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Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby

19 May 2017

Kentucky Derby victor and Preakness Stakes favorite Always Dreaming landed an ideal post position, the No. 4 slot, at the post-position draw May 17 for the 142d running of the middle jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown May 20.

The victor of the 2017 Kentucky Derby has made the trip to Pimlico Race Course for the 142nd Preakness Stakes.

Let's look closer. According to DRF Formulator, over the past five years through last week, Pletcher had 5,210 starts and won 1,243 of them (an unbelievable 24 percent). "They might go right at it from the start".

It's not where you start from, but how you start that matters most.

"If I had a do-over with Super Saver, I wouldn't breeze him at all", said Pletcher, who chose not to give Always Dreaming a workout in between the Derby and Preakness. He's generally a very alert horse away from the gate.

For those willing to jump ahead, the mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes will be run June 10.

American Pharoah's Triple Crown put that notion to bed for awhile. "We just want a fair shot at him", Casse said.

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Classic Empire won the Breeders Cup Juvenile last year, when he was voted 2-year-old male champion.

“The champs been knocked down and hes going to come back and try to take back the crown, ” Casse said.

One of Always Dreaming's owners, Vinnie Viola, spent a sleepless Tuesday night watching clips of the most famous rivalries in racing history: Affirmed-Alydar, Sunday Silence-Easy Goer, Secretariat-Sham. "We'll just let him run his race".

Casse likes the neighboring posts. He said he and his friends would also try to sneak into Aqueduct and try to beg people of age to place a bet for them. Twelve of those horses went on to complete the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes, too.

Cherry Wine split the victorious Exaggerator and Derby victor and third-place Nyquist in finishing second at 17-1 odds a year ago; Tale of Verve and Divining Rod ran second and third behind American Pharoah at 28-1 and 12-1 in 2015; and in 2014, Social Inclusion finished third behind California Chrome as the 5-1 second choice. He drew the No. 9 post.

Trainer Chad Brown (Cloud Computing, PP No. 2; 12-1) - "I'm fine with the post".

Conquest Mo Money (15-1) drew the 10th position, but because of his speed it will be no problem.

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Gunnevera (No. 6, 15-1) was the seventh-place horse in the Derby whose reputation is as a closer. Five newcomers - Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money, Multiplier, Senior Investment and Term of Art - round out the field.

Should the fact that Pletcher nearly never runs top horses back in two weeks put you off Always Dreaming if you otherwise like him?

Scott Blasi, the assistant trainer for both Lookin At Lee and Hence, scanned his cellphone for reaction from Asmussen, a two-time Preakness victor.

It's Preakness week, so Pimlico Race Course is adorned with fresh flowers, coated in bright paint and filled with the anticipation that comes with hosting the state's biggest sporting event of the year.

Post positions for the 1 3/16-mile Preakness will be drawn Wednesday.

The event was held inside a lavish tent, where jockeys, trainers and high-rollers downed good food and mixed drinks. Sinatra can only hope that's the case on Preakness day. So that's what the horse wanted to do, and we didn't want him to be able to do that in his gallops leading up to the race. Its owner, Stronach Group, said the track needs a $300 million to $500 million overhaul, and it needs a huge commitment of public money.

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Lookin At Lee eyes Preakness glory after strong run in Derby