record: 7 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $462,601

Earnings per start: $66,086

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 97

Pedigree: Street Boss – Floating Island, by A.P. Indy

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: The Sunland Derby winner was never really involved in the Kentucky Derby, as he was steadied early by Florent Geroux and then dropped back to last of 19 (minus Thunder Snow) through six furlongs before making up some ground late to finish 11th. Like Gunnevera, he’s eligible to improve in the Preakness, and expect Geroux to have him closer to the front-runners this time through the backstretch before asking for his best in the far turn. Geroux made his Preakness debut last year, finishing sixth aboard Laoban. Calumet Farm leads all owners with eight Preakness victories, including Triple Crown winners Whirlaway (1941) and Citation (1948). Seven of those came during Calumet’s 20th-Century heyday when owned by the Wright family, but the most recent – Oxbow’s triumph in 2013 – was achieved by current owner Brad Kelley. Calumet also is represented by Term of Art in the Preakness.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Cloud Computing

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Trainer: Chad Brown

Owners: Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence

Career record: 3 starts – 1 first – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $171,000

Earnings per start: $57,000

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 98

Pedigree: Maclean’s Music – Quick Temper, by A.P. Indy

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Press the pace/stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Cloud Computing enters the Preakness with only three career starts, the least in the field. He’s also never raced outside of Aqueduct, breaking his maiden and finishing second in the Gotham Stakes on its inner dirt track, and then checking in third in the Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets on Aqueduct’s main dirt track. On the plus side, he displayed talent from the outset, winning his career debut by 1 ¾ lengths despite a poor start, and he put in decent efforts in both stakes tries. He’s been training very well at Belmont Park, and under the direction of a reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer and jockey tandem, he’s got every right to make a big jump in the Preakness – which he’ll have to do to win. His sire, Maclean’s Music, only raced once, winning a six-furlong sprint at Santa Anita Park in spring 2011 (with a sizzling 115 Equibase Speed Figure) before retiring due to injury. He gets stamina both from his extended sire line (Maclean’s Music is by Distorted Humor, the sire of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide and Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer) and from his dam’s (mother’s) pedigree, as Quick Temper was stakes-placed at 1 ¼ miles and is by the legendary sire A.P. Indy. Cloud Computing is Chad Brown’s first Preakness starter. Javier Castellano will be making his sixth Preakness appearance; he won the classic in his very first try aboard Bernardini in 2006.

Conquest Mo Money

Jockey: Jorge Carreno

Trainer: Miguel Hernandez

Owner: Judge Lanier Racing

Career record: 5 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds

Career earnings: $508,900

Earnings per start: $101,780

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 102

Pedigree: Uncle Mo – Stirring, by Seeking the Gold

Color: Bay

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: If Conquest Mo Money replicates his game effort in the April 15 Arkansas Derby, in which he contested the pace from the outset and almost held off Classic Empire at the end, he’ll be a major player in the Preakness. At the very least, his speed, coupled with the presence of another stakes-winning pace horse in Royal Mo, should give Always Dreaming more competition up front than he faced in the Kentucky Derby. The Arkansas Derby was Conquest Mo Money’s first start away from his New Mexico home base at Sunland Park, where he won his first three starts and then finished second to Hence in the Sunland Derby. Since racing in Arkansas, he’s posted two maintenance workouts at Prairie Meadows in Iowa (through May 10). Sire Uncle Mo already has a classic winner in last year’s Derby hero Nyquist, and Conquest Mo Money has ample stamina in his female pedigree, as dam Stirring is related to Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold and Canadian Horse of the Year With Approval. This will be the first Preakness appearance for Conquest Mo Money’s connections. Tom and Nancy McKenna’s ownership entity Judge Lanier Racing put up a $150,000 supplemental fee to enter Conquest Mo Money in the Preakness. The McKennas purchased the colt for a mere $8,500 at the Conquest Stable dispersal held during the 2016 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Multiplier

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Owners: Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, George Kerr

Career record: 4 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Career earnings: $187,310

Earnings per start: $46,828

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: The Factor – Trippi Street, by Trippi

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Multiplier shipped out of Louisiana to Chicago for his first stakes try, and left the Windy City a graded stakes winner after edging Hedge Fund by a head in the April 22 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course. He displayed an impressive closing kick in that race, and tallied his second consecutive triple-digit Equibase Speed Figure. At Fair Grounds, he finished third and second in two maiden special weight races last winter before graduating on March 18. All three of those races were run at 1 mile and 70 yards, and the Illinois Derby at 1 1/8 miles, so his distance credentials are solid despite a pedigree that tilts toward speed. He’ll be making a big class jump in the Preakness, however. After his Illinois Derby win, Multiplier was purchased by Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel and George Kerr from prior owner American Equistock. Wachtel and Barber co-owned 2016 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tourist (now retired) with WinStar Farm. Multiplier is trainer Brendan Walsh’s first Preakness starter. Jockey Joel Rosario enters his fifth Preakness with two seconds, one third, and one fourth in his prior four showings. He was aboard runners-up Ride on Curlin (to California Chrome) and Tale of Verve (to American Pharoah) in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Royal Mo

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Trainer: John Shirreffs

Owners: Jerry and Ann Moss

Career record: 6 starts – 2 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $267,200

Earnings per start: $44,533

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: Uncle Mo – Royal Irish Lass, by Saint Ballado

Color: Bay

Running style: Pacesetter/press the pace

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Royal Mo was the first also-eligible for the Kentucky Derby but did not make the field as there were no defections among the top 20 horses with qualifying points. He enters the Preakness off of a gutsy effort in the April 8 Santa Anita Derby, in which he fought for the lead with Battle of Midway and American Anthem through the backstretch and far turn and then kept on well into the stretch, only to finish third behind stablemate Gormley and Battle of Midway. Royal Mo has won twice in route races – including the Robert B. Lewis Stakes back in February – and at his best has shown a good mixture of speed, stamina, and competitiveness. On the downside, his only poor race came in his only start to date outside of Southern California, when he briefly stalked the early pace in the March 15 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park before fading to finish ninth. Jerry and Ann Moss, best known as the owners of Hall of Famer Zenyatta, also campaign Kentucky Derby ninth-place finisher Gormley. Their 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, trained by John Shirreffs, finished third in the Preakness. Hall of Famer Gary Stevens will make his 19th start in the Preakness, and he’s had a lot of success through the years with three wins, two seconds, and six thirds in prior attempts. His winners were Silver Charm in 1997, Point Given in 2001, and Oxbow in 2013. Oxbow’s win came after Stevens expertly controlled the pace through the backstretch and then urged his mount to open up on the field at the top of the lane – a ride he’ll very likely try to copy on Royal Mo.

Senior Investment

Jockey: Channing Hill

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Owner: Fern Circle Stables

Career record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 0 seconds – 1 third

Career earnings: $207,080

Earnings per start: $25,885

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 107

Pedigree: Discreetly Mine – Plaid, by Deputy Commander

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Senior Investment picked up his first stakes win in his second try with a late-closing head win over West Coast in the April 15 Stonestreet Lexington Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. Prior to that, he finished a nonthreatening sixth in the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, and that start came after he had crossed the finish line first in three consecutive races (although he was disqualified to seventh for interference in a January allowance-optional claiming race at Fair Grounds). He’ll probably be among the back-of-the-pack group in the Preakness along with Gunnevera, Lookin At Lee, and Term of Art, although in a couple of his races last winter he showed the ability to settle in more of a stalking position a bit closer to the early lead. Regardless, he’ll need to repeat his Lexington Stakes performance to have any chance on May 20, as that was by far the best race of his eight-start career. Sire Discreetly Mine won the Risen Star Stakes in 2010 but otherwise did his best work in sprint races, and dam (mother) Plaid was a very durable horse, with 44 career starts, who performed best in middle-distance races up to 1 1/16 miles. This will be jockey Channing Hill’s first Preakness. Trainer Kenny McPeek has finished fourth twice in three prior Preakness appearances, with Harlan’s Holiday in 2002 and Racecar Rhapsody in 2008. Senior Investment is the first graded stakes winner for Fern Circle Stables, headed by former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman.

Term of Art

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Trainer: Doug O’Neill

Owner: Calumet Farm

Career record: 9 starts – 2 wins – 1 second – 2 thirds

Career earnings: $170,105

Earnings per start: $18,901

Top Equibase Speed Figure: 100

Pedigree: Tiznow – Miles of Style, by Storm Cat

Color: Bay

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Term of Art showed some promise as a 2-year-old in 2016, winning two of five starts with one second and one third, and scoring a Grade 3 win in the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar in late November, a race that was moved off of the turf. In his four starts this year, however, he has finished a combined 38 ¼ lengths behind the winner. He is a good bet to have the longest odds in the Preakness field come post time. As a deep closer, his chances to be part of the Preakness trifecta or superfecta would seem to totally depend on a pace meltdown. He does have a good distance pedigree, as sire Tiznow won back-to-back Breeders’ Cup Classics in 2000 and 2001 and his dam (mother) Miles of Style is related to several outstanding horses, including 2003 Horse of the Year and sire Mineshaft. Jockey Jose Ortiz, currently ranked second among North American jockeys in 2017 earnings, will be making his Preakness debut. Doug O’Neill won the 2012 Preakness with his Kentucky Derby champ I’ll Have Another; he’s since finished fifth with Goldencents in 2013 and third with Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist last year.

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