Always Dreaming Betting Favorite Over Classic Empire for Preakness Stakes

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A smaller field and the ever-present desire to see a Triple Crown winner has driven down the price on Always Dreaming, which creates value elsewhere on the odds to win the Preakness Stakes at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Always Dreaming is listed as the -125 favorite to win the Preakness, the middle and penultimate jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby-winning colt is on a four-race win streak and will get to start from the No. 4 post at Pimlico Race Course, where 13 winners have started from in the history of the race.

The field for Saturday consists of 10 horses, only half the number that ran in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. The weather will be warmer and the track will likely be firmer than it was at a muddy Churchill Downs. Neither Always Dreaming’s mount, John Velazquez, or his trainer, Todd Pletcher, has ever won a Preakness.

The conditions and the shorter turnaround time might work in the favor of second favorite Classic Empire (+300), who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire will also break from the middle of the pack in the No. 5 position.

Lookin At Lee (+1000) is the Kentucky Derby runner-up and will start from the No. 9 hole. The slightly shorter distance (one and three-16th miles vis-a-vis the Derby’s mile and one-quarter) might not allow Lookin At Lee enough time to make a push for top spot.

Cloud Computing (+1400) and Conquest Mo Money (+1800) could each have a drop in price for the Preakness Stakes closer to post time on Saturday. Cloud Computing, who will be ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, has been lightly raced. He also has the No. 2 position, which allows for drafting off another horse until the home stretch.

Conquest Mo Money, ridden by Jorge Carreno, is a speedster suited for the shorter duration of the Preakness. He has had a five-week break since his last race at the Arkansas Derby, where he was a close second behind none other than Classic Empire.

The field also includes Gunnevera (+1600), Hence (+2000), Term of Art (+3300), Senior Investment (+3300) and Multiplier (+4000). Gunnevera and Hence were seventh and 11th respectively in the Kentucky Derby, which doesn’t strike one as a harbinger of a win on Saturday.

 

Preakness winner Cloud Computing to skip Belmont Stakes

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NEW YORK — Preakness winner Cloud Computing won’t run in the Belmont Stakes, leaving the final leg of the Triple Crown without the winners of the first two races.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming also won’t run in the 1+-mile Belmont on June 10 in New York.

Trainer Chad Brown confirmed Sunday that Cloud Computing would skip the Belmont, which had been expected.

Brown will still have a starter in the $1.5 million race: Twisted Tom, who won the Federico Tesio on April 22. Because Twisted Tom wasn’t already nominated to the Triple Crown series, it will cost $75,000 to get him in the race. He will try to become the third gelding in history to win.

Other confirmed Belmont runners are Classic Empire, Japan-based Epicharis, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Senior Investment, Tapwrit and True Timber. Irap, Meantime and Multiplier are considered likely.

Also possible are Conquest Mo Money, Gormley, Hollywood Handsome, Irish War Cry and Patch.

The Belmont field is limited to 16 horses.

Lady Eli ends skid with win in Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.

Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.

Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.

The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.

Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.